On Monday 15 March – after a 10 month delay in completing the competition – Sommeliers Australia hosted the Best Sommelier of Australia 2021 Finals in front of live audiences in Melbourne and Sydney, and viewers watching the live stream online.
From the talented group of 11 Semi Finalists, Loic Avril (VIC), Chris Ryan (VIC) and Paolo Saccone (NSW) were announced as the 3 Finalists based on their Stage 2 | Semi Final results.
The Finalists were allocated only 23 minutes each to complete 4 assessment tasks:
- precision pouring of a sparkling magnum,
- wine tasting assessment and food pairing,
- wine list correction and
- cocktail service.
The judging panels in both Melbourne and Sydney assessed each finalist’s performance, and deliberated for close to 1 hour over the results. Only 2 points difference stood between 1st and 3rd placing!
Congratulations to first-time Best Sommelier competitor Chris Ryan, who was awarded Best Sommelier of Australia 2021! First runner-up was awarded to Paolo Saccone, with Loic Avril awarded as second runner-up.
Chris and Paolo have automatically won the right to represent Australia at the ASI Best Sommelier of Asia Oceania 2022, hosted in Australia by ASI and Sommeliers Australia, while Chris has also secured a position at the ASI Best Sommelier of the World 2023 competition to be held in Paris.
Congratulations also to the remaining 8 Semi-Finalists for surviving the rigorous competition process! It cannot be stressed enough how well each of the Top 11 individuals represented themselves and the Australian sommelier community. They should all be very proud of their personal achievements.
Want to watch the action?
Recorded coverage of the Best Sommelier of Australia Finals is currently being edited. Once completed the footage will be made available to Sommeliers Australia members and others to watch. More information will be shared in coming weeks.
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