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A.S.I. general meeting

Argentinian Andrés Rosberg succeeds Shinya Tasaki

A new president, the presentation of the next contests, the official integration of new member countries, the historical partners’ will to continue working with A.S.I. and above all an excellent financial stock have been the highlights of the meeting organized the day before the opening of Vinexpo.

Shinya Tasaki et Andrés Rosberg

The high point of the general meeting of Association de la Sommellerie Internationale held in Bordeaux on last June 16 and 17 was the election for a three-year term of a new president. Two candidates stood for election: Argentinian Andrés Rosberg and French Best Sommelier of the World Serge Dubs. After they outlined their programme to the presidents or representatives of the 53 countries that had the right to vote, they waited for the outcome. And the Argentinian was elected by 29 votes to 24 in front of his Alsatian competitor. He will be accompanied by Michèle Chantôme (secretary general) and Samuil Angelov (deputy secretary general), Philippe Faure-Brac (treasurer) and Michelle Mc Carthy (deputy treasurer). And since that day they are those who have to open a new era of which stock will be taken in one year during the meeting that will take place in Tbilissi, Georgia (17 to 22 June 2018). Indeed Shalva Khetsuriani, president of the national association, unveiled the very full programme prepared for the delegates.

Canada and Japon are ready

About A.S.I.’s schedule, the dates of the next contests that will punctuate the life of the association and its members the world over have been set.

2018 will be a busy year with, besides the meeting in Georgia, two continental competitions. Montréal will welcome the contest of the Americas from May 28 to June 2nd and Michelle Mc Carthy gave a preview of the organization that will reveal who will succeed Paz Levinson crowned in Chile in spring 2015.

From October 14 to 18, Kyoto, Japan, will host the contest of the Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania. The programme has been presented by Saiko Tamura-Soga who underlined that her country–just like for the world contest in 2013–would not ask for the financial support of A.S.I. for their budget.

In 2019, a less exotic but sparkling and chocolatey destination, Antwerp in Belgium, a city known for its beers and the quality of the transformation of cocoa beans, will be the venue for the next world contest and its 60 competitors. William Wouters confirmed the dates: 10 to 15 March.

At last in April or November 2020 Cyprus and the sommeliers president George Kassianos will organize the A.S.I. contest of the Best Sommelier of Europe.

Half a century celebrated in France in 2019

Also to be noted that in 2019, France, unfortunate candidate in front of Belgium to the position of hosting country of the world contest, might get a consolation prize as they will organize, on June 3rd in Champagne, A.S.I.’s 50th anniversary. Philippe Faure-Brac and the French Union of Sommellerie will work hard to give the event its full dimension. Indeed it was in Reims in June 1969 that A.S.I. was created. A few months later in Brussels, French Armand Melkonian became the first Best Sommelier of the World in history.

Moreover Philippe Faure-Brac who has been confirmed in the position of treasurer took the time to present a particularly positive financial stoke. A situation that has much to do with Shinya Tasaki’s work along his seven years of presidency, as well as his predecessor Kazuyoshi Kogai.

News on all continents

Other elections also were on the agenda of these working days. The new vice-presidents who will be called upon to disseminate Andrés Rosberg’s action throughout their wide area of influence had to be chosen. Saiko Tamura-Soga (Japan) has been elected vice-president for Asia-Oceania after a vote that opposed her to Singaporean Tommy Lam (4 votes to 3); Chilean Ricardo Grellet, only candidate, became vice-president for the Americas. And finally the European duel between Markus Del Monego (Germany) and William Wouters (Belgium) was cut short. The Best Sommelier of the World 1998 withdrew his application in order to enable the international president to have at his sides a partner he supported. Markus Del Monego thus asserted his proximity to Serge Dub’s ideas.

The general meeting has also been the opportunity to integrate three new countries as full members: South Africa (president Higgo Jacobs), Mauritius (president Jérôme Faure) and Montenegro (president Zoran Avramovic).

At the same time Dominican Republic (president Pablo Diaz) has been welcomed as observer country whereas New Zealand will have to wait one more year as underlined by Jean Pallanca in charge of this commission.

But on the other hand the association of Andorra, remained silent for a long time, has been excluded whereas Ukraine has benefitted from a reprieve.


 Ricardo Grellet, Saiko Tamura-Soga, Samuil Angelov, Philippe Faure-Brac, Andres Rosberg, Michèle Aström Chantôme, Michelle McCarthy et William Wouters

Motivated partners

The technical committee whose mission is to organize the different competitions and who will soon have to meet due to the deadlines of 2018 will also change. Director Gérard Basset wished a broader international representation thus two Frenchmen Eric Duret (Best Sommelier of Europe) and Jean-Pascal Paubert (in charge of the logistics) will leave their seats to other professionals, whereas Serge Dubs accepted to continue his mission within the committee.

At last some partners present in Bordeaux have been invited to speak during the second day of the meeting and expressed their will to continue the adventure with A.S.I. : Vinexpo, Chef & Sommelier, Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d'Alsace, Austrian Wines and SommelierS International did. But they will have to wait a few months before they are informed of the new team’s intentions about the three-year agreements.

Jean Bernard