What a year this has been, so far – and we’re not even halfway through.
Last January we signed a ground breaking agreement with the wine producing province of Ningxia, in China: they became a major partner of ASI, and will host our annual meeting next year.
A few days later, during the first week of February, I had the honour of judging the final of the Best Sommelier of the USA contest, which marked the long-awaited return of the United States to an international ASI contest.
Then, in March, it was time for the fantastic 16th edition of our ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest in the gorgeous city of Antwerp, Belgium, which featured a record 63 participating countries, unprecedented international attention, some amazing master classes featuring legendary winemakers, as well as many other illustrious participants, including guest judges Jancis Robinson MW and Robert Joseph, who were on stage with almost all of the previous winners for the live final of the competition.
Normally, after a big event like the Best Sommelier of the World competition, you would imagine that things would slow down a bit. Well…
Many things kicked in immediately after the competition: events in Japan, work on the June board meeting, discussions for new partnerships, following up with the communications team, taking stock of the Russian Sommelier Association’s highly successful national competition featuring 100 candidates from twenty different cities, planning for a new regional Southeast Asia sommelier competition – among other things.
Most importantly, we are also working hard on the next big event of 2019: the 50th anniversary celebrations of ASI, which could well be the largest gathering of ASI sommeliers ever assembled under one roof. Filled with highlights of the association’s history, featuring fantastic master classes and tastings and much more, it will take place in Champagne–the birthplace of ASI–from October 5 to October 8, in tandem with our annual general meeting. Mark your calendar, you won’t want to miss it.
ASI is growing. It is becoming more collaborative, horizontal, professional, open, dynamic, communicative, energetic and international. And all our members can be part of that growth and development. Please share this newsletter and its articles with the members of your national association and ask them to subscribe directly using this link. Follow ASI’s social media accounts, share their posts, use our hashtag (#ASIsomms) when posting about sommelier events, and contact us to give us your ideas and comments.
Thank you for being on board. ASI is turning 50, but it is feeling younger and more active than ever!
President, Association de la sommellerie internationale