Presented by the French Ministry of Agriculture, the competition rounded up 15 contenders for the semi-finals, of which only three candidates were selected to participate in the final showdown held on the same day.
The candidates, representing many of Thailand’s leading restaurants and hotels, were put through a series of rigorous workshops, from blind-tasting and wine pairing to professional pouring and preparing classic cocktails. Each workshop was designed to test their technical knowledge and showcase their ability to combine classic French wine service etiquette with personal modern Asian flair.
In order to take top honours, the candidates had to impress a nine-strong jury comprising a who’s who of French wine and hospitality experts. In the end, there could be only one winner and that was adjudged to be Khun Phatrachot Dechapok, of Gaggan Anand restaurant in Bangkok, who narrowly beat out the second-placed Khun Chatchai Charoen- porn-deengarm, of Quaint in Bangkok, and third-placed Khun Sirayu Aupping of Keemala Resort in Phuket.
Winner Khun Phatrachot and first-placed runner-up Khun Chatchai will now go on to represent Thailand in the Asia regional competition to be held on November 25th and December 15th. Competing for the coveted 2020 Asia title will be the top two sommeliers from eight Asian countries—Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Macao and South Korea.
Held annually, the Best Sommelier in French Wines competition is a celebration of French wines and gastronomy — or, to put it another way, a celebration of the very essence of French life or “joie de vivre.”
Today, French wines enjoy an unprecedented global reputation, which is no small part down to the gifted and passionate sommeliers who challenge the industry and wineries by constantly reinventing the wine customer experience. This competition seeks to recognize these dedicated individuals.