Held in Burgundy in France's famed Cote d'Or wine-growing region, the contest saw 24 teams from around the world vying against each other to identify a range of wines by country of origin, grape varieties, appellations and vintages.
They had to identify six white wines and six reds from around the world.
The Chinese, who won last year's contest in a triumph that organisers said hit the world of wine with a "thunderbolt, came in ninth.
And the French team, which came second last year, finished 11th.
"The French tasters are excellent but they are more used to tasting (French) wines," admitted Denis Savarot, managing editor of La Revue du vin de France, the monthly wine magazine which organises the contest.
The Zimbabwean tasters, who took part for the first time this year, came in 23rd.
Next year's contest will take place in Languedoc in France's deep south.