After a testing morning of written exams and a blind tasting at the Finals in October, the four finalists were faced with a rigorous practical assessment. Tasks included the correct mise en place and positioning of Riedel glassware for a six-course meal, the selection of dishes to match a range of wines, and the service and description of one of these wines. The final task – to describe two red wines – might at first have appeared easy enough, but the two wines were the same which was the first catch and one of them had been slightly tainted with TCA.
Wayve Kolevsohn, runner-up last year, finally prevailed, to win The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2012. Runner up this year was Kayetan Meissner, a Sommelier at the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Sandhurst, Johannesburg. Wayve, previously employed at The Roundhouse, begins as Sommelier at The Test Kitchen, in Cape Town, this month
The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award has been established to bring focus and recognition of achievement to the growing group of professional wine waiters in South Africa.