The Best Sommelier of Australia 2024 competition is an endeavour to highlight the exceptional service and knowledge standards achieved by Australia’s community of wine service professionals.

Conducted by the Sommeliers Australia Education Sub-Committee every three years, the competition rigorously tests individual performances in areas of service, tasting and theoretical knowledge that are required at the highest levels of the profession.



To qualify for the competition, potential candidates must:

  • be a current ‘Professional’ member of Sommeliers Australia
  • be actively working in a customer facing wine service role, in an on- or off-premise setting (restaurants, wine bars, wine retail, distribution, etc)
  • provide a current CV outlining relevant employment and education information
  • be available to attend all stages of the competition process.

It is recommended that candidates have completed at least WSET Level 2, CMS Introductory, or have equivalent industry experience.

NOTE: To compete in ASI regional and international competitions (i.e. ASI Best Sommelier of Asia & Pacific 2025 competition) all candidates representing Australia must have been working in Australia for 3 or more years.



Candidates must indicate their intent to compete in the Best Sommelier of Australia by registering to sit the Stage 1 | Entrance Exam by completing the online registration form and paying the registration fee.

Registration fee $100 + gst


  • Potential candidates are encouraged to speak to their employer about supporting the cost of registration. Participating in the Best Sommelier of Australia shows high-level commitment to developing knowledge and skills that are directly related to providing outstanding customer service.

  • In the case of extenuating financial circumstances, a limited support fund is available to any potential candidate in a legitimate position to compete (all other criteria are fulfilled) but who are not able to cover the registration fee. Prior to completing their registration, candidates seeking financial support are asked to email Imbi Knappstein at [email protected] with a copy of their current CV and brief detail about their situation, to discuss available options. All correspondence will remain confidential.


Click here to register for Best Sommelier of Australia 2024


All registrations must be submitted no later than 5pm on Sunday 12 May 2024.
Please read all of the information below prior to registering.




Monday 27 May – in each State capital city where a candidate has registered

Stage 1 | Entrance Examination
Open to all candidates who qualify for entry, Stage 1 of the competition will be a written exam and tasting assessment. This stage will take place in each State where candidates have registered.

Theoretical knowledge will be tested in areas of viticulture, viniculture, laws and regulations, global awareness of regions and producers, wine list corrections, spirits, beers and other beverages.

The tasting assessment will be two wines served blind. Beyond providing organoleptic and qualitative assessments of the wines, and commentary on serving conditions (glassware, temperature, appropriate food) the Education Sub-Committee assessment panel will be looking for as much detail as possible to the identity of the wine; variety, country, region, vintage, producer.

At the examination, each candidate will receive a competition number upon registration and all exams will be marked via this number; papers will be assessed anonymously to ensure impartiality.


Monday 5 August – held in Melbourne

Stage 2 | Semi Final
Stage 3 | Final
Best Sommelier of Australia Awards Dinner

For the first time, Stage 2 and Stage 3 assessments for Best Sommelier of Australia will be conducted on the same day, and be followed by an Awards Dinner, where the Best Sommelier title will be awarded.

Australian candidates will have the opportunity to compete against two guest sommeliers from ASI’s Asia Pacific region. However, the international candidates will not be eligible to win the title of Best Sommelier of Australia. Twelve candidates in total will take part in Stage 2.


Overview: Stage 2 | Semi Final

Based on the results of the Stage 1 | Entrance Exam, the Top 10 Australian performers will compete in the Stage 2 | Semi Final in Melbourne, alongside two international guest candidates.

Stage 2 assessment will include a written exam requiring more detailed knowledge of the above-mentioned subjects, further tasting assessments including spirits and liqueurs, and conclude with a practical element.

Those working in wine service roles require so much more than detailed product knowledge; poise and grace of movement, engaging communication skills, and the ability to sell an experience are all vital to excellent wine service.

Each candidate will be asked to present and serve a bottle of wine to a table of guests. The candidate will then be given a wine to assess verbally, looking for the same conclusions as in previous tastings. This stage is about articulation of what each candidate sees in the glass and should be approached in the way as participants would ordinarily communicate to their customers.


Overview: Stage 3 | Final

The three best performing candidates of the Stage 2 | Semi Final round will move on to the Stage 3 | Final round in front of a live audience.

This Stage is focused on practical elements and tasting. In a mock service setting, each Finals candidate will be required to undertake practical assessments, which could range from sparkling wine service, cocktail preparation, food and wine matching advice, through to wine assessment and spirit tasting.


Candidate requirements for Stages 2 & 3 and the Awards Dinner

The Top 12 candidates will be responsible for their own travel arrangements. Candidates travelling from interstate will receive 2 nights’ accommodation and breakfast, and must be in Melbourne ready to compete by 9am on Monday 5 August. Interstate candidates can depart from the morning of Tuesday 6 August.

All candidates will be provided with a working lunch during Stage 2, plus attendance at the Stage 3 Finals and Awards Dinner (including food and beverage).

Candidates are expected to be dressed appropriately for restaurant service, either in uniform (if appropriate at their workplace) or business attire.

Candidates will also need to provide their own equipment as required for service in a restaurant: wine knife, matches, pens and note/order pad. All other equipment will be provided.





The best performing candidate in the Stage 3 | Final round will be selected as the Best Sommelier of Australia 2024.

The Best Sommelier of Australia 2024 will go on to represent Australia at the ASI Best Sommelier of Asia Pacific (2025) and ASI Best Sommelier of the World (2027). Opportunities to take part in Asia Pacific regional competitions may also be made available.



The Sommeliers Australia Education Sub-Committee is charged with developing the content and assessing the candidates at all stages of the competition.

The members of the Sub-Committee are:

  • Wiremu Andrews – Sommeliers Australia National Executive Committee and Education Sub-Committee Chair
  • Sarah Andrew – Sommeliers Australia President
  • Bridget Raffal – Sommeliers Australia Vice-President
  • Tim O’Donnell – Sommeliers Australia National Executive Committee



Wednesday 20 March Registrations open (online)
Sunday 12 May Registrations close 5pm
Monday 27 May


Stage 1 | Entrance Exam

Held in each State capital where a candidate has registered

Friday 5 July Stage 2 | Semi Final Top 10 candidates notified
Monday 5 August



Stage 2 | Semi Final assessment in Melbourne

Stage 3 | Finals assessment

Best Sommelier of Australia 2024 Awards Dinner



For further information please contact Sommeliers Australia via [email protected]


Sponsorship opportunities for the Best Sommelier of Australia 2024 competition are available. Please contact [email protected] to request information.