It’s that time of year again folks – The Diners Club Winelist Awards have been honouring the best wine lists in the country for over two decades.
And this year is no different. 225 restaurants from the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng submitted wine lists for judging by a select panel led by Publisher of the Platter’s by Diners Club Wine Guide and convenor of the Winelist awards panel, Jean-Pierre Rossouw.
“This year we tightened the standards and set expectations higher – so kudos to the restaurants that rose to the challenge,” says Rossouw. “The Diamond award is becoming a more and more prestigious achievement and we congratulate the entrants that offer diners high quality winelists.”
Diners Club has a long history of supporting the wine industry. The response to this annual competition confirms the high standard of restaurants around the country and the significant choice our cardholders have when it comes to eating out. The Diners Club Winelist awards are a benchmark for excellence in the restaurant industry.
21 Kwa Zulu Natal restaurants were recognised this year, and awards were presented in Gold, Platinum and Diamond categories.
Seven restaurants received Diamond awards; 11 Platinum awards were presented, as well as three Golds.
‘We are delighted with our Award, enthused General Manager John de Canha “The essence of the Beverly Hills lies in culinary excellence, and this Diamond Award endorses the high standard set by Tsogo Sun. Our unique offering of rare auction wines, certainly enhance our Wine list. We look to welcoming our guests to experience for themselves.”
Below: Dustin Scott (Diners, KZN) and Nomande Dlamini (Beverly Hills)
Elaborating on the judging, JP Rossouw says: “As the premium Award, we expected Diamond lists to carry correct vintages throughout as well as offer diners a good selection of interesting wines in all styles. We also required reserve and international wines to be present on the list. As ever, good wine descriptions, or the presence of a sommelier, was vital.”
In addition to convenor, JP Rossouw, the judging panel comprised leading wine industry experts and media, including Neil Grant, Jenny Crwys-Williams, Roxan Waldeck, Tinashe Nyamudoka, Pete Goffe-Wood and Karen Visser.
The winners are as follows:
The Oyster Box Hotel – Best Diamond KZN
Beverly Hills Hotel
Big Easy Durban by Ernie Els
Granny Mouse Country House & Spa
The View Boutique Hotel & Spa
Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa
9th Avenue Bistro
Casa Bella – Ballito
Casa Bella – Pearl Walk
The Gorge Private Game Lodge & Spa
The Hussar Grill – Gateway
The Hussar Grill – Kloof
Three Trees at Spioenkop
Turn n Tender – Ballito
Cargo Hold on the Promenade
Col’Cacchio Pizzeria – Gateway
La Vitae Restaurant