Mason Ng, a 29-year-old sommelier from Singapore, has shattered records and expectations to become the youngest and the first individual from Southeast Asia to clinch the prestigious title of Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania in 2022. Ng’s journey to the top of the sommelier world is a testament to his relentless dedication, passion for wine, and unwavering work ethic.
Ng’s foray into the world of wines began in 2014 at La Strada, an Italian restaurant in Singapore, where he quickly developed an intense passion for wine. Rejecting a partial scholarship in accounting and finance, he instead dove headfirst into the world of viniculture. Within just five months at La Strada, Ng set his sights on the Certified Sommelier Examination, becoming the youngest individual in Singapore to pass it at 19.
Ng’s dedication to his craft was unparalleled. He consumed wine literature voraciously, learned through YouTube, and spent a significant portion of his salary on wine for personal tastings. His unique method of blind tasting at home, with the help of his aunt, further honed his skills.
His career trajectory soared as he joined Park90 wine bar at the Conrad Singapore Orchard. His accomplishments quickly piled up, with him winning the Best Sommelier of Singapore and Southeast Asia titles in 2019, as well as passing the Advanced Sommelier Examination. At Park90, he was instrumental in growing the business and gaining widespread recognition.
Ng’s humble beginnings and self-taught approach highlight the central role of hard work in his success. His early exposure to wine, fueled by his parents and an uncle who was a wine enthusiast, laid the foundation for his future achievements. However, it was his tireless dedication and love for wine that truly set him apart.
In 2022, Ng’s career reached a new peak as he won the Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania award in Tokyo, overcoming challenges that included identifying coffee beans and conducting blind beer tastings. This victory was not just a personal triumph but a breakthrough for Southeast Asia in the global wine industry.
Looking ahead, Ng has set his sights on becoming a master sommelier and winning the Best Sommelier of the World competition. His ultimate dream, however, lies in opening a bistro in Dijon, the capital of Burgundy, France. He is already taking steps towards this goal, including learning French and planning to open his own boutique wine bar with the support of his employer.
Ng’s journey is a reminder that passion, dedication, and hard work can lead to extraordinary achievements, breaking barriers and setting new standards in any field.