Wine Culture Magazine

Sean Nelson. CAPS photo

For the first time ever, this year the prestigious and hotly contested Best Sommelier of the Americas competition will be held in Canada. From May 21 to 24, top somms from Canada, the U.S., Mexico and points south will gather in Montreal to match palates and show off their skills at selecting, tasting, opening, pouring and serving wine.

The event is organized by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale and Alianza Pan Americana de Sommeliers and has been held every three years since 2006. (The ASI has also been holding the tri-annual World’s Best Sommelier Competition since 1969.) Canada has performed particularly well at this event; Quebecers Elyse Lambert and Veronique Rivest took home the top prize in 2009 and 2012 respectively. We’ll be cheering on this year’s Canuck contestants, too.

Meanwhile, the Best Sommelier of B.C. 2018 title has gone to Sean Nelson of Vij’s Restaurant. He out-tasted 12 other competitors in a contest that came down to a nail-biting final battle between himself, second-place winner Matthew Landry of the Stable House Bistro and third-place winner Todd Prucyk of Hawksworth Restaurant.

It was the fourth annual competition organized by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers British Columbia Chapter, and was held Jan. 31 at Rogers Arena.

For the first time in Canada, CAPS BC also hosted the 2018 BC Aspiring Sommelier Competition, which was won by Ian Wharton of Blue Water Café; the runner up was Alex Anderson of Tap Restaurant.

Congrats to all the winners and competitors. For info, visit

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