Taking place every three years, the ASI Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania 2022 will take place in Tokyo* on 7 to 10 November, hosted by ASI and the Japan Sommelier Association.

The ASI Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania 2022 contest facilitates exchanges between numerous hotel and restaurant professionals from ASI’s Asia Oceania region. The contest encourages healthy competition between entrants, motivates them to perfect their skills, and helps widen knowledge of the sommelier profession in the public at large.

Each ASI member nation in the region is invited to send two competitors to the regional competition, where they must compete in a second language (other than their mother tongue). Usually the national Best Sommelier competition winner and runner-up are selected to take part.

This year however, as a native English speaker, Best Sommelier of  Australia 2021 Chris Ryan (VIC) decided to withdraw from the competition to allow other candidates with stronger language skills to participate. Chris’ generous stepping down will see Best Sommelier of Australia runner-up Paolo Saccone (NSW) and third placed Loic Avril (VIC), represent Sommeliers Australia in Tokyo.

Chris has instead joined Max Gurtler (NSW) in assisting Sarah Andrew with training Paolo and Loic for the regional competition. The training sessions have been taking place online for the past 12 months, and culminated in a day-long BSOA Training Bootcamp held in Melbourne yesterday.

Sarah Andrew commented on the Bootcamp session: “The visible camaraderie between the four sommeliers – trainers and candidates – speaks volumes not only about the supportive nature of the individuals, but of the Australian sommelier community on the whole.”

Sommeliers Australia wishes all of the Asia Oceania candidates best of luck in their preparation and during the contest, and we look forward to seeing the outcome!


* Due to ongoing travel restrictions in Taiwan, the Japan Sommelier Association has stepped forward to welcome competitors from across the region to take part in the competition.


BSAO Bootcamp: Max Gurtler, Chris Ryan, Sarah Andrew, Paolo Saccone, Loic Avril.
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