Congratulations to the Top Tasters from Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

Monday, 13 May, 2019
Jean Vincent Ridon
Arrogantly seen from Cape Town with a bit of a condescending attitude, Durban does not enjoy the status of a wine city. Capetonians are wrong! Not only is Durban the base of a growing wine lovers’ community, but the Tops at Spar Wine Show managed to gather the best of them to explore the beauty of the Cape wines.

The Tops at Spar Durban wine show teamed up with the South African Wine Tasting Championship (SAWTC) to offer any KZN based wine-lover a chance to put their taste to the test. The Durban leg of the SAWTC has been the search of the Super Tasters. Visitors to the wine show had a chance to identify 6 wines served to them in anonymous decanters. Candidates had to recognise wines from exhibiting producers. Before facing the blind challenge, they were advised to taste the shortlisted wines of Kanonkop, Excelsior, Spier, Perderberg, Stellenbosch Vineyards, Libby’s pride, Babylonstoren, Diemersfontein, Ovation, Tokara, Imbuko, Beyerskloof and Duke of Wellington.

More than a hundred wine lovers joined the search for a Super Taster. Couples, groups of friends or dedicated individuals tried to find the cultivar, the producer and the vintage of the 6 secret wines. It may sound like an easy game when you have a shortlist of 31 wines to choose from, but is it not! At this game you need a natural talent: a good palate and a flawless memory! Many students from KZN School of Wine and from the Durban branch of the Sommeliers Academy were willing to show their talent, alongside all visitors to the Tops at Spar Durban wine show.

The motivation was high in the packed crowd around the SAWTC tables because not only will the best wine tasters receive wines offered by the participating wine farms, but the winner will be flown to Cape Town for the National finals hoping to be among the four best tasters travelling to France in October under the banner of Team Nederburg 2019.

It is the first time so many Durbanites took their chance to win these exciting prizes. There can, however, be only one winner and the trophy has been handed to Craig Agulhas, closely followed by Sarah Dean and Ravi Reddy. Craig Agulhas came the closest to recognising the 6 wines that were:

Excelsior Sauvignon Blanc, Libby’s Pride Chardonnay, Ovation Sauvignon Blanc, Spier Syrah, Beyerskloof Pinotage and Tokara Cabernet Sauvignon.

Jean Vincent Ridon, KZN winner Craig Agulhas and Dube (Sommeliers Academy)

To complete the top 10 of the most talented Durban tasters, congratulations must be offered to Paul Reenard, Ashvitha Reddy, Wesley du Plessis, Mason Chetty, Mampeli Mothepu, Matt Lammers and Yorka Gutierrez.

Durban has talent, and the Tops at Spar Durban Wine Show is the KZN wine event of the year, culminating with the celebration of the best local tasters.

Wine lovers qualifying to the national finals at Tops at Spar Wine Shows in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town will compete for their chance to be in Team Nederburg 2019. The top tasting team will participate in the World Blind Tasting Challenge in France in October 2019, competing against 28 other national Teams to win the title World's Best Wine Tasting Country! Belgium is currently the defending World Champion.

The next round of selection will be the Western Cape Provincial on the 1st of June at The Taj Hotel, and after that at the Tops at Spar Johannesburg Wine Show on the 6/7/8th of June 2019.

Join us in the search of the Super Taster!

wine.co.za is proud to have been a Media Partner of the South African Wine Tasting Championship since inception. We keep you abreast of all the activities in our Spotlight Page HERE

Craig Agulhas, KZN Top Taster
Craig Agulhas, KZN Top Taster

KZN Top Taster Craig Agulhas with runners-up Sarah Dean and Ravi Reddy
KZN Top Taster Craig Agulhas with runners-up Sarah Dean and Ravi Reddy



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