Service Excellence: The Holy Grail of Sommelier Life

Service is ever at the heart of global sommellerie. As the gastronomical world begins its slow return to pre-pandemic normalcy, sommeliers across the globe are polishing their wine glasses and wine lists and preparing to resume their front-line tableside service.

A bit of mental transition is required. For much of the past year…..




Join ASI on March 15 (3:00 CET) via the Association de la Sommellerie’s Facebook page for a live panel discussion titled Service Excellence: a celebration of the spirit of Gérard Basset and the ASI Diploma and its holders, hosted by Liora Levi. In the spirit of Gérard, a legend not only for his wine knowledge but for his charisma and innovative ways of thinking we celebrate sommeliers that go to great lengths to achieve the highest standards in our industry. Our panelists will include Serge Dubs, the winner of the first annual ASI Gérard Basset Lifetime Achievement Award, ASI Gold Sommelier Piotr Pietras (Master Sommelier) from Poland, ASI Gold Sommelier Derek Li from Hong Kong, ASI Silver Sommelier María Laura Ortiz from Argentina, Michèle Chantôme (ASI Ambassador), and special guests Nina Basset, Sébastien Lézier (Ligne W & Château Laguiole) and Aris Allouche (Sommeliers International).




ASI Congratulates Serge Dubs – Recipient of the first annual ASI Gérard Basset Lifetime Achievement Award


The recipient of the first annual ASI Gérard Basset Lifetime Achievement Award, Mr. Serge Dubs has seemingly done it all throughout his illustrious career, including ASI Best Sommelier of the World (1989), Best Sommelier of Europe (1988), Best Sommelier of France (1983) and Master of Port (1988). Yet, even after 43 years of service at the famed Michelin-starred Auberge de L’Ill in Illhaeusern restaurant in Alsace, France, the head sommelier is the first to admit that “I was overwhelmed upon hearing the news. With emotions, and happiness, and honor. I’ve never felt anything like that in my entire career before.”

Following the announcement, ASI had a chance to sit down with Mr. Dubs and ask him a few questions about his views of the sommellerie, his time with Gérard Basset, and both his advice and hopes for the generation of sommeliers to come.






An Interview with Michèle Chantôme, ASI Ambassador 


ASI: You are lovingly referred to by many as the ‘godmother of sommeliers.’ Tell us a bit about your connection to the association and why you are such a passionate and long-term supporter of the sommellerie?

Michèle: For a long time, I was nicknamed the ‘godmother of sommeliers’, then, with age, the ‘mother of sommeliers.’ My love affair with the sommelier profession began in the 1960s when I was in contact with teachers from hospitality schools with whom I used to organize competitions as part of my PR activities for Cognac and Champagne houses……





Marc Almert, ASI 2019 Best Sommelier of the World



What Does It Take To Be a Great Somm?


We asked:
1) Marc Almert, 2019 Best Sommelier of the World
2) Valeria Gampar, 2019 Best Sommelier of Argentina
3) Delores Malin, 2019 Best Sommelier of Mauritius





Somms in the news




For May’s webinar Legacy of Family, ASI is seeking input from members on all continents.
The transference of companies from parent to children is increasingly complex. We want to talk to restaurateurs, wineries and other businesses about how they maintain legacy traditions in the modern age.

Do you know a somm, or are you a somm and part of a family of restauranteurs who have been in the trade for more than one generation? We would love to connect with you either for our webinar or as part of the ASI newsletter. Please send an email with your story to before March 17.





School of Port

Developed by Symington Family Estates, School of Port is a digital platform that provides education and training for wine professionals and wine lovers to learn more about port and the Douro region. The first training module – The Essentials – was launched in July 2020 and consists of a bespoke workshop delivered by a professional port educator for people working in distributors, retailers, and bars/restaurants. Over 700 wine professionals from around the world have taken the online workshop since then.

To meet the demand and make its training more accessible, School of Port is developing an online video course for The Essentials module, which people can take in their own time. The video course will soon be available on the School of Port website. In the meantime, requests for the workshop can be made via




Maison Champy certified as ‘French Living Heritage’

AdVini is proud to announce that Maison Champy has joined the highly elite circle of companies certified FRENCH LIVING HERITAGE. This exclusive distinction is given by the French government in recognition of exceptional industrial know-how and excellent craftmanship.

Founded in 1720 and located in the heart of Beaune, Maison Champy is the oldest wine company in Burgundy. Acknowledged for the quality of its Grands Crus wines and owner of 21 ha of vines in the Côte de Beaune, Maison Champy is a bridge between tradition and modernity. Today’s winery is a proof of this living heritage as wines are still vinified, aged and bottled in 15th century cellars.

To learn more about Maison Champy, please enjoy this video on YouTube:






Vinventions launching new Nomacorc Blue Line

Vinventions is fully vested in sustainability. The zero carbon footprint Nomacorc Green Line range sells more than 1 billion units annually, helping reduce wine waste through taint-free, engineered & sustainable closure solutions for the wine industry.

2021 marks the introduction of the next step: Nomacorc Blue Line. Blue Line is the world’s first wine closure to use recycled post-consumer mixed plastic packaging as a raw material and will be especially appealing for customers who are engaged in the circular economy.

Likewise, SÜBR production capacity is being ramped up to keep pace with the increasing demand from premium wineries looking for more sustainable wine corks. SÜBR is the world’s first recyclable, polyurethane-free and cork-taint free micro-natural closure. SÜBR is the result of our redesigning of micro-agglomerated corks by replacing polyurethane glue from the closure by a biodegradable binder.

For these and many more innovations projects that take renew, reduce & recycle as sustainability guidelines, please visit the website for an in-depth explanation.