Created in 2012, the ASI Diploma was designed to develop professional sommeliers’ capabilities corresponding to the ASI by-laws, which involve a wide range of theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Offered in French, English or Spanish (the official languages of ASI), the yearly uniform exams, administered on the same day by participating national associations, include written tests, blind tastings, essays, service tests and oral presentations.
The diploma is also meant to foster participation in ASI beyond the sommelier contests and to encourage professional development and active involvement within member associations and ASI. It also provides opportunities to promote ASI in the global press and media, and increase the association’s involvement in the development of the profession worldwide.
Sommeliers who take the exams in a second language (French, English or Spanish) can obtain two levels of certification, according to their level of achievement: silver or gold. Since the 2019 exams, a bronze-level certificate has been made available. It requires the same level of knowledge and skills as the silver and gold diplomas, but does not require to be fluent in a foreign language. In other words, candidates whose first language is French, English or Spanish can perform in their own language and obtain a bronze diploma. Sommeliers who have obtained a bronze or silver level diploma are always welcome to sit for the exam again, and to try for silver or gold.
To-date, thanks to this demanding certification, more than 300 ASI Sommeliers have been recognized as being part of the elite of international sommellerie, including the winners of the international ASI contests* and 1 ASI Sommelier Honoris Causa. They come from different countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, the Netherlands, New-Zealand, Poland, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, South Korea, Russia, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela.
*The laureates of an international ASI contest are automatically certified without passing the exam, the contests having demonstrated their level of skill and knowledge.
A list of all the ASI certified sommeliers is available here: All ASI Sommeliers