American Sommelier Maine

Committed to empowering both the consumer and professional to make informed and intelligent choices, the organization serves as a forum where all wine lovers may gather to speak as equals.  The organization has been headquartered in New York City since 1998.

Newly established in Portland, American Sommelier is bringing high quality education to the industry professionals and curious consumers of Maine through seminars, full length courses, and intensive programs.

American Sommelier offers a wide range of additional benefits to members of the organization.  Each chapter hosts seminars, tastings, and networking opportunities to enhance knowledge and skills and to promote a vibrant wine community.  Since 1998, American Sommelier has hosted the biennial “Best Sommelier in America” competition that recognizes excellence in the wine service industry.

The organization creates custom experiential and advisory services for individuals, groups, and corporations both in and out of the hospitality industry.  From cellar consultation and wine list development to job placement and insider wine journeys, American Sommelier’s mission remains the same: to cultivate awareness, understanding, and appreciation for wine.


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Wine Classes

Knowledge makes the difference between you and the other candidates applying for the job.  While formal wine classes, sommelier certification, or other training programs are typically not required when applying for a job, wine courses on your resume may demonstrate a commitment to learning and excelling in your trade.  Most importantly, the right wine education program will give you the knowledge you need to impress an employer and get the job you want.

There are limited scholarships and payment plans available, at the discretion of American Sommelier Maine. Contact us today for more information. 


As a Consumer, Why Study Wine?

Think of the liquid in your glass as the tip of an incredibly fascinating iceberg.  Peek below the surface and you’ll find a vast, rich, multi-faceted discipline that encompasses everything from history to chemistry to geology, economics, sociology and beyond.  Wine is an art.  It’s a science.  It’s a mosaic of people and cultures, and it’s a direct connection to the earth we live on.

Knowledge of wine is a skill that can be leveraged.  Confidently navigate the wine list to impress your boss and clients.  Speak the language of the sommelier and wine retailer and rest assured that you’ll walk away with the wine you wanted.

Wine brings interesting and interested people together from all walks of life.  It is something to share, enjoy and appreciate as a community.

Next time you take a sip, think about this—study wine, study the world around you.

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Becoming A Sommelier

A strong knowledge of wine is crucial to the success of any aspiring sommelier, beverage manager or wine director.  The best wine professionals are intimately familiar with how grapes are grown in the vineyard and how wine is made in the winery.  They can tell you in detail about the soil, climate and geography of the major and minor grape-growing regions of the world.  They can tell you which grape varieties thrive in which region and how industry laws vary from country to country.  Most importantly, they know how each of these factors impact the final product and how to anticipate what a specific wine will taste like based on a few key pieces of information.  A strong knowledge of wine will help a sommelier serve his or her customer better, which is the ultimate end game.

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 Photo by  erin little

Photo by erin little

Chris Peterman, Founder & Director, ASA Maine

Chris was born and raised just outside of Philadelphia, spending his childhood summers on the coast of Maine.  His first experience working in restaurants was at a small, seasonal, coastal Maine restaurant where Chris returned every summer for 10 years.

After graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 2003, Chris moved to the Maine coast full time before moving to New York City in 2008.  In Manhattan, Chris enrolled in the education program offered by American Sommelier.  He successfully completed both the Viticulture & Vinification and Blind Tasting Courses, before being offered a position on the Faculty.  While in New York, Chris held positions as General Manager & Wine Director at Ouest, followed by Wine Director and Head Sommelier at Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s OTTO.  Upon moving back to Portland, Maine Chris was involved in the opening of Central Provisions and most recently was the Director of Operations for Cara Stadler's restaurant group which includes Tao Yuan Restaurant in Brunswick, ME and Bao Bao Dumpling House in Portland, ME.