The responsibilities of a modern sommelier are today seen as going far beyond merely serving wines. As well as a complete knowledge of this field, and an indispensable gift for human relationships, he/she must also display a considerable understanding of purchase and stocks management. A good sommelier is today also associated with the marketing of the business.
While knowledge of wines and spirits can be acquired in specialist schools (such as Oenology Institutes) and the foundations of the trade in specialist institutions (hostelry schools, etc), there is no other means of acquiring the necessary experience other than informally throughout one’s career. This situation makes obvious the need for continuous training in the real sense of the word, which would consolidate scattered personal experiences by means of a rational approach.
The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) has set itself the task of constructing this necessary continuous training program, which in the form of courses, books and regularly updated training material – available on this web site – will supply the framework for the continuous updating of information indispensable in a profession which must constantly adapt to the ceaseless evolution in techniques and tastes.
ASI, a non-profit making organization, was founded in Reims (France) on the 3 – 4 June 1969, and has the following aims:
- To bring together the national sommellerie associations (just one member association per country) and to promote their founding where they do not yet exist
- To co-ordinate actions aimed at developing and advancing the profession by various means (training courses, etc.)
- To enhance the sommelier’s profession by educating the consumer
- To defend the ethics of the profession
ASI participates in all events related to wine, spirits and other drinks, and is able to take any action directly or indirectly aimed at its objectives defined above.
The ASI legal Headquarters are located in Paris (France) and is administered by the member country holding the presidency for a three-year period. The Council comprises of the President, a General Secretary, helped by an assistant Secretary, a Treasurer and an assistant Treasurer, as well as the Presidents of each national member associations or their elected representatives.
Photographs: Mr. Shinya Tasaki, President ASI & Mary O’ Callaghan, President, The Irish Guild of Sommeliers.