By Jim Boyce | Joe Yang of Studio City Macau emerged from ten finalists to take the Asia title in the Wines of South Africa Sommelier Cup. Yang will vie for the global crown in September in Cape Town.
Finalists were chosen from more than 100 applicants, based on an online exam, and judged on everything from blind tasting to role-playing by educator Debra Meiburg, Hong Kong Jockey Club head sommelier HervÃ© Pennequin and Hong Kong Sommelier Association president Nelson Chow.
Will Predhomme of Canada won the last contest, which is held every three years. The first contest, in 2010, coincided with South Africa hosting the World Cup.
South Africa saw strong import growth last year in continental China. Bottled still wine rose ~80 percent, both by volume and value, according to Customs figures, with South Africa nearly passing the United States.
The ten finalists for the Asia section of the WoSA Sommelier Cup were:
- Bruce Li, China World Summit Wing, Beijing
- Danny Ng, The American Club, Hong Kong
- Felix Zhang, Hakkasan, Shanghai
- Gus Han, Cellistâ€™s Kitchen, Taichung
- Joe Yang, Studio City, Macau
- Justin Ho, Private Room TTDI, Kuala Lumpur
- Masayoshi Shiokawa, Takashimaya Nihombashi, Tokyo
- Nathan Kim, Conrad, Seoul
- Setsuko Mukai, KAZZ, Tokyo
- Yuthapichai Polnakoo, U Sathorn Bangkok, Thailand
The key organizers were Michaela Stander and Tersina Shieh.
You can also sign up for my free newsletter here. Follow Grape Wall on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And see sibling sites World Marselan Day, World Baijiu Day and Beijing Boyce. Reach Grape Wall via grapewallofchina (at) gmail.com.