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Voices

Doug Frost, USA, MW and MS.

“Any gathering of sommeliers is filled with stories, laughter and bottles and bottles, in other words, a party. It’s probably true that parties must eventually end so it’s something close to a miracle that ASI’s party is fifty years old and still going strong. Perhaps we should say ASI is fifty years young, because if you love service it keeps you young.”

 

Markus Del Monego, Germany. Best Sommelier of the World 1998

“ASI is quite unique. Not only is it a professional association but it is a big family. ASI has successfully promoted sommellerie for the past 50 years and raised the profession to greater international recognition. In the next 50 years I see incredible potential for our work to become even more important and influential, building a bridge between producers and consumers.”

 

Jean-Luc Pouteau, Best Sommelier of the World 1983

“It’s truly exciting to see the development with all the new countries such as China and Estonia, in addition to the established countries who produce wine. It is now all one big country. It’s the culture of wine, of beverages, expanding the borders and spreading the knowledge.”

 

Philippe Faure-Brac, France, Best Sommelier of the World 1992

“What really matters is not just growing our numbers, but rather continuing to expand the quality, diversity and spirit of ASI. Our brand and the respect it carries can help drive a renaissance for the profession in our many member nations, and beyond.”

 

Nassyrova Dayana, Kazakhstan (youngest member in attendance), Best Somm of Kazakhstan 2019, Best Woman’s Cup Sommelier 2018

“ASI 50: a great date for me and my profession. It is an honor to be here with the best sommeliers of the world. Growing up in Kazakhstan, I didn’t used to have access to this kind of supportive and positive community. They’ve helped me understand that being a somm today means, at least in part, being a psychologist, able to understand, help and serve before the customer even has to ask.”

 

Paz Levinson, Argentina, Best Sommelier of the Americas 2015

“For me, the ASI family has no borders or boundaries. All countries can be part of one fast- growing wine family that is focused on an increased sense of community and support.”

 

Nelson Chow, President, Hong Kong Sommelier Association

“After 50 years you can see the dedication and that is something really good. In Asia, the title of sommelier is still new. Our association was founded 30 years ago, in 1989. Back then there was no local somm — I was both sommelier and restaurant manager. We were 6 people congregating together, led by a French guy. Now there are 442 members in Hong Kong, and growing strong.”

 

Aris Allouche, France, Director of Sommeliers International

“There are few words to fully express the profession of sommelier. In the beginning it was all French. Now over 50% come from the rest of the world. This is an extraordinary development for a unique profession. Worldwide, together, strong.”

 

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