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ASI Certification

Exceptional mobilization in France

Eight candidates sat the tests in Paris. A very first that shows the interest of the professionals for this diploma that already has an international reputation.

Les huit candidats réunis autour de Fabrice Sommier, directeur des concours de l’UDSF.

Six years after the creation of the International ASI Sommelier Diploma, France has, for the first time, registered a significant number of candidates. In total they were eight, among them a Japanese working in Paris and an English-speaking Canadian from Bordeaux, to come and try to pass this diploma that, to date, only six French managed to obtain.

Seika Hosokawa (Royal Monceau in Paris) and Leagh Barkley (Le Chapon Fin in Bordeaux) sat for the first part of the examination beside Eric Goettelmann (Relais Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu), Claude Isambert (Divellec in Paris), Christophe Martin (Hotel School of La Rochelle), Alexandre Morin (sommelier consultant in Bordeaux), Bruno Scavo (Société des Bains de Mer in Monaco) and Denis Verneau (La Mère Brazier in Lyon). For all of them the exam started with written tests consisting of a commented tasting of a white wine (Chablis 2017, Cuvée Saint-Martin, Domaine Laroche) and a red wine (Juliénas 2014, Château des Capitans by Georges Dubœuf). Five spirits were then presented for identification. All produced by Louis Roques, they consisted of an apple, a juniper and a hazelnut liqueur, an old Souillac plum eau-de-vie and a walnut liqueur. At last a very dense and logically international focused questionnaire complemented the first stage that made travel worldwide and underlined how difficult this certification is.

The practical skills assessed by UDSF

Two practical workshops closed the morning. The first one, in English for the French and in French for both foreigners, dealt with techniques and sales. The candidates had to start with the decanting and service of a Bordeaux wine, followed by the presentation of the wine in itself and of the appellation of Puisseguin Saint-Emilion it stemmed from. And above all, they had to imagine a menu in pairing with the wine and to explain their choice of dishes.

The same wine was used for the following workshop. Served over a country terrine, the sommeliers had to evoke the quality of the pairing and, if necessary according to them, to propose a different one.

The wine tasting, the spirit identification and the workshops were assessed by UDSF members gathered by Fabrice Sommier, but the questionnaires have been sent the day after to Italy to be corrected by a team headed by Giuseppe Vaccarini (Best Sommelier of the World 1978). The total amount of the marks will determine if the candidates have passed the diploma.

Jean Bernard