Issue #19 - February 2020




by Andrés Rosberg

Nelson Mandela was one of my heroes. This quote of his always resonates with me: “I never lose. I either win or I learn.” What a brilliant and healthy attitude for navigating life! This same philosophy is our beacon as we systematically review the aims, structures and processes for the ASI’s showpiece wing: the Sommeliers Contests Commission. There’s an open …

Yours, Andres Rosberg



The Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa comes into focus

Preparations are in full swing for one of the most prestigious events on the ASI calendar: the Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa contest. Georgios Kassianos, President of the host nation’s Cyprus Sommeliers Association, expects 40 candidates from as many as 40 different nations to vie for the crown. This edition of the contest can be expected to reflect a …


ASI Diploma Examinations on the Horizon

ASI Diploma
The ASI Diploma represents more than just a prestigious and concrete certification of a sommelier’s qualification and skill. It also encourages members of the ASI family to gain a uniform minimum level of knowledge, boosting the reputation of our profession. The 9th edition of the exam will be held on March 2, 2020. It will feature one important new change …

Tribute to Oliver Murtagh, President of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers

The Irish Guild of Sommeliers has confirmed the unexpected passing of its President Oliver J. Murtagh on February 3, 2020. Murtagh was a beloved figure on both the national and international stage. Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers, offered this eulogy: “ was totally dedicated to the hospitality industry… He was a tireless worker and organiser in the …


Arvid Rosengren

Arvid Rosengren
Swedish-born Arvid Rosengren was proclaimed the ASI’s Best Sommelier of the World 2016. He now directs the Wine Program at NYC’s Legacy Records restaurant and wine bar. He also serves as Director of the ASI’s Sommeliers Contests Committee, where he champions increased uniformity and professionalism in this showcase element of the organization’s work. You have said that ‘Best Sommelier’ contests …


Marc Almert guest of honor of traditional Deutsche Sommelier Union Apéro

Marc Almert
Reigning ASI Best Sommelier of the World Marc Almert will be Guest of Honor at the “Sommelier-Apéro” in Hall 18 on Monday evening of ProWein, and will be toasting to wines from Austria, Germany and Italy, as well as craft beer, Sake and Shōchū. Information in English can be found here: apero-en.

Morocco: Kamil Essbai selected to compete in Cyprus

Kamil Essbai, who earned the Château Roslane Trophy as Best Sommelier of Morocco 2019. Essbai, has been awarded his country’s spot at the upcoming Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa in Cyprus in November 2020. He prevailed over two other former champions, Abdelghafour Sadek (2018) and Zakaria Wahbi (2017), at a contest in January in Casablanca. Kamil Essbai, 25, grew …

Carine Patricio makes history in Portugal

Carine Patricio, former star sommelier at Hamburg’s Jellyfish restaurant and currently sales and customer service specialist at legendary German winegrower JJ Prüm, has made waves in the sommelier community of her home country. Her victory in the recent Best Sommelier of Portugal competition makes her the first woman to hold that title. She is very aware of her groundbreaking role: …

Greece: Eleftherios Hanialidis bests stiff competition

Eleftherios Hanialidis prevailed over 14 Greek participants and one guest participant from Cyprus to claim the title of Best Sommelier of Greece for 2020. For Hanialidis, head sommelier at the Cava Vegera retail chain and an active member of the Greek Sommelier Association, it was a thrill and a relief to compete against two proven winners from his own nation …

Francesco Marzola triumphs in Norway

Francesco Marzola, already holder of the Best Sommelier of the Nordic 2018 title, has added another trophy to his collection: Best Sommelier of Norway 2020. The victory represented the culmination of a long competitive growth process: “With two second places and two third places, it was really the time to win it this year, so finally I felt a completion …

Slovenian Sommelier Association premiers new website and social media

The Slovenian Sommelier Association understands that a digital era deserves a digital presence. Its new website, which was unveiled at the start of the year, focuses on open- source technology to improve the flow of communication. This includes of course the latest news from the Association, the Sommelier world and the ASI, but also clearly laid out information about the …


Wines of Argentina

Since 2006, Argentine wine global sales have tripled to more than $900 million, built largely on the power and magnificence of the Argentinian Malbec. Yet Argentina’s wine producers are breaking new ground and redefining the possible in other areas as well. There has been a fascinating trend toward Criolla, for example, that continues to gain strength every day among young …
Wines of Argentina

Graham’s Port celebrates its 200th Anniversary

Graham’s Port was founded in 1820 by Scottish brothers William and John Graham in the city of Porto, Portugal, and was later acquired by the Symington family. 2020 will see this illustrious Port house celebrate 200 years of the pursuit of excellence. During the bicentennial year, members of the fourth and fifth generation of the Symington family will host a …


Château LAGUIOLE, the world’s benchmark for professional corkscrews, has created a highly simple and innovative way to fight against counterfeit products. The latest version of mythic Château LAGUIOLE includes a registration card with a unique QR code. To activate the lifetime warranty, the customer simply scans the QR code and registers online. If the card isn’t included, then sommeliers know …