The French Classics vs. South Africa’s Finest

Posted on 6 June 2013 under Uncategorized

AWC Wine Academy transformed itself into a wine safari last night for our “French Classics vs. South Africa’s Finest” event. In partnership with Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa (PIWOSA), guests were guided through variety stations of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Bordeaux Blends, Rhône Blends and Chenin Blanc, with winemakers at each station pouring five different wines from the same grape variety.

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The walk-around style event began after a Champagne reception and an introduction to the evening from AWC Managing Director Stephen Williams and an overview of South African wines by the Managing Director of Newton-Johnson Wines, Mr. Bevan Newton-Johnson. All wines were tasted blind and guests attempted to identify the French contenders that were hidden amongst the premium, South African wines.

Attendees were split into groups and each group was allocated 10 minutes at each station to try and mark which ones, if any, they felt were the French classics. This sparked some intense discussion and a created a bit of healthy competition, as the Grand Prize for identifying all the French wines correctly was a week-long trip to South Africa, including flights and accommodation, and a tour of 15 different estates.

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Debate and deliberation was passionate at each station, with attendees discussing the appearance, aromas and flavours of each wine, trying to detect its country of origin.

As the evening drew to a close, all of the score cards were collected and reviewed. Unfortunately, no one was able to correctly identify all 5 of the French wines in order to qualify for the South African trip. However, an impressive score of 3/5 resulted in one clever guest winning a dinner for two at Quo Vadis in Soho, London.

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As each wine was revealed, guests were given the opportunity to re-sample the selection and chat with the individual winemakers in depth, while simultaneously enjoying an array of delicious, South African canapés and traditional foods, such as Bobotie, Boerwors and Blatjang.