We all admire someone who gets knocked down and stands back up again, undaunted. ASI, like everyone else, has certainly faced its share of hardships. The most recent is also one of the most painful: Following conversations with the Cyprus Sommelier Association, we have decided to postpone the ASI Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa until 14-18 March 2021.
We are working hard to ensure that our General Assembly takes place in November as planned. We will meet -in person, virtually, or both- so we can review the past year, exchange ideas, and make important decisions for the future of ASI. We are monitoring the situation closely, learning to live with uncertainty, and endeavoring to sail this ship to a safe harbor. I have no doubt we can master these challenges together. As always, our absolute priority is the wellbeing of our community: we will never jeopardize the safety of our members.
Perhaps it took a series of major lockdowns around the world to resharpen our focus on collaboration, connection and common service. A great many things we take for granted have been shaken to the core, even the ability to eat a meal in a restaurant — or, for us, the chance to serve the guests at our restaurant.
They say the darkest hour is just before the dawn. Just look at the many ways in which national organizations have re-invented how they connect with their members and the public. Sommeliers around the world have shown no less remarkable resilience. And ASI too is working tirelessly to increase its outreach and promote sommellerie around the world in every possible way: As you will read below, we’ve even signed a new partner in the middle of the pandemic just a few days ago!
The challenges are many, and might seem insurmountable. But they are not. We are strong, both as individuals and as a community. And our determination is boundless.
May we toast again soon, in person!