Ophthalmologists define 20/20 as normal vision; there are always those who see clearer and those who see worse. But what I see is an incredibly bright future for ASI in 2020….
This year sadly starts where the last one ended, with the terrible current events in Australia. Our utmost sympathy goes out to all those affected by the fires. While each of us must decide personally how to respond to such tragedy, we echo Sommeliers Australia in suggesting that you list one or more Australian wines on your menu and / or by-the-glass program. Such gestures may seem small, but can concretely help businesses endure hard times such as these.
Turning our eyes forward, we see many positive developments emerging within our organization. As you might have noticed, our newsletter itself has received a well-deserved makeover. We are very proud of its new look, which helps readers better orient themselves to the latest news.
January is already setting the pace for what promises to be a very intense year. Following the appointment of ASI Best Sommelier of the World 2016 Arvid Rosengren as new Director of the Sommelier Contests Commission last October, this body will meet at the end of this month to organize the ASI Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa contest to be held in Cyprus next November. The gathering that will take place in Ribera del Duero and has been organized in collaboration with the Unión de Asociaciones Españolas de Sumilleres (UAES), the Spanish Sommelier Association, will also include activities with local sommeliers, press and producers to further enhance the impact of our visit and exposure of our profession.
Each turn of the year also marks an opportunity, a moment of reflection. After two roller coaster years of contests, events and challenges, our New Year’s Resolution list is quite packed with plans for the months to come. And at the very top of it is Education, an absolutely necessary tool for the promotion of Sommellerie around the world. On this note, I hope you will join me in giving a warm welcome to ASI’s reigning champion Marc Almert, Best Sommelier of the World 2019. Marc has joined ASI’s Education Committee to both further develop its standards as well as bring fresh ideas and perspectives that will shape global sommellerie in the years to come!
Last but not least, and as we move into next month’s activities, including important ASI presentations with some top somms during Vinexpo Paris in a few weeks, I also want to extend our sincere gratitude to both our historical partners – SanPellegrino Acqua Panna, SommelierS International, Chef & Sommelier, Vinexpo, Ligne W Château Laguiole, ViniPortugal, Wines of Argentina, Trapiche – as well as our recent additions: Bodega Torres, Vinventions, Graham’s Port and Famille Perrin. Without their continued support, we would not be able to do this job that we love.
Cheers to a happy 2020 to all of you!