The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award is a newly established annual competition, aimed at encouraging those who seek to make a living from wine service. Screening and the first round of the competition will occur at regional level, with semi-finalists being flown to Cape Town in September 2011 for the final assessment.
Sponsored by Champagne Bollinger and with infrastructural support from Riedel Glassware, the award has been established to bring focus and recognition of achievement to the growing group of professional wine waiters in South Africa.
The competition is a joint initiative between Michael Fridjhon (importer of Riedel Glassware) and Vinimark The Wine Company (importer of Champagne Bollinger and one of South Africa's largest independent specialist wine wholesaling companies).
Contestants will be required to have substantial knowledge of the local wine scene and of the professional service of both food and wine. On the international wine market, contestants will be expected to have an adequate knowledge of classical appellations. More importantly, however, the contest will examine the ability of those selling wine in the on-consumption environment to relate what is produced in South Africa to the expectations of international visitors more familiar with the major wine producing regions of the world.
The award is intended to be an inclusive, industry-wide initiative to advance the interests of the country's fine wine producers, as well as those who have chosen a career in wine sales and service in hotels, restaurants and wine bars.
The competition is open to those currently employed in the service of food and wine, with a minimum of three years of such experience. The winning candidate will be announced at The Swartland Revolution in November 2011 and can look forward to a trip to France, including a trip to the Bollinger. Judges will include internationally trained sommeliers resident in South Africa.
For further details, go to www.wineserviceaward.co.za