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Over 65 sommeliers compete for Best Sommelier in the World

Published:  20 September, 2018

Over 65 sommeliers from 62 countries will be competing for the title of Best Sommelier in the World in Antwerp, from 11th to 15th March 2019.

It will be the 50th year of the championship, which is the initiative of A.S.I. (Association de la Sommellerie Internationale/ International Sommelier Association), after the first competition took place in Brussels in 1969.

A total of 65 sommeliers will take part in the competition, which starts with the quarter-final on the 11th March and ends with the grand finale on 15th March.

Of the 62 countries, each will each present their most qualified candidate. This will include the three winners of the continental championships in Europe, Africa, Asia-Oceania and America. 

“Today the job involves much more than just pouring wine. Not only does a sommelier dispense a broad knowledge of the ever dynamic wine industry, but also other drinks such as beer, spirits, water, coffee, saké, etc,” said Belgian Sommeliers Union president William Wouters.

“They also need to have an eye for human interactions, have a broad social intelligence and need to deal with several economic criteria such as efficient management of supplies.”

Chairman of the A.S.I. Andres Rosberg from Argentina, said that while wine expertise and trade skills can be gained in specialised schools experience is learned in practice.

“This reality creates an obvious need for continued education, strengthened by personal experience, which is what A.S.I. allows sommeliers to accomplish by organising different activities,” he said.

Yesterday, Côtes du Rhône Wines announced it is to be a platinum level partner of the 50th World’s Best Sommelier Competition.

As part of the sponsorship, Côtes du Rhône Wines will work closely with the contestants throughout the four-day event competition. It will host a schedule of daily masterclasses and tastings, open to all delegates including journalists, members of the trade and the competing sommeliers.