WOSA 2019 Sommelier World Cup Finals - see all the pics

Saturday 21st September saw 11 Sommeliers from all over the world compete in the WOSA 2019 Sommelier World Cup (#CAPESomm) finals, held appropriately at The Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town and hosted by radio presenter Guy McDonald, who kept us thoroughly amused during proceedings!

The 11 Somms spent the morning being put through their paces with a tough blind tasting, a theory exam and a practical assessment.  After this arduous process, 3 finalists were announced, who were then centre stage in front of an audience of about 100 somms, trade and media, doing the final 3 tests.

The 3 finalists were Derek Li from Hong Kong, Maja Hempel from Sweden and Richelle van Gemert from UK.  Richelle is in fact from The Netherlands, but working in the UK for the last 2 years and in fact working with South African Somm Gareth Ferreira at Core by Clare Smyth in London.

The tasks were tough:

1 - Aerate a bottle of MCC and serve equally to 6 guests at a table. (never heard of aerating bubble I must say)

2 - Identify the soil types and areas that 4 Chenins came from (Blind tasting)

3 - Open a bottle of De Krans (which apparently had a stuck cork) - with a hot rod which needed to be heated over a gas heater.  This really was hard, as they had 9 minutes, and none of the contestants managed to open the bottle, but did cause a fair bit of mirth and Richelle particularly amused the judges with her banter to keep them entertained while she tried her luck!

Jean Vincent Ridon took up the challenge to open the bottle, and the Consol De Krans bottle really showed how tough it was, as he had to make 2 attempts but eventually made it! 

The competition was tough, but Richelle van Gemert came through as the winner!

Congrats to Richelle!  

The competition is a wonderful way to introduce sommeliers all over the world to South Africa and its wines. There are about 25 of them here presently to tour the winelands - creating loyal ambassadors along the way!