2015 Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania of the International Association of Sommeliers
11 November 15
15 years after his last appearance in an international competition (achieved third position in the ASI Contest of Best Sommelier in the World, Montreal, 2000), the Japanese Hiroshi Ishida accomplished a successful return.
In this way, nearly seven months after the coronation of the argentine Paz Levinson in Chile during the ASI Competition for the Best Sommelier in Americas, is the Asia-Oceania area that finds out the winner of its third "continental" competition. At 46 years, Hiroshi Ishida, sommelier consultant, won a final marked by the talent and spontaneity of the two other finalists: Ho Pong Wallace Lo (China) and Banjo-Harris Plane (Australia). The winner’s experience was a crucial factor, as well as an obligation to be well succeeded. "When you won third place in a worldwide competition, you can only win a continental competition. I had an obligation to win and allow a second Japanese candidate be present in Argentina in April 2016, to the next ASI contest of Best Sommelier in the World. " Now, following the rules of the A.S.I. competition, we know that Japan with Hiroshi Ishida, Sweden with Arvid Rosengren as 2013 Best Sommelier of Europe and Argentina with Paz Levinson as 2015 Best Sommelier of the Americas will all receive an additional chance to win the world title in 2016. In Hong Kong, during the two days of competition, the eighteen candidates representing ten countries have confirmed the importance of the improvements made since the 2012 edition, when the Franco-Australian Franck Moreau won the competition. Not only the level of practice is aligned with the best bases, but their knowledge prove the training and personal commitment that is necessary to be to be part of the competition. The Committee of Sommeliers Competition, led by Gerard Basset, 2010 World's Best Sommelier, and composed by the Best Sommeliers in the World, including Serge Dubs (1989), Shinya Tasaki (1995) and Andreas Larsson (2007) who prepared all the wines tastings, confirm this fact since the quarter-finals. The quality and homogeneity level equalized nine candidates on eighth place. For this wine tasting, a special Technical Committee brought together members of the CCS, and Andrés Rosberg, president of APAS and vice president of ASI for the Americas. The other semifinalists were: Yang Lu (China), Jung Hoon Lee (South Korea), Akihiko Nosaka (Japan), Yew Kong Han (Malaysia), Michael Bancks (New Zealand), Alvin Gho Weijie (Singapore). The ASI Contest of Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania in 2015 was organized logistically by the Sommeliers Association of Hong Kong presided by Nelson Chow, also vice president of ASI of Asia-Oceania, with the support of international partners of ASI and local sponsors of the HKSA. Many thanks to Moët & Chandon Chef & Sommelier, Nespresso, Vinexpo, Sommeliers International, Wines of Austria, Acqua Panna & Sanpellegrino, Suntory, Alsatian wines and ViniPortugal. The next ASI competition will be held in Mendoza, Argentina from 15 to 19 April 2016 attracting close to sixty candidates from around the world