Shynia Tasaki
Chairman of the A.S.I
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ASI, a non-profit making organisation, was founded in Reims (France) on the 3 – 4 June 1969, and has the following aims:
• bring together the national sommellerie associations (just one member association per country) and to promote their founding where they do not yet exist,
• co-ordinate actions aimed at developing and advancing the profession by various means (training courses, etc.)
• enhance the sommelier’s profession by educating the consumer,
• 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 association or their elected representatives.

Today ASI has 45 member and 9 observer countries and is an active participant in the development, organisation and recognition of the sommelier profession, training and competitions are its main activities.

A.S.I. bureau 2011-2013 :

1. Serge Dubs (FR), Vice-president European Continent
2. Danio Braga (BR), Vice-president American Continent
3. Gérard Basset (UK), General Secretary
4. Michèle Chantôme (FR), Deputy General Secretary
5. Philippe Faure-Brac (FR), Treasurer
6. Bruno Scavo (MC), Deputy Treasurer

On the occasion of its General Assembly held in Bordeaux within the frame of VINEXPO, the A.S.I. showed a definitely new vitality.

With Shinya Tasaki, its new president elected last November for a three year mandate, the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale has now ambitious commitments and wants to fulfill the goals of the association.

– To be totally neutral and financially independent is the key point of the new policy of A.S.I. Which explain the diversification of partnerships and the decision of avoiding the sponsorship of any A.S.I. continental or world contest by only one big brand.

– Harmonizing the qualification of sommeliers all around the world, an obvious wish of A.S.I. for many years, will be effective in 2012 thanks to the setting up of certification exams.

– Training, information will go through the totally renewed A.S.I. website. E-learning for the candidates of the exams as well as the competitions, national and international news regarding the world of wine and sommellerie, news from the official international partners of A.S.I., from O.I.V., from the 54 members of the association…

– A virtual press-room on www.sommellerie-internationale.com allowing journalists from all over the world to pick information about sommellerie.

– On the occasion of this meeting in the amphitheater of the Congress Center of Bordeaux-Lac, the Australian Sommelier Association became an active full member of A.S.I., the members of the Technical Committee for competitions have been accepted, contracts of partnership have been announced – Arc International, Moët & Chandon, Peter Lehmann/Hess Family Estates, SanPellegrino/Acqua Panna, CIVA, NESPRESSO, SUNTORY, VINEXPO, SommelierS International, AWMB (Austrian Wines) – so as the program for the next General Assemblies and Council of Administration meetings A.S.I. Also the schedule of the contests:

– A.S.I. Contest of the Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania in South Korea, in May 2012,

– A.S.I. APAS Contest of the Best Sommelier of the Americas in Argentina and Brazil, in September 2012,

– A.S.I. Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World in Japan, in March 2013,

– A.S.I. Contest of the Best Sommelier of Europe in Italy and Monaco, in Autumn 2013.

Let’s point out that Moët & Chandon, the historical partner of A.S.I., is taking care of the A.S.I. Club of the Best Sommeliers of the World.

The next A.S.I. General Assembly will take place in South Korea in May 2012.

Dear Friends,

Nearly a year at the head of the A.S.I. Therefore the moment to report a first assessment. And tell you how proud I am to have managed to already influence and give a lift to the policy of our international association.

During my election on last November, I asserted my determination to strengthen
the profession, through training, harmonization of the levels worldwide, and communication. All this, while banking on a modern and inevitable tool: Internet.

The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale’s new website is now operational since the beginning of summer 2011. One of the two axes of this turn on direction is “communication”. The aim not only is to improve the exchanges between the members of our association, but also to create a link between all the sommeliers in the world, their customers, the sponsors that support us flawlessly, as well as the journalists.

The second mainstay is the “establishment of universal standards”. Through this website, sommeliers from all over the world will be able to share knowledge and techniques from the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale. Videos of decanting wines or serving sparkling wines presented by the current person in charge of the Technical Committee, as well as the e-learning are already available, at the initiative of the Education Committee of the A.S.I.

We hope this renewal will meet your expectations by offering you more information and knowledge to share, and will be the vector of a better communication.

I have to thank all our partners who play and will continue to play an essential role in the fulfillment of our projects.

Being stronger, the A.S.I. will be better in serving the sommellerie worldwide.

Shinya Tasaki  Chairman of the A.S.I.

SHINYA TASAKI AWARDED BY THE EMPEROR OF JAPAN

During the awarding of the medals of spring 2011, the Japan Sommeliers Association Vice-President, Shinya Tasaki, received the Yellow Ribbon medal for his contribution to the promotion of the profession of sommelier. He has been informed of it by the Minister of Labour and Public Health of Japan on June 29th, before being awarded by the Emperor who congratulated him personally.

The Yellow Ribbon medal is given to “those who thanks to their fervour in their profession have become models for the nation.” The names of the recipients are usually revealed at the end of April. This year, the date was fixed on April 29th but because of the earthquake of March 11th, the official publication has been delayed two months.

Shinya Tasaki is the fourth sommelier that has been honoured this way, after Katsumi Asada, Takashi Atsuta and Kazuyoshi Kogai, the former presidents of the JSA. “To me this medal is more a tribute to the profession of sommelier than a personal reward. I will keep on contributing to the training of sommeliers.”, Shinya Tasaki declared, full of joy with this honour.

Willing to study French cuisine, Shinya Tasaki went alone in 1977 to France where he discovered the profession of sommelier and decided to embark on this career. He came back in his country in 1980. Three years later he won the Contest of the Best Sommelier of Japan. He never stopped perfecting, having given himself the challenge to win the world contest. In this challenge, he succeeded in 1995 during the Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World, organized that year in Tokyo.

No one else has undoubtedly contributed as much in promoting the culture and tasting of wine in Japan, in the families as well as in the izakaya, restaurants rooted in the Japanese culture. Elected to the presidency of the A.S.I. (Association de la Sommellerie Internationale) in 2010, he now strives for the development of the profession of sommelier, for the improvement of the techniques and for the social advancement of the sommeliers on an international level.

Shinya Tasaki is completely involved in the preparation of the 2013 world contest which will take place in Japan. He also keeps on transmitting, on a Japanese scale, through conferences and thanks to his presence in the media, the charm of the wine and the gastronomy, but also good manners, and especially the good way of serving wine.

GÉRARD BASSET
AWARDED OBE IN QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOURS

Word Champion Sommelier, Gérard Basset, has been awarded the OBE* in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.  Considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest authorities on wine, Basset is credited with changing perceptions of wine service worldwide, whilst training and mentoring a generation of young sommeliers.

Hampshire-based Basset was born and raised in France, embarking on a career as a sommelier when he moved to the UK in the 1980s.  He quickly established himself within the industry, winning a succession of awards and accolades both in the UK and internationally.

He is the only individual ever to have completed the fiendishly challenging Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, and MBA (Wine) qualifications, and has represented Great Britain winning every major sommelier award.

A co-founder of Hotel du Vin Group, Basset has simultaneously enjoyed business success.  Today he runs the boutique wine hotel, TerraVina, in the New Forest with his wife, Nina.

Speaking as the Birthday Honours were announced Basset said, “This is a great honour for me; to have my achievements recognised in this way gives me enormous pride.  I am indebted to many within the industry for their support, but not least my family who have stood by me as I indulged my ambitions.”

* Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Dominique Peyral-Bon

Photo : BCA Ltd.

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