NASA (North American Sommelier Association) is a 2010 founded non-profit organization and a key member of the WSA (Worldwide Sommelier Association – the biggest umbrella Sommelier association in the world), directly affiliated and partnered with the Italian Sommelier Association (AIS – Associazione Italiana Sommelier). NASA was born out of the ‘AIS California’, originally founded in Los Angeles by Professional Sommelier Alessandro Sbrendola (Valentino, L’Orangerie, Bartolotta) in 2006.
As a member of the WSA, NASA exclusively utilizes the renowned and worldwide acclaimed AIS/WSA curriculum, providing internationally recognized & awarded education, consulting services, industry services, event creation, professional qualifications and the resale of a wide array of products and literature exclusive to NASA in the North American territory. This signifies that certifications emitted by the North American Sommelier Association are recognized throughout the globe, where the WSA is present (North America, Caribbean, Japan, Russia, Denmark, San Marino, Scandinavia, Belgium, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom & Romania). Moreover, with few exceptions, NASA possesses its own trademarked course materials, books and handouts for all its courses.
We exclusively teach the AIS/WSA 3-phase Certified Sommelier course (Silver pin), plus the extra levels of ‘Master Taster’ and ‘Master of Service’ (Gold pin), equivalent to “advanced” levels with all other educational organizations.
The North American Sommelier Association differentiates itself by concentrating on intensive and in-depth class time, with courses and certifications that offer more actual lectures & classroom time than any other association in North America. Focused on “educating” rather than “examining”, NASA also distinguishes itself with an exciting, upbeat, hip and intensive associative life, continuously offering seminars, master classes, events, dinners, networking mixers and educational symposiums to its members throughout the year and across its chapters.
NASA’s curriculum, training, experience and heritage embraces the entire world of wine as any Sommelier association should, but prides itself as the highest qualified and quality educator in Italian wine thanks to its close partnership with the Italian Sommelier Association overseas. With an exclusive trademarked diploma of ‘Italian Wine Specialist’ that has achieved remarkable popularity amongst both industry professionals and amateur wine lovers, NASA stands to establish itself as a leading educational & networking entity in the North American wine community.
Globally, NASA is part of the WSA, ‘World Sommelier Association’, the biggest umbrella Sommelier Association in the world, participating at the WSA’s international ‘Best Sommelier’ competition, held in different countries throughout the world on a bi-yearly basis. This cosmopolitan character of our association provides our students and members with international opportunities, contacts and exchanges.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, NASA has 9 chapters and counting throughout the United States and Canada. New chapters are constantly opening and we welcome new members no matter where they are based.
The aim of the association, according to the official charter, is:
“…to qualify the character and the profession of the Sommelier and to add value to the culture of the wine within the world of food & beverage as a whole, not limited to restaurants and hotels only. It therefore will carry out every activity from communication activities to the organization of events, training of personnel and consulting. The Association is of cultural, didactic, and editorial character, for promoting the knowledge and consumption of wine and all alcoholic beverages, with a strong emphasis on food pairing based on proper chemical and stylistic matching, in order to heighten the quality of gastronomy appreciation for all, taking direct care of the professional preparation of sommeliers and wine industry staff”.
We do not discriminate. We strongly believe in the social & jovial aspects of wine since it’s most ancient inception and we believe the wine & spirits industry is changing, requiring a broader and more upbeat outlook to the profession of Sommelier and the preparation of wine enthusiasts and professionals alike. No matter what walk of life or branch of the industry, we stand to train, educate and promote our members and their endeavors.