Diners Club has celebrated its annual Winelist Awards with events in Kwa-Zulu-Natal, Gauteng, Southern/Eastern Cape and Western Cape this past week.
Feature Image Above: ICON Award presented to The Saxon Hotel Villas & Spa: Left to right: Junior Mkwaira, Asya Styodana (Diners Club), Brian Nyamara
The Diners Club Winelist Awards have rewarded great wine lists for the last two decades. The Awards celebrate wine lists with good selections, interesting descriptions and a clear love for wine to encourage food and wine-serving establishments to improve the standards of the wine selection they offer. The Awards categories and competition requirements are in line with global market trends and Diners Club’s contribution towards service excellence in the hospitality and tourism industries.
In addition to the usual Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver Awards, the 2018 Awards saw the introduction of a new pinnacle category – the ICON Award. Restaurants could achieve this Award if they met all the requirements of a Diamond List and in addition their list carried an extensive international selection; excellent wines in multiple categories as well as an impressive reserve or vintage selection; a deep interest in wine curation; and a sommelier on the floor by default. These are lists of true international stature and represent the peak of wine presentation.
Two ICON Awards, 41 Diamond, 157 Platinum, 43 Gold and 1 Silver Award were presented at the 2018 Awards ceremonies. Top ICON Awards went to Restaurant Mosaic (Pretoria, Gauteng) and The Saxon Hotel Villas & Spa (Johannesburg, Gauteng) while Awards for Best Diamond List went to Epicure Restaurant (Johannesburg, Gauteng), Best Gold to Rissington Inn (Hazyview, Mpumalanga) and Best Platinum to new-comer, Mink & Trout (Cape Town, Western Cape).
This year’s judges included restaurant and wine experts, reviewers, media members and chefs. The judges were: Jean-Pierre Rossouw (Diners Club Winelist Awards’ head judge), Pete Goffe-Wood, Jenny Cryws-Williams, Karen Visser, Georgina Crouth, Pearl Oliver and James Mukosi.
“Our Diners Club Winelist Awards panel of judges represents a unique mix of talents and voices in today’s food and wine industry. We aim to give all participating restaurants a fair shot at winning one of the most prized awards in the industry – it’s no longer the size of the list that is the most important, but the personality of the list as well as those where the list matches the style of the establishment. The eclectic knowledge of the panel contributed immensely to identifying these lists,” says JP Rossouw.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS!
A FULL LIST OF THE AWARD WINNERS CAN BE VIEWED AT
Photo credit: Diners Club International