This is a man who knows wine. Paolo Basso has beaten off competition from 53 other hopefuls to be named Best Sommelier in the World. The 47-year-old Swiss-Italian was crowned champion at the 14th finals held by the Association de la Sommelerie Internationale in Japan. The global contest takes place every three years. Basso, who won the European Sommelier title three years ago, was runner-up in the world competition in 2OOO, 2OO7 and 2O1O, missing out to Gerard Basset in the last final. Veronique Rivest of Canada and Aristide Spies from Belgium were named as runners-up to Basso, making Rivest the first woman to achieve a top three finish. Basso, having trained at the Swiss Sommelier Association School, currently lectures on wine, runs a consulting business named Ceresio Vini and is a Judge at the Decanter World Wine Awards. He is also wine director of Conca Bella restaurant near Lake Como in northern Italy. Basso was presented with a silver jeroboam engraved with his name for winning the three-day event.