The annual Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award competition has announced the four finalists for the 2011 competition. The final round of judging will take place on 21 October 2011 at The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa and the winner and runner-up will be announced on 11 November at The Royal Hotel, Riebeek Kasteel.
Joakim Hansi Blackadder serving a patron.
- Josephine Gutentoft - Sommelier at Grande Roche Hotel and Restaurant, Paarl
- Wayve Kolevsohn - Restaurant Manager / Sommelier at Le Quartier Francais, Franschhoek
- Francis Krone - Sommelier at Saxon Boutique Hotel, Johannesburg
- Joakim Hansi Blackadder - GM / Sommelier at The Roundhouse Restaurant, Camps Bay
The competition is a joint initiative between Michael Fridjhon (importer of Riedel Glassware) and Vinimark The Wine Company (importer of Champagne Bollinger) to bring focus and recognition of achievement to the growing group of professional wine waiters in South Africa.
The recently formed South African Sommelier Association (SASA) is fully behind the award and some of its members will be judges at the competition. The association aims to provide training and mentorship to guarantee the continuous development of professional standards of wine service at the highest level.Judges
- Mia Mårtensson, chairperson - Swedish-trained sommelier and current sales manager of the Winery of Good Hope.
- Kent Scheermeyer - German-trained sommelier and founder of KSconsult, which services the hospitality industry in wine procurement, wine list design and training.
- Neil Grant - chairman of SASA and sommelier at Rust en Vrede Restaurant, Stellenbosch.
- Ginette de Fleuriot CWM - organiser of award and on-consumption business development manager at Vinimark The Wine Company
The finalists will be judged on wine and food service and will be tested on any number of the following:
- wine styles and terminology
- wine label information
- wine regulations
- regions of origin
- major international wine regions and their wines
- identifying wines in a blind tasting
- service techniques
- food and wine pairing
- wine storage
- social skills and ability to interact with the patron
The winner will receive a trip to the house of Bollinger Champagne in France including airfare and accommodation in France. The runner-up will win two nights' accommodation and breakfast for two, at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Camps Bay.