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2018 Best Sommelier of BC - SEAN NELSON

Wed, January 31, 2018 11:15 AM | Graham Nordin (Administrator)

[Vancouver, BC] The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers British Columbia Chapter (CAPS BC), is happy to announce the title of Best Sommelier of British Columbia 2018 goes to: Sean Nelson, Sommelier at Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver. This is an incredibly well deserved and hard-earned win for Nelson, who also was awarded "Best Taster" of the day from Monday's competition.

In a very tight finale, Nelson outscored second place winner Matthew Landry of the Stable House Bistro and third place winner Todd Prucyk of Hawksworth Restaurant to claim the 2018 Title.

CAPS BC president Lesley Brown announced the winner at the post competition reception and dinner held at Encore @ Rogers Arena, “A huge congratulations Sean, and to both Matt and Todd for an incredible day of competition; and, a congratulations to all of the 13 competitors today...everyone should be proud of what they have accomplished.”

More information

The fourth annual competition, emceed this year 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 2018. The day started with an intense written theory exam and blind tasting. Then, the top three scoring sommeliers from the morning session were put through a series of practical tests such as executing a sparkling wine service, spotting errors in a written wine menu, a food & wine pairing, and a blind wine/spirit/and cocktail tasting; all done LIVE in front of 100+ spectators that filled the room at Rogers Arena.

This year's competition judges were: Barbara Philip MW, Michaela Morris, and Sebastien Le Goff.

The competition is coordinated and hosted by Technical Director (and Vice-President of CAPS, BC) DJ Kearney.

The full list of competitors:

  • Christina Hartigan - Botanist Restaurant (Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel)
  • Calen Macdonald - Blue Water Café
  • Michael Hiram - AnnaLena
  • Matthew Landry - The Stable House Bistro
  • Shane Lobsinger - Sonora Resort
  • Adam Mayhew - Yew Seafood + Bar (Four Seasons Hotel)
  • Scott Mitchell - AnnaLena
  • Sean Nelson - Vij's Restaurant
  • Jayton Paul - Hawksworth Restaurant
  • Todd Prucyk - Hawksworth Restaurant
  • Tereza Roux - Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge (Wedgewood Hotel)
  • Peter Van de Reep - Campagnolo Restaurant
  • Jesse Walters - Burdock & Co.


New Aspiring Sommelier Competition 2018

New this year (and for the first time in Canada), 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.

The winner of the inaugural Aspiring Sommelier Competition 2018 is Ian Wharton of Blue Water Café. The runner up: Alex Anderson of Tap Restaurant.

For his efforts, Wharton was awarded a $1000 Education Bursary (provided by Rust Wine Co.) to continue his education and further his professional development.

The full list of competitors:

  • Ian Wharton - Blue Water Café
  • Alex Anderson - Tap Restaurant
  • Noel Hollett - The 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.”

Congratulations again to all the competitors from both 2018 competitions; and, a special THANK YOU to all those volunteers, sponsors and supporters whose efforts all contribute to building the sommelier community here in British Columbia!

About 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:


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