Wikus Human, the head sommelier for Marble and Saint in Johannesburg, has won the title of South Africa’s best sommelier for 2021.
Going head-to-head through the competition, Wikus prevailed against semi-finalists Jean-Vincent Ridon and Laurie Cooper for the prestigious title.
Mike Ratcliffe, the chairman of Stellenbosch Wine Route, expressed his congratulations for this year’s winner.
“The Stellenbosch Wine Route is proud to be associated with the Sommelier Association of South Africa and recognises the importance of sommeliers as influencers and ambassadors for our industry. We are committed to working with the association to educate and empower more people to understand and sell our wines and grow the sector.”
According to reports, this is one of many awards that Wikus has received, having held the title of the Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier in 2017. Adding to his stellar list of achievements, Wikus is a Court of Masters Certified Sommelier.
Wikus will now be taking part in the Best Sommelier in the World challenge held in 2023.
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Hosted by The South African Sommeliers Association in partnership with Stellenbosch Wine Route, the Best Sommelier in South Africa Award aims to recognise the talented and hard-working individuals in the hospitality sector.
This year’s competition had seven candidates undergo the rigorous challenge, which included a theory paper, blind tasting assessment, food and wine pairing, aperitif service and a wine service.
Each candidate was judged by a panel of esteemed industry experts and leaders that included Madeleine Stenwreth, the Master of Wine; Chef Harald Bresselschmidt of Aubergine; Jo Wessels, the winner of the 2019 SA Best Sommelier competition; and Spencer Fondaumiere, SASA chairperson and ASI diploma sommelier.
The competition aims to challenge the participants and have them thinking on their feet with the most tasking challenge being to serve a bottle of white wine that is not at the proper serving temperature.
With limited time, these candidates had to make quick decisions to yield the best result.
Each candidate was judged by set criteria for each challenge completed.
Wikus prevailed in the challenges and Eat Out would like to congratulate him on this prestigious achievement.
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