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Wataru Iwata from Japan has been named the ASI Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania 2018, following an intense three day competition in Kyoto, Japan.
The 29 year-old from Kyoto, beat 23 other sommeliers from 12 countries to the title and automatically qualifies for the ASI Best Sommelier of the World 2019, which will take place next March in Antwerp, Belgium. Reeze Choi from China was awarded second place while Justin Ho Li Vern from Malaysia come in third.
The three finalists were given numerous tasks to complete infront of a huge 800 person audience, which included, cocktail preparation, blind tasting of four wines and five other beverages, food and wine pairing and finally, helping a guest asking for advice on purchasing wines for his cellar. To conclude, the three finalists were gathered on stage for two final tasks: a quiz and champagne service.
The other six semi-finalists from this year's competitiong were: Mattia Antonio Cianca (Australia), Derek Li (China),Taku Iguro (Japan), Andrea Martinisi (New Zealand), Marek Przyborek (New Zealand) and Thomas Hsin-Wei Ho (Taiwan).
Who will be crowned best sommelier in the world? Find out in the spring of next year!