The contest of the Best Sommelier of the Americas is one of the 3 continental contests hosted by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) leading up to the Best Sommelier of the World contest.
Best Sommelier of the Americas
There are 10 countries within ASI from North and South America. Each has the right to send up to two candidates to the contest of the ASI Best Sommelier of the Americas. To earn the right to represent their country, competitors have often won the national sommelier competitions in the years leading up to the continental contest, although countries have the right to use their own methodologies for the purpose of selecting their candidates for an ASI contest.
ASI’s continental and world contests represent a lifetime of learning and preparation for our candidates. The time spent studying and practicing is sometimes similar to professional athletes. Contestants must be proficient not only in the service of all beverages (wine, beer, spirits, water, coffee, tea and more) but they must also have an encyclopedia-like knowledge on all aspects of production methods, regulations and laws, climate, geography and cultural aspects related to these beverages.
ASI contests are rigorous tests of a sommelier’s skill and knowledge. Contests are typically comprised of three rounds, each more challenging than the last. Sommeliers will be tested on their theoretical knowledge via a written test, their service skills and ability to identify wines and other beverages in a blind tasting format. The finals may comprise of several tasks including various aspects of service, blind tasting of a variety of beverages and skill tasks all performed in front of a live audience.
Judgement of the sommeliers at ASI contests is reserved for the ASI Contest Committee. The members of this committee represent people that have demonstrated superior skills and knowledge in the past, many of whom have won or been on the podium of an ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest.
The winner of a continental contest such as ASI Best Sommelier of the Americas will automatically have the opportunity to compete in the next ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest.