Issue #25 - August 2020



  • 31.08.2020 - Best Sommelier of Finland Contest - LINK
  • 01.09.2020 - Best Sommelier of Denmark Contest - LINK
  • 09.09.2020 - Best Sommelier of Estonia Contest - LINK
  • 10.10.2020 - Vana Tallinn Baltic Sommelier Grand Prix in Estonia
  • 10.10.2020 - Celebration of 20 Years Anniversary of Estonian Sommelier Association
  • 17.10.2020 - Finals of Korea National Sommelier Competition



by Andrés Rosberg

We all admire someone who gets knocked down and stands back up again, undaunted. ASI, like everyone else, has certainly faced its share of hardships. The most recent is also one of the most painful: Following conversations with the Cyprus Sommelier Association, we have decided to postpone the ASI Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa until 14-18 March 2021. We …




¡Hola, español! ASI website soon to be available in Spanish

The ASI website will soon be available in Spanish, alongside the existing French and English translations. The decision reflects the organization’s desire to reach the broadest audience possible and the positive readership data from the ASI newsletter, which has also been offered in Spanish since July. The decision to adopt Spanish as the third language for the website reflects the …
ASI Homepage spanish

ASI BSEA Delayed Until 2021, GA Still Scheduled for November

In light of the precarious COVID-19 situation in Europe and around the world, the Cyprus Sommelier Association and the Organizing Committee of BSEA, Cyprus 2020 have made the difficult decision to officially postpone the Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa competition, originally scheduled for November 2020 in Limassol, Cyprus, to March 2021. In the words of Cyprus President Georgios Kassianos, …

First Candidates Approved for BSEA

The first candidates have been approved for the upcoming Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa contest. “The Technical Committee needs to double check every candidature” to ensure compliance with the contest bylaws, says Michèle Chantôme, Coordinator of the SCC. These include citizenship in the country he/she is representing and membership in the national sommelier organization, among other stipulations. Candidates from …
BSEA 2020

ASI partners with Wineally business system

ASI is very proud to welcome a new partner to the ASI family with the recent addition of Wineally, a game-changing consumer app/business system for restaurants. Wineally harnesses an app user’s personal wine and food preferences to recommend the best wine from a restaurant, wine shop or supermarket. These simple and convenient wine recommendations increase sales and profitability, digitize administration …


Andreas Matthidis leads Greek Sommelier Association

The Board of Directors of the Greek Sommelier Association met on 24 July 2020 to clarify the various roles of its members. The Board, in this meeting accepted the resignation of George Loukas, Second Vice President of the Greek Sommeliers Association. It was the first regular meeting by the Board involving new member Angelos Antoniou. Andreas Matthidis, a Wine, Spirits …

Ivan Nikolić is Serbia’s new top sommelier

Ivan Nikolić has claimed the crown of Best Sommelier of Serbia 2020. Dragisa Damljanovic, a sommelier for Norwegian Cruise lines, was runner up, while Aleksandar Popov finished third. The challenges he faced were anything but ordinary. For starters, the contest had originally been scheduled for March but was delayed due to the pandemic. Health rules also prohibited gatherings of more …

ASPI moves online to select its BSEA 2020 candidate

The Italian Sommelier Association (ASPI) showed admirable creativity in establishing a fair, equitable and COVID-friendly method for identifying its candidate for the upcoming BSEA 2020 in Cyprus. The first stage of the selection was held in April 2019, with the pool of 10 candidates whittled down to 4 finalists. The second round was scheduled for April 2020 but could not …

Taiwan re-elects Ting Hsin as president

The Taiwan Sommelier Association re-elected its current president, Ting-Hsin Chen, for another three year term. Powell Yang, an experienced wine & food connoisseur with extensive expertise in the USA, was also tabbed as Secretary General, while Howard Hsia and David Hsiao were picked as vice presidents. TWA is continuing its focus on promoting sommellerie in the Asia-Oceania region, including special …

Back to (Wine) School in Germany

With many restaurants in Germany still shuttered or running at only partial capacity, a great number of the country’s sommeliers have extra time to study right now. In response, the German Sommelier Union began organizing online seminars and encouraging other institutions and wine regions to do likewise. The lockdowns have hit many members squarely in their wallets, leaving them unable …

Taku Iguro new Best Sommelier of Japan, joins first female representative to BSAO in 2021

The 9th All Japan Best Sommelier Competition was held from 3-4 August 2020, with Taku Iguro winning the championship in his third attempt. He and Miyuki Morimoto, the runner up, will represent Japan at the 5th ASI Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania contest, to be held in Melbourne, Australia in August 2021. As such, Miyuki will be Japan's first …

Sommelier Australia picks 12 semifinalists for its Best Sommelier contest

The top 12 highest scoring candidates from the Best Sommelier of Australia stage 1 exam have been invited to pass through to the semi-final round. This included 7 candidates from New South Wales and 5 from Victoria. Due to COVID-related restrictions, Sommeliers Australia will need to reschedule both the stage 2 (semifinals) and stage 3 (finals) for the competition. While …

New President for Dominican Sommeliers

Carlos Espino
The Dominican Republic took care of internal business ahead of its national sommelier contest. Carlos Espino was named the new president of the Association of Dominican Sommeliers (ADS), serving a term from 2020-23. He replaces outgoing president Pablo Díaz.

A New Champion Rises in Ireland

Taking advantage of advantageous local pandemic conditions, the Irish Sommelier Guild was able to hold a live competition on 16 August 2020 to assign the title of Best Sommelier in Ireland 2020. After an intense day of competition, Daniel Stojcic of Noble in Holywood, Co. Down, prevailed as champion. He was joined on the podium by finalists Anke Carmen Hartmann …

SASA welcomes 98 new junior sommeliers

South Africa continues to work hard on training the next generation of sommeliers. The South Africa Sommelier Association is proud to announce 98 new SASA Level 1 Junior Sommeliers in that nation, based on exams held from February to July in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Paarl, Durban, Robertson, and Jozini. Congratulations go out to all the successful candidates! The next set …


Familia Torres: One of the World’s 50 Best Vineyards to Visit

For the second year in a row, the Familia Torres winery in the Penedès features among the world’s 50 best wine tourism destinations. The estate, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, came in 42nd and is the only winery in Catalonia to earn a spot in the “World’s Best Vineyards 2020.” The jury praised the Familia Torres winery …

Grahams: Innovation is part of the package

Long known for its top quality wines and pioneering work in the vineyards and cellar, the company has spent the past decade exploring more striking presentations of its ports as well. In 2012, for example, Graham’s Aged Tawny range was refreshed to feature clear glass and a contemporary bottle, as well as a large 4.5L format. More recently, Graham’s launched …

Advini launches Web Tour

AdVini’s winemakers are launching their 2nd series of webinars, in English, for wine professionals and enthusiasts. This web tour will be the opportunity to discuss 3 topics: Organic but not only: Holistic approach to viticulture – Monday 2 November – 4pm (Central European Time) The infinite complexity of the Terroir– Monday 9 November – 4pm (Central European Time) Rosés wines …

Vinventions continued focus on sustainability

At Vinventions, our mission is protecting the environment every day. We do this through innovative and sustainable closure solutions for wineries around the world who, like us, care about the future of our planet. While our commercial purpose is protecting wine from faults and outside influences that cause unwanted defects (like cork taint, oxidation and reduction), that is only half …