[Vancouver, BC] The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers British Columbia Chapter (CAPS BC), announces the Best Sommelier of British Columbia 2018, Sean Nelson, sommelier at Vij’s restaurant. This is a hard-earned win for Nelson, who also was awarded “Best Taster” of the day.
Additionally, Nelson will be formally recognized at the VIWF Trade Luncheon in February.
In a very tight finale, Nelson outscored second place winner Matthew Landry of the Stable House Bistro and 3rd place winner Todd Prucyk of Hawksworth Restaurant to claim the 2018 Title. All three of the finalists were gifted with a personalized Canucks jersey on behalf of Rogers Arena.
CAPS BC president Lesley Brown announced the winner at the post competition reception and dinner held at Encore at Rogers Arena, “A huge congratulations Sean, and to both Matt and Todd for an incredible day of competition; and, to all 13 competitors today…everyone should be proud of what they have accomplished.”
The annual competition, emceed by Shane Taylor, winner of 2017 Best Sommelier BC Competition, attracted sommeliers from across the province to compete in the Captains Room at Rogers Arena for the title of Best Sommelier of British Columbia. The competition included an intense written exam in the morning, with the top three scoring sommeliers from the written exam advancing through to a series of practical tests, such as opening and pouring sparkling wine perfectly, spotting errors in a written wine menu, and blind tasting and identifying wines; all in front of 100 spectators.
This year’s competition judges were Barbara Philip, Michaela Morris, and Sebastien Le Goff.
The full list of competitors:
- Christina Hartigan, Botanist
- Calen Macdonald, Blue Water Cafe
- Michael Hiram, AnnaLena
- Matthew Landry, The Stable House Bistro
- Shane Lobsinger, Sonora Resort
- Adam Mayhew, Yew at Four Seasons Hotel
- Scott Mitchell, AnnaLena
- Sean Nelson, Vij’s
- Jayton Paul, Hawksworth Restaurant
- Todd Prucyk, Hawksworth Restaurant
- Tereza Roux, Wedgewood Hotel
- Peter Van de Reep, Campagnolo
- Jesse Walters, Burdock & Co.
New Aspiring Sommelier Competition:
New and as a first in Canada this year, CAPS BC hosted the 2018 BC Aspiring Sommelier Competition. This event was for any member of CAPS BC who earns at least 50% of their income from hospitality employment in any role, and who has an interest in participating in future Best Sommelier BC competitions. The event mimics the Best Sommelier BC format in order to give aspiring sommeliers the opportunity to understand what the competition is all about.
Winner of the inaugural Aspiring Sommelier Competition is Ian Wharton of Blue Water Cafe. The runner up: Alex Anderson of Tap Restaurant.
Also competing were:
- Noel Hollett, Vancouver Club
- Jasmin Kohli-Bryans, AnnaLena
- Michael Wong, Chambar
- Eliza Bashkirova, Botanist
Jason Yamasaki (Wine Director of the Joey Restaurant Group and Best Sommelier in BC 2015) and Mark Shipway (Director of Professional Development, CAPS – BC) oversaw the new competition. Jason mentioned as part of the awards announcement that “BC is leading the way with this competition. The sommelier community continues to build in BC and it is truly something special.”
The @CAPS_BC #BestSommBC is @sommwineguy of @eatdrinkvijs
About The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers:
Established in 1989, the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) is a pan-Canadian association, which brings together individuals within the sommelier profession, restaurant services, and other sectors of the wine industry.
As a not-for-profit organization, CAPS aims to promote and educate the sommelier profession through professional development and networking events related to the wine and spirits industry. Visit: http://sommelierscanada.com/