Win­ing & din­ing in Soweto

Finweek English Edition - - INSIDE -

If there is one event that cap­tures the chang­ing eco­nomic make-up of

Soweto, it is the Soweto Wine and

Life­style Fes­ti­val, which was held at the Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg’s Soweto cam­pus re­cently.

The fes­ti­val, which ran from 6-8 Septem­ber, is now in its ninth year. It en­ables over 900 lo­cally pro­duced wines from es­tab­lished winer­ies, as well as some 14 black-owned winer­ies, to be show­cased and sold to wine lovers in Gaut­eng.

The Soweto Wine & Life­style Fes­ti­val was co-founded by Mar­i­lyn Cooper, CEO of the Cape Wine Acad­emy, and Mnikelo Mang­ci­phu, owner of Mo­rara Wine and Spirit Emporium in Soweto, where wine selec­tions ex­hib­ited at the fes­ti­val are stocked and sold to lo­cals.

“It’s been a big learn­ing curve. It was not a case of tak­ing the white cul­ture of wine tast­ing and bring­ing it into the town­ship,” says Cooper. “This is not a Euro­cen­tric event, in the town­ships peo­ple want mu­sic to add to the won­der­ful at­mos­phere and peo­ple are dressed to the nines for the event.”

Swal­low­ing ver­sus spit­ting is the big dif­fer­ence be­tween a wine fes­ti­val in black com­mu­ni­ties be­cause, de­spite spit­toons be­ing avail­able at the var­i­ous stands, the black cul­ture views this as an im­po­lite ges­ture, says Cooper.

So the wine that’s tasted is also of­ten swal­lowed. Drink­ing on an empty stom­ach can re­sult in peo­ple get­ting tipsy by the end of the evening. Tops at Spar took ini­tia­tive and in­tro­duced the DRYVER app so any­one feel­ing

Per­fect com­bi­na­tion: Wine fes­ti­val fans lis­ten in­tently at the free food and wine pair­ing classes demon­strated by MasterChef SA Judge, Pete Goffe-Wood, at the Neder­burg Taste Theatre.

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