Top accolade for Grande Roche sommelier

Wednesday, 4 December, 2013
Grande Roche
Kayetan Meissner, sommelier at Bosman’s Restaurant in Paarl, was announced as the winnerof the 2013 "The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award” on Thursday 31 October at a prestigious Champagne Event held at the Queen Victoria Hotel, V&A Waterfront.
A master sommelier is someone who can pick up any glass of wine, tell you what it is, where it is from, what year it was produced and a host of other details, as well as being able to provide the best service to their guests in a humble manner.

“The prize is a great reward for years of dedication to being a sommelier,” Meissner said, adding that he is looking forward to his prize of a trip to the house of Bollinger Champagne in France.

“I became a sommelier because I have a deep interest in history, science, chemistry, geology, agronomy, astronomy, biology, mathematics, art, architecture, literature, and of course food. And where else do all of these great faculties of man meet but close to a bottle of wine?” he said.

According to Meissner, the award means just as much to the Grande Roche Hotel as it does to him. Rated among the top ten best restaurants in South Africa and the top 100 in the world, The Grande Roche’s Bosman’s Restaurant has excelled in the three years that the competition has been running, with their previous sommelier, Josephine Gutentoft, a semi-finalist in 2011.

Meissner who is a recent addition to the Grande Roche team, said he had wanted to work at the hotel because of its world-class wine menu.

“A meal at the Grande Roche is a culinary experience, so pairing their food with not just the best wine but the right wine becomes extremely important,” he explained.

The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award was launched in 2011 to recognise the achievement
of professional wine waiters in South Africa. Contestants are required to have substantial knowledge of the local wine scene and of the professional service of both food and wine as well as adequate knowledge of the international market, including classical appellations and their typical wine styles.

Meissner has worked all over the world but he believes that South Africa is a great place to be for aspiring sommeliers. Pointing to the fact that many five star properties now have their own sommeliers, he said it would not be long before this trend trickles down into other catering environments.

For more information about the award, visit the website at:
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