You have to hand it to them

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODDRINKING -

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.

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