11 Aug 2021

Andrea Martinisi wins the New Zealand Sommelier of the Year 2021 working through a full day of assessments to challenge and showcase sommelier skills held at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine, Auckland.

Originally from Italy, Andrea is General Manager and Head Sommelier of The Grove Restaurant, Auckland and was able to demonstrate his technical knowledge along with outstanding communication skills to win the trophy.

The programme included a theory assessment followed by the Blind Tasting of 2 wines in 15 minutes: Saint Clair Pioneer Block Gewurztraminer 2020 from Marlborough and from Spain, Muga Seleccion Especial Rioja 2016. The Practical Restaurant Scenario required contestants to decant a bottle of Te Mata Awatea 2018 and provide food pairing in 5 minutes. The Practical also featured a blind tasting of 4 spirits.

Three candidates went forward to the Final and Andrea competed with Angela Allan, sommelier and manager of Culprit Restaurant and Suraj GC, sommelier at Onemata, Park Hyatt Hotel.

The New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association is a non-profit registered society supporting people working in wine and hospitality in New Zealand. It is a member of ASI, Association de la Sommellerie  Internationale, who run regular competitions around the world. In 2022, the Asia & Oceania Best Sommelier Contest will be held in Australia.