Top sommelier Reeze Choi joins the Star Wine List jury panel for Asia

Reeze Choi, Star Wine List's Hong Kong ambassador.
Andreas Grube
Published 22-March-2023
Interview / Hong Kong

Reeze Choi, Star Wine List's Hong Kong ambassador, is joining the jury panel for the upcoming Star Wine List of the Year Asia. The event will be held at Vinexpo Asia in Singapore on 23 May.

"This is the very first time on the jury for me. It feels very exciting to join all these great sommeliers from other countries. I'm also very curious about going through, and judging, all the wine lists," says Reeze.

Star Wine List is now preparing for the first-ever Star Wine List of the Year Asia on 23 May — read more here!.

Reeze Choi is a well-recognized sommelier in Hong Kong and has worked in some of Hong Kong's most prestigious restaurants and hotels, such as L'atelier de Joël Robuchon and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. He was also named Best Sommelier in Greater China in 2016 and 2017. Today Reeze works full-time with his own education and consulting company Somm's Philosophy.

Diversity is everything to me; no matter how big or small the wine list is, it has to be interesting and satisfy everyone

And now he joins the Star Wine List of the Year jury panel for the first time.

"When it comes to what makes a wine list great, size is not important to me, even a super small wine list with twenty references can be great. Diversity is everything to me; no matter how big or small the wine list is, it has to be interesting and satisfy everyone. It has to be something for everyone on the list."

"The price range is also an important aspect. I live in Hong Kong, and prices here can sometimes be crazy."

Apart from his jury duties, Reeze is also working on updating the Hong Kong guide at Star Wine List.

"Yes, I'm introducing a new venue next week, Embla. It is a Nordic fine dining restaurant run by Swedish chef Jim Löfdahl. I'll add more venues later on; I can feel that more and more restaurants are interested in joining Star Wine List, and many people are reaching out to me," says Reeze.

Reeze Choi is also a very well-regarded competitor, and at the Best Sommelier of the World competition in Paris in February, he came in third.

"I will keep on studying hard," he says." I have the Master Sommelier examination coming up in Portland, Oregon, in May. And after that, I have decided to have one more run at the Best Sommelier of the World."

Just before the pandemic, Reeze launched his own business, Somm's Philosophy, and once lockdowns closed all the restaurants, he decided to concentrate on it full-time. Today, Somm's Philosophy takes up most of his time.

"It is going really well. I have got some interesting inquiries from overseas and from China as well. It is intense, but I'm grateful. I have got some opportunities to represent brands and to be a speaker at events and all sorts of things."

And as if that wasn't enough:

"I'm also looking at maybe opening a wine bar at some point. Right now, we are brainstorming ideas and concepts to figure out how and where, but hopefully, it will be in Hong Kong. We'll see what happens."

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