The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

New Zealand Sommelier of the Year winner announced

Auckland-based Sommelier Angela Allan has taken out the 2023 New Zealand Sommelier of the Year competition.

Allan, Head Sommelier at Mexican-inspired wine and Mezcal bar La Fuente in Auckland’s CBD, emigrated from Canada more than 10 years ago.

2022 winner Andrea Martinisi, Angela Allan and Celia Hay

A graduate of the NZ School of Food & Wine’s Certificate in Professional Wine Knowledge, Allan built up her hospitality skills at a number of leading restaurants including Culprit and Oyster and Chop and in 2019, she gained the Court of Master Sommeliers certification.

Last year, she represented New Zealand at the ASI Association of Sommeliers International Training Bootcamp in Malaysia and in February 2023, was a volunteer at the ASI World Best Sommelier Competition in Paris.

The New Zealand Sommelier of the Year competition takes place over a day with a number of tasks and assessments, including a theory exam, blind-tasting three wines in 20 minutes, decanting a bottle of wine over a candle, precision pouring of a sparkling wine, and more.

Allan was named the winner, with Suraj GC of Park Hyatt Hotel coming in second and Vojtech Cukor from The Grove taking out third place.

The other contestants included Karan Patyal (The Northern Club), Tony Suarez (Hotel Britomart), Andrea Tremaud (The Grove) and Kunal Kohli (Vesuvio, Christchurch).

“This was my fourth time doing the New Zealand competition,” says Allan.

“It’s a test in listening, and doing what is asked and showing your skills.

“You won’t do everything perfectly, or answer all the questions correctly, but you can do your best, learn, and improve your skills under pressure.”

“The competitions provide [an] opportunity to learn and improve. I am very honoured to win this award,” she says.

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