Oooh – i love good wine, and am very excited that The Sommeliers Selection wine tasting is coming to Johannesburg for the first time in November with a tasting also scheduled in Pretoria.

It is the first South African wine competition judged solely by a panel of South Africa’s top sommeliers, in categories fashioned around those perfect for a restaurant wine list.

More than 100 wines were entered into the contest which was held in Cape Town earlier this year. Winning wines to be tasted at the Gauteng tastings come from more than 30 top South African wine estates and include Creation’s 2016 African Reserve Penguin Pinot Noir Rosé, Paul Cluver’s Close Encounter Riesling 2015 and the Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz 2013. Some beer will also be offered at the tasting.

The tastings will be 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

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 (http://www.webtickets.co.za/events/wine-festivals/sommeliers-selection-wine-tasting/) or at the door. This gives guests entry and free tastings of all the participating wineries.

Go to:

  • Internet: thesommeliersselection.co.za
  • Internet: www.webtickets.co.za/events/wine-festivals/sommeliers-selection-wine-tasting
  • Facebook: www.facebook.com/Sommeliersselection
  • Twitter: @SommeliersS
Tags: , , ,

Related Article


Leave a Comment