Bollinger 2014 Exceptional Service Awards

This is the 4th year of the Bollinger Exceptional Service Awards - an initiative to reward and recognise excellence in Wine Service & Knowledge. The competition is rigorous, starting off with a theory test - to sort out the boys from the men (so to speak) and then goes on to practical tests & exams. These then culminate in a final program where 3 finalists participate for the top dog spot. The Awards ceremony was held again at the Queen Victoria Hotel above the V&A Waterfront, and we were spoilt by having the evening's delicious canapes accompanied by French Champagnes. The worthy runners-up for the competition were Cassius Gumbo (aka Cashias) from The Saxon(Joburg) and Angie Langlands from The Oysterbox(Durban), and the winner for this year is Gareth Ferreira, initially at The Saxon in Joburg, and now in London - having taken a great opportunity to work in the UK and be mentored by the top Court of Masters (Sommelier gods of the world) to work towards the top sommelier qualification. Congrats to them all for continuing to uplift the image of wine and improve service in hotels and restaurants. Well done also to the sponsors, Bollinger, Vinimark & Riedel who continue to support this program.