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Paolo Basso is the 2013 Best Sommelier of the World!


After very difficult final tests, the candidate representing Switzerland became the 14th Best Sommelier of the World.

Véronique Rivest, Paolo Basso et Aristide Spies.

54 candidates from all over the world had participated in the quarter finals on March 27th, then 12 had been selected for the semi-finals held on the 28th, and then 3 for the finals which took place on the 29th.

The names of the finalists were announced on the very stage of the International Tokyo Forum just a few minutes before the beginning of the final tests. In front of a very large audience of near 4000 people…

3 happy ones, 9 disappointed candidates. That’s the tough rule of competitions! And then only one very happy Best Sommelier of the World… who won his title after a real struggle in front of such high profile competitors. The other two finalists were Véronique Rivest from Canada and Aristide Spies from Belgium.

Véronique is the first lady ever to be on the podium of a world championship! The whole contest took place in a very spectacular and smooth way thanks to the whole staff of the Japanese Sommeliers Association guided by their president, Masaharu Oka.

Paolo Basso

The results were announced by Shinya Tasaki, president of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale and Serge Dubs, director of the technical Committee surrounded by the Best Sommeliers of the World (from 1969 to 2010) who had come to japan for this great event.

Prizes were offered to the winner and the runners up by different partners of the A.S.I.: Moët & Chandon with the Silver Trophy, Arc International with Chef & Sommelier who supported the whole stages of the competition, Suntory, Peter Lehmann Wines, Nespresso, the Wines of Alsace, the Wines of Portugal, the Wines of Austria, SanPellegrino & Acqua Panna, Vinexpo. And Château Laguiole who had carved a special sommelier knife in cheery tree wood from Japan for this occasion. Let’s also mention SommelierS International that had edited the official program.

A beautiful Gala evening, gathering 650 people, ended the Concours du Meilleur Sommelier du Monde 2013 at the Tokyo Imperial Hotel.

Crédit photos : Jean Bernard