Photo: InSing Photos
With more diners in Singapore appreciating wine, the need for well-trained and knowledgeable sommeliers is vital for any respectable restaurant to provide an exceptional all-round dining experience.
Three young sommeliers from award-wining restaurants in Marina Bay Sands have been flying the flag high for the profession, competing in national and regional competitions and winning well-deserved accolades.
In the recent 4th Southeast Asia Best Sommelier Competition, organised by the South East Asia Alliance (including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Taiwan as a supporter of the Alliance), Han Yew Kong from Osteria Mozza emerged champion among 11 of the region’s best and was named Best Sommelier in Southeast Asia.
Earlier this year, in the national round of the Best Sommelier Competition, Han was also named the Best Sommelier in Malaysia; while Britt Ng from db Bistro Moderne was first runner-up. Considering that it was Ng’s first attempt at any sommelier competition, this win was an impressive achievement for the Assistant Sommelier who started out as just a service attendant at the restaurant.
Marina Bay Sands, whose wine programmes are conducted by wine director Alphonse Kaelbelis, cemented its lead in the competition as Jonathan Tangalin Comia, then a Service Attendant at RISE restaurant, bagged the first runner-up position at the Singapore Sommelier Challenge 2013. The Challenge was organised by the Association of Bartenders and Sommeliers Singapore (ABSS) and Magnum Spirits & Wine. Comia has since moved over to French restaurant Guy Savoy and is currently assistant sommelier there.
We speak to these three young and passionate sommeliers about their recent wins, and what sparked their interest in the world of vino.