Today, the responsibilities of modern sommeliers go far beyond merely serving wines. On top of a complete knowledge of their field and an indispensable gift for human relationships, they must also display a considerable understanding of purchase and stocks management. Today’s sommeliers are also associated with the marketing of the business.
While knowledge of wines and spirits can be acquired in specialized schools (such as œnology institutes) and the foundations of the trade in specialized institutions (hotel and restaurant management schools, etc), acquiring actual sommelier experience is a rather informal process, learned by practice throughout one’s career. This situation creates an obvious need for continuous training in the real sense of the word, to help consolidate scattered personal experiences by means of a rational approach, and this is what the Association de la sommellerie internationale provides through its various activities.
The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale, a non-profit making organization, was founded in Reims (France) on the 3 – 4 June 1969, and has the following aims:
- To bring together the national sommelier associations (just one member association per country) and to promote their founding where they do not yet exist
- To co-ordinate actions aimed at developing and advancing the profession by various means (training courses, etc.)
- To enhance the sommelier’s profession and educate consumers
- To defend the ethics of the profession
ASI participates in all events related to wine, spirits and other drinks, and is able to take any action directly or indirectly aimed at its objectives defined above.
The ASI legal Headquarters are located in Paris (France) and the association is administered by its Board and National members meeting in a General Assembly at least once a year.
The Board includes the international President, a Secretary General and a deputy Secretary General, a Treasurer and a deputy Treasurer, as well as four continental Vice-Presidents. The ASI members are the National sommeliers associations represented by their president duly elected.