New Zealand Sommeliers & Wine Professionals Association (NZSWP)

Our organisation is a not for profit incorporated society and its primary goal is to create a community of people from around New Zealand working with wine, beverages (alcoholic and non alcoholic), wine and beverage sales, wine and beverage marketing within the sectors of hospitality, wine, wine tourism, wine education, wine marketing and sales; to create a community of wine and beverage enthusiasts and people who share the values of the Association

In 2018, New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals was accepted as an Observer member of the Association of Sommeliers International (ASI). It will become a full member in 2020.

Follow us:  Instagram: nzsomm                                                            Facebook: nzsommsandwineprofessionals

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Our News - December 2018


ASI Best Sommelier World Championship - March 2019

On Monday 10 December, Andrea Martinisi was selected to represent NZ Sommeliers and Wine Professionals  at ASI Association of Sommeliers International World Championship in Belgium in March 2018.

The selection process included oral blind tastings of one white and one red wine with food pairing suggestion (3 minutes) and two beers (3 minutes) plus a written theory test. Jeremy Ellis, Celia Hay and Cameron Douglas were on the selection panel.

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Congratulations Andrea!

November 2018 News

We have had a busy few months with the Sommelier Awards, followed my Maciej’s team victory at the Ningxia Sommelier Summit and Competition and then Marek and Andrea’s terrific effort at the ASI Asia Best Sommelier Competition in Kyoto. On November 11, Dion Wai will head to Hong Kong to compete in the First Castel Young (under 30 years) Asian Sommelier Cup. This is run by the French company Castel and as we work closer with our colleagues in Asia more of these opportunities will become available for sommeliers in New Zealand.
You can read more about Marek and Andrea’s experience and see photos of both competitions on our website

Blog posts

One Belt One Road Sommelier Challenge = Ningxia Sept 2018

New committee for next two years

Please welcome our new committee for the next two years. 
Susan Taylor (Secretary- Treasure) in Christchurch. Susan teaches hospitality and wine studies at ARA CPIT and hold the WSET Diploma.
Alexis Robin in Otago. Alexis is originally from France and currently works as the sales manager for Delegates based in Dunedin. He was the inaugural winner of the NZ Wine Professionals Competition in 2014.
Stefan Loetcher is a chef, restaurateur and holds WSET Level 3 and recently moved to the Bridge Pa Triangle in Hawkes Bay where his family now have a small vineyard and restaurant, Oak Estate.
Nick Hewitt holds WSET and CMS certification and is the Auckland area manager, on Premise for Negociants.
Jeremy Ellis holds CMS certification and has worked for many restaurants around New Zealand. He has now transitioned off the floor to Hospitality recruitment and consultancy.
Returning to the committee are
Karen Fistonich who is currently chair of Villa Maria and has help a number of board positions including NZTE
Maciej Zimny, director of Nobel Rot in Wellington, winner of NZ Sommelier of the Year 2015. Maciej holds both CMS certification and WSET Diploma
Celia Hay, director of NZ School of Food and Wine holds WSET Diploma and was re-elected as chair/president of the NZSWP committee in October
Cameron Douglas MS is our patron.


New Website and calendar

We will hopefully have a new website and calendar operating soon and this will be the way we can communicate better and you will be able to see events from around the country and list your own events.

Keeping in touch with our news

Facebook remains our most up to date feed. If you would like to add some news or share to this, please let me know. Looking for some members to help run the social media side.

New Instagram for NZ Sommeliers
Please use #nzsomm to get us
New LinkedIn Page
Alexis Robin has established this and we hope that you will all like it so that we can get this communication tool working for us.

Events Coming up

Budburst Natural Wine 

Join member Stephen Wong MW and his team in Wellington on Sunday 11 November for Budburst Natural Wine Festival.

Andrea on Italian wine and working at the Fat Duck: Tuesday 13 November

Andrea Martinisi worked at The Fat Duck both in UK and when it originally opened in Melbourne for six months in 2015. 
Andrea is now living in Auckland and working as beverage director at The Grove Restaurant and Baduzzi for legendary Auckland restaurateur Michael P Dearth.

Tuesday 13 November 3.30-5pm at NZ School of Food and Wine, Viaduct
Cost $15 for members: Promo code NZSWP to get discount
$25 for non members

Marek shares stories while exploring fortified wines

Marek Przyborek, winner of the New Zealand Sommelier 2018, is originally from Poland and before coming to New Zealand, worked in the UK from 2014-17. While the world of wine has been dominating his activities in recent years, Marek also holds a masters degree in management from the Warsaw School of Economics. 
Come along and taste some fortified that have slipped off the radar in New Zealand and at the same time learn from Marek's vast experience as he has built a stimulating, challenging and international hospo career. 

Monday 3 December 3.30 - 5pm at NZ School of Food and Wine, Viaduct
Members $15; Non Members $25

Family of Twelve Tasting - Mon 11 February 2019

The Family of Twelve have kindly offered to host another tasting for our membership on Monday 11 February from 2.45-5pm at the Waterfront Theatre, Viaduct, Auckland
ASI Certificate Exam MARCH 4, 2019
NZ Sommeliers and Wine Professional Members are invited to express interest in sitting the ASI Certificate Exam on March 4 2019. 
If your mother tongue is English, you will need to complete this exam in French or Spanish :-)

In 2018, 75 candidates from 17 countries sat the exam with 57 passing (23 - Gold, 34 – Silver). To-date, 195 sommeliers certified globally.
Please email me to register interest. I will have more details about what is to be assessed in the next month. 

Wataru Iwata - Best Sommelier Asia Oceania 2018

Not sure if you have picked up on this but Wataru told me later that he spent three years in NZ first studying English and then working as a chef at Renkon in Ponsonby. During this time he started to discover wine and would visit the Brakjovich estate at Kumeu River, Maison Vauron and taste as much wine as he could. He now credits his time in New Zealand as starting his love of wine!


New Zealand Wine Professional Awards 2018

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Marek Przyborek wins New Zealand Sommelier of the Year 2018.

Pictured here with Cameron Douglas MS.

2018 Winning Somms

Andrea Martinisi - first runner-up and Maciej Zimny - second runner up  

L-R Cameron Douglas MS, Marek Przyborek, Andrea Martinisi, Celia Hay, Maciej Zimny.

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Bethany Jeffries wins New Zealand Junior Sommelier of the Year sponsored by Misha's Vineyard.

 L-R Celia Hay, Cameron Douglas MS, Bethany Jeffries, Misha Wilkinson, Nikki Weir (runner-up) and guest judge, Jonathan Ross MS.

First AGM of NZSWP-  19 August 2018

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Bethany and Nikki

 Three Champions2

Cameron and JonathanKitchen team

Somm Group

New Zealand Wine Professional Awards 2017

NZ Sommelier of Year 2017 with Committee low2 Stephanie Guth  wins  New Zealand Sommelier of the Year 2017

 Junior low 2

Amelia French New Zealand Junior Sommelier of the Year 2017


New Zealand Wine Professional Awards 2016

Dion Wai wins  New Zealand Sommelier of the Year 

2016 Cam Andy R Dion Celia

L-R Head Judge Cameron Douglas MS, Dion Wai, Andy Reid from EuroVintage representing Champagne Louis Rodederer,  Celia Hay, chair NZ Sommeliers and Wine Professionals and sponsor of New Zealand Sommelier of the Year.

2016 Junior Somm with Andy Wilkinson

 Richard King wins New Zealand Junior Sommelier of the Year with sponsor Andy Wilkinson from Misha's Vineyard, Central Otago.

Photos from 2016 Competitions 

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 NZ Sommelier Competitors Cashias Gumbo from The George, Christchurch and Piers Haszard of Botswana Butchery with Vanessa, GM of Good Group.



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