On the occasion of the General Assembly of A.S.I. that took place in Bordeaux on the opening of Vinexpo (in charge of the logistics) on Sunday, June 14th, the associations of Mauritius Island and South Africa obtained the status of observer members. 57 countries are now part of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale. Taiwan, former observer member, became active member during the same session.
Another point worth noting : the decision was made and unanimously voted to organize the next General Assembly in Serbia (2016) and Georgia (2018), the GA on the odd years still being planned at Vinexpo Bordeaux. It will allow to attract the attention of the sommeliers worldwide on relatively little-known wine areas and gastronomic traditions.
Before announcing the program for the next contests, the diplomas of the 2015 Certification A.S.I. Exam were presented and the dates for 2016 are voted : February 29th, March 1st and 2nd.
Chile, the hosting country for the Contest of the Best Sommelier of the Americas won by the Argentinean Paz Levinson in April, showed a video reminding the great moments of that excellent contest supported, among others, by Wines of Chile.
For the next continental contest – Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania – the Hong Kong association unveiled the program from 4 to 8 November 2015. China awaits all the presidents, not only the local ones, and plans, after the competition, a visit of the vineyards in mainland China.
Regarding the Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World that will take place in Mendoza, Argentina,from 15th to 20thApril 2016, with the support of the local authorities, COVIAR and Wines of Argentina, it will attract around sixty candidates : those from member countries, the continental best sommeliers and invited professionals from the countries where the association has not yet joined the A.S.I. The Final is planned at the mythic Teatro de la Independencia.
The dates of the Contest of the Best Sommelier of Europe 2017 in Austria were announced : from 8th to 13th May. 35 to 40 candidates should take part in this competition.
Other points were discussed including the proposal of the Union de la Sommellerie Française to organize the 2019 World championship in Bordeaux, on the week prior to Vinexpo, that would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the 50thanniversary of the A.S.I.. And also, the idea of the World Day of the Sommelier on June 3rd, date of the foundation of the A.S.I. in 1969. “El Dia del Sommelier” is now famous in Latin America where it has been existing for three years. So, why not in the rest of the world ?
On the eve of the GA, a welcome dinner was held at Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux, hosting the national members and the international partners of the A.S.I. in a very friendly atmosphere with, served in Chef & Sommelier glasses, the champagne Moët Impérial, the wines of Alsace, the Austrian wines, as well as bottles of Château Lagrange 2005 offered by Suntory. Of course, the coffee Grands Crus, were from Nespresso…
Next GA in June 2016 in Serbia !