Rules and Regulations – 2017 Best Ontario Sommelier Competition

Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (C.A.P.S.)



The Competitors


Art. 1         The competition is open to all Ontario residents aged 19 years or older, of Canadian citizenship or legally able to work in Ontario, who exercise the trade or function of sommelier in Ontario, who is a member in good standing of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers.

Art. 2         The following individuals may also participate in the competition:

Maîtres d’hôtel, servers, restaurateurs, chefs and cooks and all other individuals holding a sommelier role in the dining room of a licensed establishment in which wine is sold, provided they justify an experience of at least two years in the profession prior to the competition.  All entrants must be members in good standing of C.A.P.S.

Art. 3         Ineligible competitors:

-          Past winners of the CAPS Ontario Sommelier Competitions who have competed a maximum of three (3) times

-          The Technical Directors of the competition.

-          Technical Committee members

-          The members of the Board of Directors of C.A.P.S.

-          Those whose primary profession is teaching Sommeliers (over income from teaching exceeds 50% of their taxable income)


Art. 4               A link for the competition including the Rules and Regulations, the application form and CAPS membership payment can be found at:

All completed applications including an up to date CV and confirmation of employment can be sent to Alexandra Evans at for approval. Acceptance of the applications will be confirmed based on the Rules and Regulations for the competition. 

* Registration Fee $50 for CAPS members (includes competitors event ticket)

* Registration Fee $50 plus $75 for 1 year CAPS membership for non members

Art. 5        With the registration, each candidate must also provide an up-to-date curriculum vitae and a confirmation of employment. 


Competition Organization


Art. 6         The C.A.P.S. Best Ontario Sommelier Competition will take place every two years. It is organized by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers, Ontario Chapter.

Art. 7         The Board of Directors of CAPS selects the members of the Technical Committee of the competition, as well as its Director.




Art 8         The official language of the Best Ontario Sommelier Competition is English. French-speaking candidates will be accommodated. Note: to qualify as a representative of Ontario for the National Competition, competitors must be bilingual in two of the official languages – English, French and Spanish.

Required Knowledge


Art 9                        The competition will be judged on the following elements:

  • The history of vine growing and wine
  • Basic winemaking practice
  • Winegrowing regions around the world
  • Wine list development and correction
  • Vintages
  • Spirits, sake and eaux-de-vie
  • Legislation related to wine and spirits around the world
  • Wine service (including decanting, sparkling, and different scenarios)
  • Food and wine pairing
  • International gastronomy
  • Other beverages served in licensed establishments including beer as well as non-alcoholic beverages such as water, tea and coffee
  • Wine cellar management
  • International wine related terminology
  • Wine and spirit tasting and identification
  • Hospitality cost and profit percentages, multiple venue and market scenarios, product viability, staff training, staff incentives
  • Trade ethics and the required qualities of a sommelier


Competition Agenda

Art 10a                       The CAPS Ontario competition timeline is as follows:

Qualifying Round

o   Sunday March 5th 2017 – George Brown College Toronto (Morning)

                        Written theory exam

                        Written Blind tasting of four (4) wines


Final Round

o   Sunday March 5th, 2017 – George Brown College Toronto (Afternoon)

- The 3 finalists are announced as a result of the qualifying exams

- A series of practical service exams and verbal blind wine tasting.


Art 10b     The Final Round will be divided into four (4) parts.                


  • Wine list and or photo correction
  • Wine services, in a mock restaurant setting, according to the ASI International Competition Standards
  • A verbal blind tasting of wine and spirits
  • A wine and food pairing exercise

Art 11        Competitors may attend the Qualifying Round in the attire of their choice.

Art 12        Finalists are required to appear in formal working attire.

Art 13        The Judging Panel will be selected by the Technical Committee.

Art 14a       The three (3) highest overall scoring participants in the Qualifying Round will qualify to compete in the C.A.P.S. Best Ontario Sommelier Final and will be announced no later than 3 hours after completion of the Qualifying Round. Note: Numbers to be drawn amongst the 3 finalists to determine the order for afternoon Final Round.

Art 14b      In the event of a tie for third (3rd) place, the participant with the higher score in the written theoretical paper will qualify for the final.

Art 15        All decisions of the judging panel will be final and without appeal.

The three (3) finalists from the Qualifying Round will be announced in alphabetical order. Their scores will not be revealed and the scores will not have relevance on the scores of Final competition

Art 16        The Judging Panel will be composed of professionals from the wine world, restaurant and hotel trades, as well as food and wine writers, presided over by the Technical Director.

Art 17a      Final scores will be calculated based on the aggregate scores from the Final Round of the competition only (i.e. not cumulative from the Qualifying Round.)

Art 17b      In the event of a tie for first (1st) place, the Judging Panel will consider the results of the written theoretical paper of the Qualifying Round.

Art 18        All decisions of the Judging Panel will be final and without appeal.

Art 19        The title of C.A.P.S BEST ONTARIO SOMMELIER and year of the competition will be awarded to the winner of the Final Round of the Ontario competition, announced during the end of day Sunday March 5th, 2017