Satoru Mori, sommelier at La Tour d’Argent in Tokyo,
Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania 2009
"The 1st Contest of the Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania" organized by the Association of Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) was held at the Rihga Royal Hotel Osaka on November 18, 2009.
The Peter Lehmann Shiraz Award winner and the SOPEXA French Wine Award winner were also selected at the contest.
Winner : Satoru Mori (Japan)
Second : Franck Moreau (Australia)
Third : Nobuhiro Tani (Japan)
Twenty sommeliers from ten nations and regions from the Asia6oceania area participated in the semifinal of the Contest held on 17th November, 2009 as a closed contest.
As the result of the semifinal, Mori and Tani of La Tour d’Argent ( Hotel New Otani Tokyo) and Franck Moreau of Merivale Group (Australia) were selected for the final.
The three candidates in front of an audience of about 500 people, had to face six practical tests.
Test 1. Serving champagne promptly to the two guests waiting for their friends.
Test 2. A set menu was handed to them. Recommending beverages to match the food on the menu to four guests.
Test 3. They had to decant and serve a bottle of Chateau La Lagune 1985 to ten guests.
Test 4. A wine-list with errors was handed by one of the guests. The candidate had to point out the errors and correct them.
Test 5. Blind-tasting of white, red, and dessert wine
Test 6. Identification of five spirits, specifying the type and the brand.
During their whole performance on the stage, the finalists were also judged about their attitude, their commercial skills and their foreign language.
Shinya Tasaki, chairman of the Technical Committee and Vice President of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale in charge of Asia Oceania made comments, “The members whose nation or region an applicant sommelier came from and participated in the Contest cannot be a judge of the assessment panel. Thus the contest was truly fair. Any applicant could win. It was a close contest.”
Mr. Mori, the winner said, “This is not my goal, but I will aim at victory at the world contest. So I would like to make more efforts. I also aim to be elegant in my manners and to perform service just like a Japonese.”
Mr. Moreau said, “When I was selected as a candidate for the final, joy filled my heart.”
Mr. Tani made a comment on the result of the contest, “I realized that there was someone who made more efforts than I.”
At the Gala Dinner, the Peter Lehmann Shiraz Award winner, Ian Lim from Singapore, and the Trophée Vins de France winner, Franck Moreau from Australia, were announced. They stood on the platform together with the great winner of the 1st Contest of the Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania as well as the runners up. Also the semifinalists stood on the stage. In the end, the twenty sommeliers with all the ASI judges stood on the plat form. The audience gave a round of applause to all of them.
A great success for this first contest fantastically organized by the Japan Sommelier Association and Association de la Sommellerie Internationale for the countries of Asia-Oceania.
Satoru Mori is therefore fully entitled to represent Japan in Chile next April 2010 for the title of Best Sommelier of the World.
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