Three finalists announced for the Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service award.




1. Cashias Gumbo, Sommelier at La Colombe Restaurant in Constantia, Western Cape;
2. Angie Langlands, Sommelier at The Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu Natal;
3. Gareth Ferreira, Sommelier at the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa in Johannesburg, Gauteng;
4. Judges at the 2014 Semi-Finals: Neil Grant, Sommelier and Co-owner of Burrata Restaurant and Chairperson of the South African Sommelier Association, Ginette de Fleuriot (CWM), Vinimark Marketing Manager and Higgo Jacobs, Sommelier and Consultant;
5. Bollinger Champagne, main sponsor of the Award.


The 2014 Semi-Finals took place on 18th August 2014 at Catharina’s Restaurant at Steenberg Estate in Constantia. The seven Semi-Finalists were judged by Neil Grant, Sommelier and Co-owner of Burrata Restaurant and Chairperson of the South African Sommelier Association, Higgo Jacobs, Sommelier and Consultant, and Ginette de Fleuriot (CWM), Vinimark Marketing Manager. The Semi-Finals included a blind tasting of two wines and a service component which focussed on food and wine pairings and service skills in a mock restaurant setting.

On Monday 6th October the three Finalists will meet at Ellerman House in Bantry Bay to compete against each other for the Riedel Glass Trophy, and a trip to France to visit the Bollinger House of Champagne, including airfare and accommodation.

Organiser of the Award, Ginette de Fleuriot CWM, is very impressed with the high calibre of the 2014 Finalists, “This is the fourth year that we are staging this competition, and each year, it’s most gratifying to see such exceptional young sommeliers coming to the fore. The Final will no doubt be a fiercely competitive contest for this prestigious Award!”

The Finals will be a testing day of written exams, blind tastings and a practical assessment. They will be judged on a wide spectrum of wine and food service and will be tested on any number of the following:

wine styles and terminology
wine label information
wine regulations and 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

Judges at all rounds of the annual competition include internationally trained sommeliers, Cape Wine Masters, and members of the hospitality trade.

The South African Sommelier Association (SASA) is fully behind The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award and some of its members are judges at the Semi-Finals and the Finals. The Association aims to provide training and mentorship to guarantee the continuous development of professional standards of wine service at the highest level.

For further details, visit the official website: www.wineserviceaward.co.za

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