From 11–15 March 2019 all eyes will be on Antwerp, where the prestigious world championship competition of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (A.S.I.) will be held. Sixty-five sommeliers from sixty-two countries will vie for the crown of the worldwide brotherhood/sisterhood of sommeliers/sommelières at the fiftieth anniversary edition of the sommelier Olympics. And who will be there leading the way? Wines from Austria.
International top sommeliers focus on Austrian wine As a longstanding partner of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale – of which the Austrian Sommelier Union has been a member since 1988 – the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) has been granted the unique opportunity to participate – along with Inter Rhône – as a platinum sponsor. This means that a wide range of Austrian wines from all of the winegrowing regions will be presented to the competing top sommeliers and the attending international journalists during the tournament from 11–15 March. At every lunch and every dinner – all the way up to the gala feast after
the grand finale – and at the conclusion of every day in the ‘bar des sommeliers’, as well as in two master classes for the sommeliers and members of the trade.
For five days, Austrian wines will be able to shine on the stage of the world’s finest sommeliers and before the avid eyes of international wine journalists – which is sure to heighten interest in the small wine-land and its great wines.
Return to Belgium after fifty years The A.S.I. was founded in 1969 with the objective of helping sommeliers all over the world to reach new levels of achievement in their profession. That same year, the very first Concours de Meilleur Sommelier du Monde was held in Brussels. Fifty years later, the sommelier world championship – held only once every three years – returns to Belgium, where the highly coveted title ‘A.S.I. Best Sommelier of the World’ will beconferred upon the victor.
Great media interest in the title match There will be sixty-five top-drawer international sommeliers competing, who must already have emerged victorious from elimination rounds in their own countries, in a five-day marathon of tastings. Among the contestants will be Austria’s top sommelier, who will be named on 5 November at the ‘Best Sommelier of Austria 2018’ competition. The world championship programme will feature several written tests of knowledge and blind tastings, as well as examinations in facets of wine service and awareness of the international wine market. At the finale on 15 March in Antwerp’s ‘Konigin Elizabethzaal’, the final three candidates must ultimately prove their capabilities in front of some 2,000 attendees.
( Excerpt from a press release)