Eighteen of the top sommeliers in the Western Hemisphere, selected from member nations of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI), are competing in Santiago, Chile today and for the next two days. They started yesterday morning showing off their wine and beverage knowledge, flashing their wit at the service tables while balancing full stems of Champagne, racing from table to table, and blind tasting wines and spirits from around the world. When the day was done, twelve were dismissed and six are still standing, including the two U.S. competitors, Dustin Chabert of Chicago and Mark Guillaudeu of Oakland, CA.
Both are skilled and experienced sommeliers who passed through grueling tests in the U.S. over the last six months to be selected to represent America's finest professional sommeliers. They will continue their quest for the Top Sommelier in the Western Hemisphere tomorrow and Saturday. The rules of the competition are that they must compete in a language not their own, and each is competing in French.
Tomorrow they will face off against one Canadian sommelier, one from Brazil and two from Argentina. The finals on Saturday can be viewed in real time on the ASI YouTube channel on the 19th of February from 7pm CET onwards. The link for the live stream: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Dqga_9SSPOk