The Sommelier Competition will be hosted biennially, and is open to members of the Sommelier Association who have at least one year wine service experience. The local winner will represent our country in the Best Sommelier of the World competition in Mendoza in Argentina in April 2016, and must be a South African citizen, and have worked in wine service for three years. A tough requirement is that the local representative must participate in the competition in a language recognised by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale that is not is/her home language.
The international Sommelier Competition is held every three years, and next year a total of 56 sommeliers will compete for the title of ‘Best Sommelier of the World‘.
Neil Grant, Chairman of the local Sommelier Association, said about the new competition: ‘As an organisation intent on raising the standard of beverage service in the local hospitality industry, SASA is delighted to launch the Best Sommelier of South Africa Competition. The intention is to test the art of the sommelier, not just wine knowledge or the ability to recognise a wine when tasted blind, but the ability to engage the client, the technicality of the service, the knowledge of all beverages, and food and wine pairing.’
The first event of the Sommelier Competition will be held at the Taj Cape Town on 11 January. The panel of judges includes Deputy General Secretary of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale and the President of the Sommeliers of Morocco, Michele Chantome; Best Sommelier of Sweden 1986, Hans Astrom; and Neil Grant. The Best Sommelier of the World 2010, Gerard Basset MW, will set some of the questions.
Sponsors of the Sommelier Competition include Veuve Clicquot, Nederburg, Reciprocal Trading, Riedel Glassware, and Taj Cape Town.
South African Sommelier Association, www.sommeliers.org.za Apply to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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