Wining & dining in Soweto
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.