Twenty national teams, 12 wines presented by eight different wine-producing countries around the world, and several blindfolds: while this might seem like the perfect way to spend a Saturday night, it was, in fact, the World Blind Tasting Challenge recently held in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in France, where Team SA ranked number 12 in the world by achieving their best-ever score of 98 points. Team Spain was crowned this year’s Blind Tasting champion, winning by 140 points.
Team SA coach, Jean Vincent Ridon, was thoroughly impressed with his dream team, which included Ralph Reynolds (team captain and sommelier at Karibu in Cape Town), Veronica Plaatjies (from Restaurant Mosaic), Joseph Dhafana (from La Colombe) and Anita Streicher-Nel (from Morgenhof).
In celebration of their success, the team enjoyed a mini wine tour of France, tasting wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as well as sampling Burgundy’s renowned vineyards, and visiting Champagne’s most distinguished wineries.
The 2016 World Blind Tasting Challenge has already secured its next venue: Burgundy. With South Africa hoping to qualify for the event once more, the South African Wine Tasting Championship will start gathering candidates again soon.