The winners of the 2018 Diners Club Winelist Awards were announced at events in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Southern/Eastern Cape, and the Western Cape this past week. The awards recognise wine lists with good selections, interesting descriptions, and a clear love for wine.
The awards’ categories and competition requirements are in line with global market trends and Diners Club’s contribution towards service excellence in the hospitality and tourism industries.
2018 Diners Club ICON Award - The Saxon Hotel Villas & Spa
In addition to the usual diamond, platinum, gold, and silver awards, the 2018 awards saw the introduction of a new category - the Icon award. Restaurants could achieve this award if they met all the requirements of a diamond list and in addition, their list carried an extensive international selection; excellent wines in multiple categories as well as an impressive reserve or vintage selection; a deep interest in wine curation; and a sommelier on the floor by default.
Two Icon awards, 41 diamond, 157 platinum, 43 gold, and one silver award were presented at the 2018 awards ceremonies. The Icon awards went to Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria and The Saxon Hotel Villas & Spa in Johannesburg, while awards for best diamond list went to Epicure Restaurant in Johannesburg, best gold to Rissington Inn in Hazyview, and best platinum to newcomer Mink & Trout in Cape Town.
2018 Diners Club ICON Award - Restaurant Mosaic
This year’s judges included restaurant and wine experts, reviewers, media members, and chefs. The judges were Diners Club Winelist Awards’ head judge Jean-Pierre Rossouw, Pete Goffe-Wood, Jenny Cryws-Williams, Karen Visser, Georgina Crouth, Pearl Oliver, and James Mukosi.
“Our Diners Club Winelist Awards panel of judges represents a unique mix of talents and voices in today’s food and wine industry. We aim to give all participating restaurants a fair shot at winning one of the most prized awards in the industry – it’s no longer the size of the list that is the most important, but the personality of the list as well as those where the list matches the style of the establishment. The eclectic knowledge of the panel contributed immensely to identifying these lists,” says JP Rossouw.
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