The newly established Bali Sommelier Association is aiming to achieve three things” make friends through wine-tasting events; gain more knowledge about wines; and introduce wine to the Balinese.
Launched on Sept. 24, the organization hopes to bring together sommeliers — wine stewards or anyone with responsibility for wines in a licensed outlet — and give them the chance to mingle, expand their networks and assist one another.
The idea for the association was put forward in August this year by several people, namely Putu Eka of the SIP Wine Bar; Kurniawan Eko Putro of the Metis; Sutama from the BlackPepper; Suartika from the Legian; Cok Bagus Senajaya from the Mozaic Ubud, and Olivia Said from the former Balimoon. The idea was then turned into reality by I Putu Eka Agusyasha, a former sommelier on a cruise liner, who is currently the sales manager for Zero Spirit.
With Bali’s rising number of tourists, they felt there was demand in both casual establishments to high-end venues for high-quality service and talented people to serve the best wines — either for enjoying alone or as an accompaniment to food.
The idea was raised during a gathering at Café Degan, where they were enjoying a wine tasting. On that day, everyone agreed that Bali needed a wine association.
The association plans to hold regular programs, such as wine tastings and wine dinners in several hotels as well as inviting experienced sommeliers to become advisors.
The organization also plans to have all their members certified via cooperation with international wine academies. This will help gain international credibility to improve services and share knowledge on wine at tourist events and colleges across Bali. (Jakarta Post)