The finals of the Bollinger bubbly sommelier competition unwound yesterday afternoon at Ellerman Villa in Bantry Bay (rack rate R39K – R65K a night for 2-6 plutocrats, kids welcome unlike Ellerman House where they are verboten). Heston Blumenthal and BA were the last occupants, but the venue was so scrupulously clean, no chance of extracting any DNA and reprogramming a local chef. No chance of ABBA mementos à la Priscilla, Queen of the Desert either (I checked). Instead, the scene was more like one from the new James Bond movie Skyfall. Not so strange as in Live and Let Die, Roger Moore requests a bottle of Bolly and Jeff Lopes (below, standing) is a consummate secret agent.
Four finalists – two from Camps Bay and two from the Saxon in Sandton – were put through some tricky paces and some of the questions (does Dr. Loosen make wine outside Germany?) would have floored me. The sommelier selection of wines (below) speaks volumes about what is hot and what is not in sommelier circles.