Johannesburgers and Pretorians will be able to taste the winning wines from this year’s Sommeliers Selection. The wine tastings will be held on Wednesday 2nd November in Pretoria and Thursday the 3rd of November in Johannesburg. What makes the Sommeliers Selection different to other wine competitions is that wines (this year, over 100) are entered into categories suited to a wine list or a sommelier’s suggestion to a guest.
Says Ann Ferreira, one of the organisers of The Sommeliers Selection: “It is different from any other local competition in that not only is it judged solely by sommeliers all associated to the South African Sommeliers Association (SASA), but in its judging format. Wines are entered not in classes such as Chardonnay and Bordeaux Blend but in categories such as ‘White, Fresh and Crunchy’ and ‘Red, Rich and Voluptuous’. This means a wine that sells for R20 can stand alongside a wine that sells for R150 within the same category. The aim is to create an ‘ideal’ wine list as judged by the panel of sommeliers. The wines also pair well with food and are deemed exciting enough to fit an ‘ultimate’ wine list.”
The Sommeliers Selection competition chairman and current chairman of SASA, Higgo Jacobs, says: “The winners are wines that the judges felt were good representations within their style classes. They will be useful in culinary pairing and offer competitive value against other contenders. The tasting and selection process is very similar to constructing a wine list for an establishment.”
Higgo’s team of fellow sommeliers and judges included Ewan Mackenzie (Roving Sommelier & The Wine Thief); Greg Mutambe (sommelier, The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa); Kimi Blackadder (sommelier, The Hoghouse Brewery Co and committee member of SASA); Marlvin Gwese (sommelier, The Cape Grace); Neil Grant (owner of Open Door, Bocca and Burrata restaurants and committee member of SASA); Pearl Oliver (sommelier, The Taj Hotel); Spencer Fondaumiere (sommelier and manager Buratta Restaurant) and Tinashe Nyamudok (sommelier, The Test Kitchen). Ferreira says that the organisers are hoping to include sommeliers from around the country in the judging process next year.
Tickets cost R50 per person and are available through webtickets or at the door. This gives guests entry and free tastings of all the participating wineries. Tastings are taking place on:
- Wednesday, November 2, at Priva Lounge, Ritrovo, 103 Club Avenue, Waterkloof Heights, Pretoria from 15.00 to 18.00
- Thursday November 3 at Gallery MOMO, 52 Seventh Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg from 16.00 – 20.00