You have to hand it to them
THE RISE and rise of local sommeliers has been a notable feature of the wine world this year.
As local and international visitors demand service from stewards who are knowledgeable about both Cape and global wines, standards of education are rising to keep pace, with qualified sommeliers much in demand at five- star hotels and restaurants.
Three contests featuring wine service and know-how took place in South Africa this year. Just as spring arrived at the Cape, the grande finale of the Interhotels Challenge, brainchild of Annette Kesler of Showcook. com, took place at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands. Along with the winning chefs, steward Tinashe Nyamudoka of the One&Only hotel took top honours, a decision so popular that the cheers seemed set to lift the roof. He will enjoy a working trip to one of Switzerland’s top restaurants in the new year.
The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2013 results were announced during the following month at a bubbly event at the Waterfront. Kayetan Meissner, sommelier at Bosman’s restaurant at the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl, won the Riedel glass trophy and a trip to France, which will include a stop at the Champagne House of Bollinger.
The renowned gastronomic association Chaine des Rotisseurs hosted an international competition for young sommeliers this year, with Xolani Mancotywa, then working at the Saxon Hotel in Joburg, winning the regional final.
At the international finals held in Washington, US, in October, Mancotywa came fourth.
He was also a finalist in the Bollinger Service Award and now works as a sommelier in Dubai.
SOMMELIER HONOURS: Kayetan Meissner won the 2013 Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award.