Entries open for the first round BOLLINGER EXCEPTIONAL WINE SERVICE AWARD competition 2015

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Entries now open for the first round of the 2015 competition

Entries for the First Round of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2015 are now open and candidates are urged to enter soon as entries close on the 31st May 2015. See below for entry details.

The high standards attained by previous winners, Gareth Ferreira in 2014, Kayetan Meissner in 2013, Wayve Kolevsohn in 2012 and Joakim Hansi Blackadder in 2011, have set the benchmark for aspirant sommeliers. As with the previous competitions, the winner of the 2015 competition will be announced in October 2015 and awarded the Riedel Glass Trophy and a trip to France including a visit to the prestigious House of Champagne Bollinger.

This annual competition, which is aimed at enhancing and recognising the calibre of local sommeliers and wine service staff, was launched in 2011 and has proved to be a resounding success. Ginette de Fleuriot, Marketing Manager at Vinimark The Wine Company and organiser of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award anticipates more entries this year, “We look forward to an increased number of entrants for The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2015 and to wider representation from all of South Africa’s premier tourist regions.”

Champagne Bollinger is proud to be the main sponsor of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award. The competition is a joint initiative between Vinimark The Wine Company (importer of Champagne Bollinger and South Africa’s largest independent specialist wine wholesaling company), and The Reciprocal Wine Trading Company, importers and distributors of Riedel Glassware.

Ginette de Fleuriot comments further, “This industry-wide initiative was established to advance the interests of all of the country’s fine wine producers, as well as those who make their living from the sale of wine in hotels, restaurants and wine bars. The sponsors and organisers trust that this competition will continue to act as a catalyst for the hospitality industry to expand training facilities and support local sommeliers and sommeliers-in-training, in the interests of all those who enjoy dining out.”

Neil Grant, Chairman of the South African Sommelier Association (SASA), states: “Wine service has a poor history in South Africa and only with incentives such as these will we find an improvement within the industry. Chefs in South Africa over the past 10 years have proved how good they are and now wine stewards/sommeliers need to be part of this movement so we can challenge the international markets.” SASA has committed to mentoring the winning candidates, to further assist in guaranteeing continued professional wine service of an international standard.

Competition entry criteria

· Contestants must be currently employed in the service of food and wine and have a history of a minimum of three years of such service.

· Contestants are required to have substantial knowledge of the local wine scene and of the professional service of both food and wine.

· They must also have an adequate knowledge of international wine appellations and styles of wine.

· More importantly, they must be able to relate what is produced in South Africa to the expectations of international visitors more familiar with the major wine producing regions of the world.

Competition Dateline

· First Round: Registration Forms and the completed Question Paper are to be submitted no later than 31 May 2015.

· Second Round: The Semi-Finals will compete in Cape Town in August 2015 at a venue to be announced.

· Final Round: The Finalists will compete in Cape Town in October 2015 at a venue to be announced.

· Competition winner announcement: The winner of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2015 will be announced at an exclusive Champagne event in October 2015.

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

Did you know that last year’s winner of the The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2014was Gareth Ferreira- Sommelier at the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg at the time is now pursuing his career in London!

2014 Judges:
Ginette de Fleuriot: Organiser of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award, a Cape Wine Master and Marketing Manager at Vinimark The Wine Company.

Neil Grant: Chairman of the South African Sommelier Association (SASA) and Sommelier and co-owner of Burrata Restaurant in the Old Biscuit Mill, Woodstock, Cape Town.

Higgo Jacobs: Sommelier and Consultant and a Senior Judge at the International Wine Challenge (IWC). Higgo also tastes for various local competitions and publications and is General Secretary and a founding member of the South African Sommelier Association (SASA).

Kent Scheermeyer: German-trained Sommelier and founder of KSconsult which services the hospitality industry in wine procurement, wine list design and training.

The 2015 finalists will be judged on wine and food service and will be tested on 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

To enter The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award
For more information and to download the Registration Form and Question Paper visit www.wineserviceaward.co.za.

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