The Table Bay’s Camissa Brasserie’s emphasis on creating a more personalised wine story has seen the restaurant acknowledged with the highest accolade in the prestigious Diners Club Winelist Awards 2016. The restaurant received a Diamond Award which is the highest possible highest accolade and is given to wine lists with a total score of 91% or higher.
This year’s Diners Club Winelist Awards saw some exciting changes in the judging criteria in order to reward wine lists that offer a true reflection of the style and character of the restaurant and the customers they serve. The revised criteria included a greater emphasis on content, just one of four criteria used to judge the lists. The other criteria are balance, suitability and presentation.
Taking cognisance of the advice of the Diners Club Winelist awards’ convener Jean-Pierre Rossouw, who also publishes Platter’s Wine Guide and Rossouw’s Restaurants, both by Diners Club, The Table Bay’s food and beverage team paid special attention to the personality of the wines and how they complement Camissa Brasserie’s vibrant, distinctive menu.
“We wanted to tell a more personalized wine story; one that better reflects our own story. We looked at relevance of the vintage wines on our menu and tied these up with appropriate wine descriptions that tell a more personal story about the wine. Districts and new unique wineries were also a focus point. We added wines such as Kaapzicht 1947, of which only 900 bottles produced a year; Sjinn White and a couple of rare wines such as the Fleur du Cap Laslo 2006 and Stellenzicht Stellenzicht 1997. We are also very privileged to have some of the last bottles of Bizoe Tiny 2010, which is a once off Straw Wine that local wine producer Rikus Neethling created but has not since reproduced.
“We also diversified and extended the wines we offer by the glass, acknowledging the contemporary diner’s preference for good wines by the glass, which provide a chance to explore. Honouring The Table Bay’s international clientele and their preference for the familiar, we also included several new international wines to our list.
“With wines’ suitability to the food served an emphasis in this year’s awards, we paid special attention to ensuring that the wines on our list could be paired with at least one or more specific dishes on the menu. Of course, many of the wines can be enjoyed on their own,” says Assistant Food and Beverage Manager Charl Theron.
The Winelist Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the hard work and innovation of restaurateurs who are meticulous in their wine selection and pairing of food with wine. The awards – in their 22nd year – are a coveted symbol of distinction and see a great number of local restaurants vie for top honours. The revised judging criteria were developed with the help of the South African Sommeliers’ Association which brought its extensive practical experience to bear to ensure that the criteria are fair to restaurants.
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