As one of the main sponsors of MasterChef SA, Nederburg brand owner Distell has appointed the recently-formed South African Sommelier Association to develop a 50 hour programme that will enhance the wine knowledge of the MasterChef South Africa winner. This MasterChef prize is valued at R100 000, monies which will go to developing the Sommeliers Association
Neil Grant, the Chairman of the South African Sommeliers Association, and co-owner of Burrata, said that he met with Distell, and they brainstormed what the winner of MasterChef should know about wines, to complement his/her food knowledge. As they do not know who has won, they can only finalise the exact course outline once the MasterChef South Africa winner is announced on 17 July. The Wine education course will introduce the winner to the wine regions in the Winelands, and to the wineries of the region. The winner will meet some of the winemakers, will be taken to eat at Eat Out Top 10 restaurants, will meet other sommeliers, will do sparkling wine tastings, will be taught how to open a bottle of wine and sparkling wine, and how to pour them. The Sommeliers Association will also be available to the Masterchef South Africa winner on a consultative basis.
Neil will be supported in presenting the wine course for the MasterChef South Africa winner by his fellow Sommeliers Association committee members of Miguel Chan of Southern Sun, Jörg Pfùtzner of Fine Wine Events, Mia Mârtensson of The Winery of Good Hope, and Francis Krone of The Saxon. Nederburg will provide a year’s supply of its Winemaster’s Reserve, and its winemaker Razvan Macici will conduct masterclasses with the MasterChef South Africa winner.
The South African Sommeliers Association was established in 2010 to help uplift and promote the service of wine, and its mission is “To promote a culture of fine wine, food and service excellence in Southern Africa”. The Association will offer training and mentorships to grow the professional standards. It represents the profession in this country, and liaises with similar associations internationally. It will accredit sommeliers educated and trained by the association, promote the Sommelier profession, offer a platform for information exchange, and encourage an interest in the ‘culture of fine wine, food and service excellence’, writes Sommelier Miguel Chan on his blog. The Executive Committee also includes Higgo Jacobs and Kent Scheermeyer.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage