Leave that butter knife at home: 2013 China National Sommelier Competition now open

Last year’s winners


By Jim Boyce

Are you able to open a bottle of wine hands-free? Is your sabrage tool of choice a butter knife? Can you rattle off Les Grands Crus classés en 1855… backwards… and in French?

Good for you. You won’t need those skills for the 2013 China National Sommelier Competition but they might be amusing at parties.

This annual competition, started in 2009 by Tommy Lam, is serious stuff. It is open to Chinese citizens working in the food and beverage sector in China. Last year, there were 47 contestants. Lam expects even more this year.


  • Qualifying rounds are slated for August 12 in seven cities: Beijing, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Sanya, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xi’an and Xiamen.
  • The qualifying round results, and the top ten sommeliers, will be announced that evening.
  • The top ten will be invited to Shanghai for the semi-final and final slated for September 7.

If you are interested, you can click here for the application form.

Here are links about previous contests and sommeliers in China:

And here are the “top three” contestants from past competitions:


1. Han Qu, Intercontinental Hotel Shenzhen

2: Jason Shi, China World Hotel Beijing

3: Vivian Tian, Waldorf Astoria Shanghai


1: Yang Lu, Peninsula Hotel Shanghai

2: Larry Yang, JW Marriott Beijing

3: Vincent Lee, Camus Lounge Beijing


1: Lee Mei-yue, Park Hyatt Hotel Beijing

2: Ken Song, Shangri-la Pudong Shanghai

3: Tommy Ying, Jean George Shanghai


1: Ying Guo, Four Seasons Hotel Pudong Shanghai

2: Henry Zhou, Shangri-la Pudong Shanghai

3: Jerry Liao, Park Hyatt Pudong Shanghai

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