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The Sommelier profession has become an essential part of the flourishing wine business in the region for a decade.
In Thailand, Wine Today magazine has hosted the Sommelier Grand Wine Tasting and Thailand’s Best Sommelier, an annual national competition held since 2008.
The Sixth Thailand’s Best Sommelier Competition will again take place at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Bangkok from 5-6 June 2013. The two day competition will see candidates from leading hotels and fine dining restaurants from around the country compete for the prestigious title. The winner’s prize is a two-week wine education trip to France.
The invitation and competition registration form will be sent to hotels, restaurants and wine traders in Thailand. Candidates (Thai citizens only) wishing to compete at the Thailand’s Best Sommelier Competition must seek and gain approval from their employers. Candidates and employers do not pay any fees to enter the Thailand’s Best Sommelier Competition or seminars related to the competition.
Commenting on the Thailand’s sommeliers and the wine business in the country, Joe Sriwarin, president of Thailand Sommelier Association, and editor and publisher of Wine Today Magazine said, “Thailand is unlike other nations, its wine import tariff is very high (almost 400 percent), while high volume alcohol is the same price as a bottle of beer and wine promotions as well as normal advertising are not allowed. With this policy Thailand is falling behind other countries in both wine education and in wine business.
We see the sommelier competition as the only important tool in encouraging people to help stimulate and develop Thailand’s wine trade. The competition will also help motivate those interested in the Food and Beverage profession, and to embark on a career as a sommelier which is a highly recognized profession worldwide.
We hope the current government will soon change the wine policy as the Asean Economic Community (AEC) will come into operation in 2015. This means Thai sommeliers can travel to work in neighboring countries, if they are qualified. Currently, many sommeliers and wine professionals from neighboring countries as well as from the west are working in international hotels and restaurant chains in Thailand”.