MENU CLOSE

What Does It Take To Be a Great Somm?

THE MINDSET

Sommeliers certainly rely on their tools and on their fellow members of the trade. But above all else: they must rely on themselves. We ask three notable sommeliers from all corners of the globe for their thoughts on what personal traits are needed to provide world-class service.

Marc Almert is the reigning ASI Best Sommelier of the World.

Valeria Gamper is 2019 Best Sommelier of Argentina.

Delores Malin is the 2019 Best Sommelier of Mauritius.

 

What 3 characteristics do you think are necessary to stand in the winner’s circle of an ASI Best Sommelier contest?

  1. Curiosity
  2. Humility
  3. Passion

 

What are three skills that every sommelier must possess?

  1. Motivation to learn
  2. Love and passion for service
  3. Communication skills

 

Please use three adjectives to describe a modern sommelier.

  1. Flexible
  2. Open-minded
  3. Resilient

 

 What attributes, for you, separate a good somm from a great one?

  1. Being a good teacher
  2. Knowledge (constant search for learning)
  3. Charisma

 

And finally: What tool is no modern sommelier ever without?

  1. Corkscrew!

 


THE LEGACY

Few names loom larger in the firmament of the modern sommelier universe than Gérard Basset. He impacted the industry at both the macro and micro levels; on the one hand through his tireless commitment to ASI, on the other hand through the countless sommeliers he mentored, encouraged and inspired, either through personal tutoring or through the reputation of his own hard-won successes.

ASI is paying tribute to his legacy through its first annual ASI Gérard Basset Lifetime Achievement Award, which goes to Serge Dubs. It is administered by ASI, under the leadership of ASI Ambassador Michèle Chantôme, along with those who knew Gérard like few others: his beloved wife Nina Basset and his son Romané Basset. Here Nina and Romané offer their thoughts on what it takes to make it as a sommelier today.

 

What 3 characteristics do you think are necessary to stand in the winner’s circle of an ASI Best Sommelier contest?

  1. Determination
  2. Humility
  3. Passion

 

What are three skills that every sommelier must possess?

  1. Kindness
  2. Charm
  3. Enthusiasm

 

 What attributes, for you, separate a good somm from a great one?

  1. Respect and interest in others
  2. Ability to understand people
  3. Openness to change

 

And finally: What tool is no modern sommelier ever without?

  1. Corkscrew

English