13 May 2021

2019 will be remembered not only for ASI’s fiftieth anniversary, but also for Marc Almert’s triumph in the beautiful city of Antwerp. Freshly crowned with the title of Best Sommelier of the World, Marc brilliantly hosted the Vinexpo Challenge in Bordeaux with Paul Marchais. The two were joined by Nina Jensen from Denmark, Piotr Pietras from Poland and Martynas Pravilonis from Lithuania “dueling” in the Top Somms Wine Battle. The ASI was thus represented by some of its most successful candidates at the international level.

In addition to the Wine Fair presided over by Rodolphe Lameyse, there were also lovely evening parties organized in the chateaux, such as the traditional Fête de la Fleur. It saw Marc Almert’s induction at Château Lynch-Moussas, in the Commanderie du Bontemps (Médoc, Graves, Sauternes, Barsac). Michèle Chantôme asked Marc Almert to write a few lines about his experience in Bordeaux.

“One of ASI’s long standing partners, Vinexpo, held the latest edition of its classic Bordeaux trade fair in May 2019. This was marked by many exciting and inspiring meetings with sommeliers from around the world, including Andreas Larsson, Markus del Monego MW, Serge Dubs, Philippe Faure-Brac, as well as some of the current competitors like Nina Jensen, Piotr Pietras and Martynas Pravilonis. Both the events and masterclasses during the fair itself were memorable, but also the lovely dinners at Château Kirwan and Château Phélan Ségur. The lovely hospitality of the Bordeaux vintners was also shown during the incredible ‘Fête de la Fleur’ event, which was hosted by Château Lynch-Moussas and starred amazing wines as several chefs, including Marc Haeberlin, for more than a thousand guests. Truly an evening to remember!

As always, ASI also highlighted the topic of education through several masterclasses which were hosted by a number of international colleagues. It was my personal pleasure to lead the ‘Vinexpo Challenge’, during which the participants were able to have a guided blind tasting of ten wines chosen from the exhibitors of the fair.”