Thursday, June 06, 2019

Western Cape tasting at The Taj for the 2019 South African Wine Tasting Champs

Once a year Jean Vincent Ridon, the Flying Sommelier and urban winemaker, holds the South African Wine Tasting Championships. The competition started in 2013. The mission of this show is "To find the best natural wine taster, across all South African communities, to educate and empower them, so they will fly the national colours high in the world competition." Last Saturday, it was the turn of professional and amateur wine tasters in the Western Cape to challenge themselves once more. It took place at the Taj Hotel during the day. The competition is also held in Durban - this was on the 11th of May - in Johannesburg on the 8th of June and again at the Cape Town Tops @Spar Wine Show on the 13th of July at Grand West. The winning team will represent South Africa at the World Blind Tasting Challenge, the Olympics of wine tasting, in France. The National Finals to select that team will be held on the 21st July 2019 at the Taj Cape Town
Checking in to take some photographs and taste some wine. We do not enter the competition, but love to see who is tasting
The Cape Town results from this tasting have already been announced and the following have qualified for the finals:
Samarie Smith
Gareth Robertson
Edwina Frantz
Matija Leskovic
Georgio Meletiou
Anita Streicher Nel (Captain of 2018 and before)
Anton Swarts (member of Team 2018 and before)
James Walls
For more details check out the web page of, who are sponsors 
There were 152 visitors, with 112 taking the test
First you go to taste the wines from several wine farms - you need to taste them all. The wines in the competition are among these wines and you will later have to identify them in the competition room. The wines are not selected by the judges; they also have no idea which wines are to be tasted
Eben Bezuidenhoud had wines from Creation to taste
Joris van Almenkerk pours one of his wines for Fairview winemaker Stephanie Wiid
Some easy drinking sparkling wines from Spier - good palate refreshers
Abigail Mitton, Marketing Manager at The Winery of Good Hope, showed the Radford Dale wines
And there were wines from Spice Route
The tasters take this competition very seriously and put a lot of thought and memory into their efforts
Lynne with Fairview winemaker Stephanie Wiid and Black Pearl owner/winemaker Mary-Lou Nash CWM
Taking a selfie with Jean Vincent Ridon, who organises the tastings and is one of the judges
Jean Vincent Ridon
This is the room where the competition takes place. First you register, then taste 10 wines blind - 5 white wine and 5 red wines. You need to identify the wines and note down where they come from
Raymond Noppe CWM studying the questions. There are also some questions about wines and winemaking
Gareth Robertson - Sales and Marketing Manager, Anthonij Rupert Wines - with pen to hand
Lots of serious tasting and contemplation. It is very, very quiet in the room
Relaxing afterwards, Jacqueline Lahoud chats to another competitor about the tasting.
Joris talks to one of his previous interns
Enjoying the experience!
Can I remember what this was?

No comments: