The Kenyan edition of the Wines of South Africa (WOSA) Sommelier World Cup came to an end at the Sierra Burger and Wine restaurant at Yaya Center, Nairobi. The event drew exporters of some of South Africas best wines, retailers, consumers and industry experts.
What is a Sommelier?
The name originated from France with the literal meaning being “butler.” It has been used since the 19th century to mean “wine steward” or “wine waiter” as well. In recent times though, Sommeliers have gone above and beyond to become well versed wine professionals, who typically worked in fine dining restaurants. They have transcended their craft by specializing in all aspects of wine services ranging from etiquette, food pairing and thanks to The Wines of South Africa team; tourism.
This is the second time that Kenya participated in the Sommelier Cup, which is held every three years. The competition was open to anyone working in the wine and hospitality industries within Kenya. A magnitude of Kenyans registered to participate but only 30 of the best were chosen. Registration was available on the WOSA website.
WOSA Africa Market Manager Matome Mbatha was in Nairobi for the culmination of the competition and announcement of the winners. Him and his team have been actively promoting South African wines for the last 4 years in Kenya and there has been a real change in perception by Kenyans and how they enjoy their wines from accepting any wine to really understanding the key nodes, textures and joy of drinking South African Wines can be felt. With a wide range of South African wines coming into the Kenyan market, the variety is endless but the quality is certainly constant.
“Consumption of South African wine is really growing on the continent, and in East Africa in particular. ” – Matome Mbatha
A first time sommelier had this to say “I enjoyed the entire competition, I really feel as though I’ve grown into a Sommelier. I need to broaden my senses in terms of pairing colours and scents and terminology to the wines. When someone says it has an asparagus undertone I can’t simply think what in gods name does an asparagus even smell like. I’ll be back again for the next competion ready to represent Kenya.”
(I should mention you can find him at the Lord Eroll as an aspiring sommelier)
“This competition, with finals happening in Cape Town in September, is open to individuals working in the wine trade and will draw entries from Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe, China, USA, Sweden, Netherlands and the UK.” – Maryna Marie Carlow, Communications Manager Wines Of South Africa.
Congratulations Samuel Ndichi and all the other competitors for making Kenya proud.