Hospitality Business Magazine

Wellingtonian wins New Zealand Sommelier of the Year

rsz_maciej_zimny_-_restaurant_managerMaciej Zimny from Hippopotamus in Wellington has been crowned the New Zealand Sommelier of the Year.

Mr Zimny, who is the hotel restaurant’s Head Sommelier/Restaurant Manager, competed against several high calibre sommeliers from notable restaurants throughout the country.

The competition, organised by Celia Hay’s New Zealand School of Food, was held over September 14-15 in Auckland. Competitors had to evaluate and blind taste six premium wines, complete theory and oral questions as well as a practical session opening a champagne and red wine before a panel of expert judges.

The prize is a trip to Paris and the French region of Champagne as the guest of Champagne House, Louis Roederer and to represent New Zealand at the Hong Kong Asia Oceania International Sommelier from November 4, along with runner up Michael Bancks from the Terroir Restaurant at Craggy Range, Hawkes Bay.

Maciej commented, “Winning this competition is a fantastic achievement – both personally and professionally.  It feels like all the hard work has paid off and that’s an amazing feeling. I have been studying wine for several years, and preparing for this competition has been very intense.”

Steve Oakley, General Manager of Museum Art Hotel says it’s both a great achievement for Maciej and the hotel. “Maciej is an incredibly passionate, hardworking and dedicated member of Hippopotamus. His win is testament to the exceptional level of service our staff provide to our guests every day – we couldn’t be prouder.”

Two representatives from 11 countries will compete to go forward to the world competition in Mendoza, Argentina in 2016.