Allegrini 2018

“Best Sommelier of the World 2023”, in Paris, from 8 -12 February: also, an Italian is competing

Salvatore Castano, already named best Sommelier of Europe & Africa, is the candidate from our country: he will challenge 68 competitors
Salvatore Castano, the candidate from Italy (ph. Asi)

Salvatore Castano, a Sicilian who has already been nominated for Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa in 2021, will carry the Italian flag high to the final for the best sommelier in the world: the “Best Sommelier of the World 2023”, a competition organized by ASI (Association de la Sommellerie International), staged in Paris from 8 to 12 February. There are 68 competitors coming from all over the world, including 64 from ASI member countries and one from Peru (invited to participate as a guest). Three other sommeliers, in addition to Salvatore Castano, qualified by winning an ASI continental competition: Valeria Gamper (Argentina), Best Sommelier of the Americas 2022, and Mason Ng (Singapore), Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania 2022. The continental winners will be joined by a long list of qualified competitors, including former finalists of the previous “Best Sommelier of the World” competition.
Salvatore Castano, born in 1990, is originally from Giardini Naxos (Taormina): after graduating from the hotel management institute, he began his career in London in Alain Ducasse’s three-star Michelin restaurant, “The Dorchester”. He is currently the Head Sommelier and On Trade Advisor at Friarwood, a well-known British capital boutique that has been selling fine wines since 1967. Castano’s path is the result of the study, in-depth analysis, practice, and a great deal of passion.
“Not only is this the largest group of competitors ever to compete for the title of “Best Sommelier of the World”- explains William Wouters, president of ASI - but it is also without a doubt one of the most talented we have ever had. Having had the opportunity to observe many competitors compete, I can unequivocally state that the quality of sommeliers around the world improves year after year. The gap between the skills of sommeliers in traditionally wine-producing countries, such as those of Western Europe, and the rest of the world, is narrowing every year. It will be an intense race and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some new names in the semi-finals and the final”.
The competition for the title of “World’s Best Sommelier” takes place over several days and includes a variety of exams, including written theory, blind tasting, and service skills. The competition starts with a quarter-final round, then a semi-final, and finally the final, with the top three finishing. To add another layer of complication, competitors must compete in one of ASI’s official languages: English, French, or Spanish. Furthermore, the language in which they compete does not have to be their native language.

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