American Sommelier is revolutionizing the way the world thinks about wine. 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.
American Sommelier offers a comprehensive curriculum of wine education and provides a wide range of additional benefits to its members. The organization 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.
Andrew F Bell
Founder and President
One of the foremost wine educators in the country, Andrew F. Bell is a Co-Founder and President of American Sommelier. Since entering the industry in 1987, he has forged a distinguished career as a wine educator and businessman. Over the past 30 years, Bell has experienced all sectors of the wine industry and developed a profound understanding of the educational needs of both the consumer and service sides of the industry.
Andrew has been involved with many facets of the food and beverage industry. He began his career in San Francisco in 1987 and worked alongside famed hotelier and restaurateur Bill Kimpton at Splendido’s. As part of his experience there, he trained with Michael Bonaccorsi, forever impacting his outlook on wine. Bonaccorsi’s engaging and accessible teaching style combined with his extensive knowledge inspired Bell to move to France. While in France, he started a boutique wine shop Paris’ 6th Arrondissement; worked harvest in Arbois for renowned winemaker Frederic Lornet; and served as number two sommelier at Michelin three-star restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris.
Upon returning to his native New York in 1996, Andrew embarked on a journey to share his knowledge, passion and rapport with wine. He launched Wine Symphony, a wine consulting and import company in New York City, which he continues to oversee.
With a team of like-minded peers, Andrew Bell founded American Sommelier in 1998. Together they developed courses designed for wine enthusiasts, aficionados and industry professionals with the unique goal of sharing knowledge and enthusiasm for wine. Bell designed the American Sommelier Blind Tasting class in 2005 and continues to oversee the organization and create the curriculum for each class. In addition, Andrew teaches classes for each of the association’s courses and has led the production of the Best Sommelier in America competition since 2002.
Andrew Bell is a graduate of San Francisco State University; where he studied cognitive psychology. He has three children and lives in New York City. In his downtime, he enjoys photography and playing golf.