ASI announces winner of the 2023 Best Sommelier of the World contest

Monday, 13 February, 2023
The ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest came to a thrilling conclusion yesterday at the Paris La Défense Arena.

 The crowd of 4 000 wine professionals and enthusiasts was quiet in anticipation of the revelation of the final three at the finals of the Association de la Sommellerie International (ASI)'s Best Sommelier of the World contest on 12 February 2023. One by one the final rankings of the semi-finalist were announced. As they heard their names called, candidates became aware they would not be in the final, and as a result their long journey to become the Best Sommelier of the World (for most the road includes winning their own country’s best sommelier contest) fell only one step short of completion. The tension grew, and a hush fell over the crowd, as the number of semi-finalists remaining approached the final three.
With the elimination of Pascaline Lepeltier (France), only the final three contestants remained on stage: Nina Jensen (Denmark), Raimonds Tomsons (Latvia), and Reeze Choi (China). The final contest, which consisted of various tasks designed to challenge the sommeliers’ knowledge, tasting skills, service acumen and ability to remain calm under pressure brought out the best in the candidates.

After announcing Reeze Choi as the second runner-up, Jensen and Tomsons knew one of them would be announced ASI Best Sommelier of the World 2023. After a moment of extreme anticipation, Raimonds Tomsons was announced as the winner to a large round of applause.

Of the competition, ASI President William Wouters says, “It took more than 30 years for this contest to return to Paris. It was worth the wait! From the first day candidates arrived, they were treated to the hospitality and amazing gastronomy of France. As for the contest itself, it honoured the commitment of our candidates by being both challenging and fair."

"It is with great pride that we announce Raimonds Tomsons as the winner. I have no doubts they will be a fantastic representative of ASI, and an inspiration to our global sommelier community.”

Jo Wessels, the South African semi-finalist, placed 7th overall at the 2023 Best Sommelier of the World contest.

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Raimonds Tomsons, the Best Sommelier of the World 2023
Raimonds Tomsons, the Best Sommelier of the World 2023

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