Looking for wine education and professionalism? Ask the sommeliers of AIS Lombardy
More than 7000 members, a complete training offer with more than 4500 people wine lovers and trade professionals attending one of the 55 courses (level 1, 2 and 3) organized by one of the 11 provincial delegations only in 2018. And then a great number of events all the year round, including themed evenings with food and wine tastings, based in the dynamic and vital city of Milan, en riching a training offer that is rather unique in the Italian world of wine.
We are talking about the Italian Association of Sommeliers (AIS) of Lombardy, the biggest regional group among AIS. “These great numbers make us very much proud because they demonstrate the love this region has for wine and the good work we have been doing during these years”, explains Hosam Eldin Abou Eleyoun, the new president of AIS Lombardy since July 2018, with his twenty year career within AIS at the head of the largest Italian delegation, the Milanese delegation. “These are important numbers that encourage us to do better”. The desire to become a sommelier, the final stage after attending a three level course and taking the final exam both written and oral, including a wine tasting doesn’t seem to be in crisis, on the contrary, it appears to get more popular every year.
«Undoubtedly, there is a great interest in wine. Our achievements are not fortuitous; they are the result of many little pieces we have put together day after day. The Expo in Milan in 2015, for example, where the sommeliers from Lombardy were the protagonists in the Lombardy pavilion, certainly brought us prestige and visibility. We were well prepared for it and that success made us even more enthusiastic for the future”. Behind these results, there is a lot of work, which is appreciated by many professionals who approach AIS in order to train their staff in a professional and qualified way. “Many organizations contact us to train their sommeliers to work in wine shops, hotels or restaurants explains Hosam Eldin in those places where wine, spirits, beers, oil, blends and even cigars, require a fully trained staff”. Moreover, nowadays the AIS sommeliers can be found in supermarkets and in wineries as well. “Besides, who else would be able to welcome the wine tourists visiting our wineries better than one of our sommeliers?”.
AIS Lombardy publishes a biannual magazine that is sent to all members, and a guide, Viniplus di Lombardia, with a lot of contributions from a large group of tasters: it is available both online (www. viniplus.wine) and in the printed edition, and it is distributed to 800 restaurants throughout Lombardy: “We are very fond of our job; we put a lot of passion, research and expertise into it”, says Hosam Eldin. “The fact that many restaurants in Lombardy are now choosing to include our regional wines in their wine lists gives us a greater impulse to pursue our mission of spreading knowledge”.
For more info on Ais Lombardy click here