‘Compete’ is the third pillar of the ASI program of excellence, and also its most famous. The ASI Contest of The Best Sommelier of the World has existed since 1969, the same year that the international association itself was founded. One might say that the urge to compete, to identify the best and brightest performers of the sommelier arts under the brightest of lights, is part of ASI’s very DNA.
Claiming the crown of ASI Best Sommelier of the World — as Marc Almert of Germany did in 2019 — certainly changes the life of that one deserving winner. The contest has historically been held every three years, but due to COVID-related delays Almert’s successor – Raimonds Tomsons (Latvia) was crowned in 2023 in Paris, France.
Competition forges the steel inside //
The true value of ASI Contests has little to do with glory. International, national and even local contests by ASI member associations all serve a similar purpose: providing a platform for demonstrating the service excellence mastered in the ‘Learn’ and ‘Challenge’ phases.
The very act of preparing for competition brings sommeliers to the cutting edge of their craft. In return for their dedication, ASI contests encourage sommeliers to expand their local, national, and international networks, motivate them to perfect their skills, and help widen knowledge of the sommelier profession in the public at large.
The competitions are open to candidates from restaurants, wine bars, wine merchants, or the larger enogastronomy business. All ASI competitions are planned and executed under the supervision and oversight of the Sommeliers Contests Committee.
22nd-24th February 2024
4th March 2024
ASI Diploma exam
10th-15th November 2024
Best Sommelier Europe & Africa 2024, Belgrade, Serbia
Bootcamp Europe and Africa 2024, September, Spain (now it doesn’t have place and month)
To come 2025 & 2026 TBC
General Assembly May 2025, Cape Town, South Africa
Best Sommelier of the Americas 2025 tbc
Best Sommelier of Asia & Pacific 2025 tbc
Bootcamp Asia & Pacific 2025 tbc
Best Sommelier of the World 2026, March, Lisbon, Portugal