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The Cheers Heard Round the World

International Sommelier Day on June 3 was celebrated this year as never before: with a series of 3 online Zoom meetings staggered throughout the day to allow sommeliers from all corners of the globe to participate.

Each session was hosted by the vice-president responsible for that part of the world: the first by Ms. Saiko Tamura-Soga, VP of Asia & Oceania. The second session was hosted by Mr. William Wouters, VP of Europe. The last session was hosted by Ricardo Grellet, VP of the Americas.

Hundreds of people participated in these three sessions, starting with co-moderators Peer F. Holm (PR, Communication & Marketing Coordinator for ASI) and Liora Levi (ASI Head of Press & Communications). They were joined by representatives from a number of ASI’s partners as well as Best Sommeliers of the World Philippe Faure-Brac and Serge Dubs.

Reigning ASI Best Sommelier of the World Marc Almert was present at all three sessions. He was joined by Sébastien Lézier from Château Laguiole, an ASI Silver Partner, to announce the launch of Marc’s new corkscrew. One lucky participant in each session was awarded a corkscrew by lottery drawing: Claire Dumais of France, Julie Dupouy-Young of Ireland (and new president of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers) and Luz Salas, of Chile.

The event, which encouraged each sommelier to introduce themselves and a bottle they had brought along, was live-streamed on the ASI website and Facebook and garnered significant social media coverage, culminating in a total reach of close to 100,000 people through the ASI platforms. With bottles as diverse and international as the sommeliers who showed them, the range of beverages spanned from Trousseau to tea, from East India Ale Cream to Premier Cru Burgundy, and from Lativian Quince wine to sparkling raspberry from Norway.

ASI President Andrés Rosberg saw the event, which was first dreamt up in Mexico back in 2013, as a magnificent reflection of the ASI’s international character: “My congratulations go out to the entire team… this is just a small sample of the impact ASI can have in the world!” Each session ended in fittingly international fashion, with all participants encouraged to raise their glass and say ‘cheers’ in their local language!

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