Issue #27 - October 2020



  • 22.10.2020 - Contest Best Somm of Kazakhstan



by Andrés Rosberg

Tempus fugit, wrote Latin poet Virgil over twenty centuries ago. Paradoxically, his statement “time flies” was so strong that it lasted until today. But time does not fly: We are the ones flying... time stays! Three years ago, I stood before the General Assembly of ASI and asked for its support to become its president, together with a team that …




A Silver Lining in Challenging Times:
Getting to know the candidates in the BEST SOMMELIER OF EUROPE & AFRICA contest!

Starting this month, we’ll take advantage of the Corona-related delay in the BEST SOMMELIER OF EUROPE & AFRICA contest to get to know the candidates! With a series of interview questions, we’ll host a roundtable discussion with selected candidates to talk about similarities, differences, challenges and successes on the road to BEST SOMMELIER OF EUROPE & AFRICA. First up: Eric …
Eric & Salvatore

Test your knowledge and luck with ASI Partner Quiz!

What wind blows more than 120 days a year on the vineyard of Château de Beaucastel? (answer at bottom of article) - Mistral - Autan wind - Tramontana - Sirocco With four weeks already completed at the time of writing, the ASI Partner Quiz is quickly developing into a somm favorite. A fun and brain-tickling way for sommeliers around the …


Croatia Sommelier Club Offers Training for All Levels

With travel uncertain right now, it may be more difficult than usual to get to Croatia’s beautiful vineyards. The Croatian Sommelier Club has posted a series of online educational videos to bring the vineyards to you instead. Each video features top Croatian sommeliers and members of the association talking about the indigenous grape varieties from Croatia and the different wines …

A New Best Sommelier Crowned in Denmark

17 sommeliers gathered on a sunny September morning to vie for the title of Best Sommelier of Denmark 2020. After an initial round with a written test, pairing tasks and two blind tastings, the jury narrowed it down to the top three candidates to compete for the title. The finals were held in the spacious (Covid-19 safe) “Axelborg salen by …

Peer Holm Re-Elected President of Sommelier Union Germany

The Sommelier Union Germany met in September for its annual general meeting, in person at the Dorint Hotel in Cologne and online via Zoom. A new board of directors was elected, including Peer F. Holm as president. His new team of vice-presidents consists of the reigning sommelier world champion Marc Almert, Christian Frens from Cologne and Philipp Künemund from Munich. …
Germanyelections_2020-10-09 at 10.08.40 AM

“La Sommellerie de Référence” by Paul Brunet Feted by OIV

source Jean Bernard bulles gourmandes
The OIV Prize is one of the most prestigious in the wine world, awarded to print and digital books that reset the gold standard for reference. Receiving it twice is virtually an impossibility. And yet that is precisely what our great friend Paul Brunet has achieved. Long a familiar face at ASI as a competitor -- bronze medal at the …

Moscow Sommelier Cup Draws Large Crowd

Despite the obvious difficulties of organizing events in the current climate, the Russian Association of Sommeliers (RAS) was proud to hold its annual Moscow Sommelier Cup. This year’s event, the fourth in the history of the association, was held on 10-11 October in Moscow. Vladimir Kosenko, a sommelier and leading teacher at one of the wine schools, prevailed over 54 …

Pravilonis New Champ of Lithuania

The Lithuanian Sommelier association held its championship, the Franklin & Sons Grand Prix 2020, on 14 September. Despite the difficult circumstances of the pandemic, the event provided a successful and welcome return to the world of sommelier competition. The winner was Martynas Pravilonis, of the Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius. Narimantas Miežys of the wine bar SOMM finished as runner-up, while …

Dreaming of Portugal at Best Somm of Estonia 2020

As the Estonian Sommelier Association prepares to celebrate its 20th birthday this autumn, a different highlight for the nation’s sommeliers demanded attention first. The 19th edition of the Trophée Graham, given to the Best Sommelier of Estonia, was held on September 9 at Fotografiska Tallinn. The event drew seven top Estonian sommeliers and three guest competitors from Latvia, Lithuania, and …

Switzerland Embraces Best Sommelier of the World Marc Almert

Marc Almert, reigning ASI Best Sommelier of the World, has many obvious ties to Switzerland. Although originally hailing from Cologne, Germany. He has long lived and worked in the Alpine nation, serving as head sommelier at the luxurious Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich. For his service in raising the profile of wine and sommellerie in their country, the Swiss …

Serbian Sommeliers Adapting Well to Online Events

The Serbian Sommelier Association has continued innovating during the pandemic. This began with the roll-out of SERSA sommelier level 3 education, which drew 25 registered students for the first course. To date the course has been conducted in-person, but plans for remote learning have also been arranged with an eye toward the ever-changing public health situation. SERSA also organized a …


Wines of Portugal – Portugal's four main grapes, explained by an MW

Portugal enjoys an impressive number of grape varieties that exist nowhere else in the world. More than 250 native grape varieties encourage Portuguese winemakers to make wines of personality that lay well outside the mainstream. From now through the end of the year, Master of Wine Dirceu Vianna Junior will guide you  through a discovery of four of the main …

S.Pellegrino Stands Side by Side with Gastronomy

For over 120 years, S.Pellegrino has inspired people to savor life. Its unique Italian flavor famously enhances tasteful moments and promotes fine dining culture all over the world. It is a global success story achieved with the crucial contribution of the gastronomy community, which today is suffering bitterly under the pandemic. In these challenging times, S. Pellegrino reconfirms its role …

Wines of Argentina Offering Specialist Certification

Wines of Argentina has partnered with The Napa Valley Wine Academy on the Argentina Wine Specialist Course, focused 100% on Argentina and Argentine wine. This six-module course provides an in-depth exploration of the region’s history, classification systems and grape varieties, with deep dives on the country’s wine regions – from the North to Patagonia. At a strategic level, this course …

GRAHAMS – An Experienced Hand through a Challenging Year

As the harvest draws to a close and the leaves begin to turn, a calm descends on the Douro Valley as the port begins its maturation journey. Following a very hot and dry summer with the highest recorded temperatures throughout July in 140 years, yields were very low. Our viticulture and winemaking teams were obligated to be extremely focused and …

VINEXPO – Welcome to the Vinexpo Shanghai Global Digital Experience

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Vinexpo Shanghai goes digital and has built an online event platform like no other in the wine and spirits industry. A quality-focused panel of live tastings, wine and winery presentations, keynotes and conferences will be relayed to Vinexpo’s Chinese and worldwide audience from October 21-23, 2020. As an industry member, you can join the digital platform Vinexpo Shanghai free of …