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CAPS Ontario announces best sommelier of 2022

November 21, 2022

Justin Madol, sommelier at Toronto’s Michelin-starred Don Alfonso takes title and moves to Canadian finals

The Ontario chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) – Canada’s only national, non-profit association that funds educational programs and competitions for the country’s sommelier community – is honoured to announce the winner of the province’s largest and most diverse wine and food event of its kind, the Best Ontario Sommelier Competition. The live and person-attended judged competition, dinner and ceremony was held last Monday, November 14 at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in Toronto.

The #BOSC22 awards live competition challenged four semi-finalist sommeliers in a series of skill-testing scenarios including blind tasting, live service and knowledge components. The sold-out gala was well-attended by the who’s who of the industry, including oenophiles, the sommelier community, the wine trade, restaurateurs and the cognoscenti of the food, wine and hospitality industries.

Preliminary competitions were held in August across the province, resulting in five semi-finalists. The highest scoring first place winner of the BOSC 2022 was Justin Madol, sommelier, Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto, followed by runners-up, Nathan Hooper, sommelier, Somm Factory and Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto; Cristian Perreault Hamel, general manager and sommelier, Pompette and co-owner, Pelican Wines Toronto; and Christophe Reitz, sommelier, Quatrefoil Restaurant, Dundas, Ontario. The fifth competitor, Connor Gallagher, sommelier at Atelier, Ottawa, was unable to attend.

Mr. Madol will next go on to compete in the Best Canadian Sommelier Competition. The celebrated judging panel at BOSC 2022 included VineRoutes special contributor Jennifer Huether, MS, José Luis Fernández, winner of BOSC 2019, and Pier-Alexis Soulière, MS and Best Sommelier Canada, 2021.

Esteemed sponsors and patrons of the evening included Liberty Entertainment Group, California Wines, Napa Valley Vintners;  Pure Chablis and Vins de Bourgogne; Southbrook Vineyards, Hidden Bench, Bachelder, Henry of Pelham, Cave Spring Vineyard and Malivoire. The evening’s walkabout tasting sponsors included Pure Chablis, Rogers & Co, Noble Estates Wines & Spirits, Le Sommelier Wine Agency, Nicholas Pearce Wines, Wine Lovers Agency, Orin Swift, Profile Wine Group, Tre Amici and Breakthru Beverage Canada. Community partners included Femmes du Vins and Vin Equity.

“We’re thrilled with the results of our #BOSC22 fundraising event and very proud of the competitors and Ontario’s new Best Sommelier, Justin Madol,” said James Peden, CAPS Ontario president, and director of operations at Liberty Entertainment Group. “It was a close competition, and extremely well-supported by gracious sponsors, donors and the entire industry who came out to cheer the competitors. Our vision is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for wine profs to continue their education while refining their skills, offer the opportunity to taste great wines and showcase their knowledge. It was good to be back together as a community, and we’re proud of everyone’s achievements.”

A toast to the community

Competitors in BOSC 2022 reflected the diverse spectrum of wine community in the province and include students representing the wine education spectrum of Court of Master Sommeliers, CAPS and WSET certified professionals. Facilitated by dedicated CAPS Ontario Board volunteers and sponsors, the events enable CAPS Ontario to better connect with its members and advance the sense of industry community within the provincial wine trade and associations.

CAPS is a pan-Canadian association that brings together the sommelier profession, restaurant services and key stakeholders of the hospitality industry. CAPS is comprised of provincial chapters based in Halifax (CAPS Atlantic), Montreal (ACSP Quebec), Toronto (CAPS Ontario), Winnipeg (CAPS Manitoba) and Vancouver (CAPS BC). Passionately dedicated to service, CAPS is committed to building a strong community of sommeliers and fostering the growth of the culture of hospitality in Canada.


Above photo: BOSC winner Justin Madol is third from left. 



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