Higgo Jacobs with his wines

Sommelier Shoot-out
- by -
The Sommelier Shoot-out started as an idea last year by Chef Richard Carstens from Tokara, to break away from the normal wine dinners.

Jaap-Henk Koelewijn, Sommelier at Tokara then approached Higgo Jacobs and Josephine Gutentoft to join Jaap-Henk Koelewijn in partaking in the Shoot-out and to test their ability to match wines to Richard's dishes. Richard is well known for using interesting flavour combinations and textures in his food. (Not always easy to pair wine with.)

The Result was very interesting and it confirmed the fact that your perception of wine changes with food, and that everybody tastes differently.

The Sommeliers who took part in the 2nd Shoot-out in April 2013 were Jaap-Henk Koelewijn (Tokara), Higgo Jacobs (Sommelier Association of South Africa - SASA) Josephine Gutentoft (Majeka House) and Peter Melis (Solo Vino). The diners scored each pairing, and at the end of the meal the points were tallied up and the winner announced.

Results:

The first course: Crayfish with avocado, almond gazpacho, confit tomato, pear veloute and apple sorbet.
This was a very close call.
  • The Kanu Chenin by Higgo was well received, but found a bit too dry with the dish.
  • The Walnut Block Sauvignon Blanc by Peter too had great support due to it's tropical aromas and fruity finish.
  • The Foundry Grenache by Josephine and the Klein Constantia Riesling by Jaap-Henk were the two leading wines with Riesling taking it in the end.
The second course: Salt crust roasted beetroot with potato starch daikon, ponzu, goat's milk cheese, dashi cream and bonito.
  • This course was claimed by Peter with the Ferraton Pére et Fills Samoërens.
  • It was however closely followed by my Circumstance Cape Coral Mourvedre Rose and the Fryers Cove Sauvignon Blanc that Higgo chose.
  • The Blackwater Bizarro Blanco from Josephine was seen as a bit too "Funky" for the diners on the evening.
Course three:Pork belly with mango salsa, crisp parmesan polenta, black garlic and spice lemon emulsion.
Probably the most interesting of courses as every Sommelier had a different take on the dish. Higgo still described it unmatchable.
  • This Course saw Cider, White Beer, Shiraz and Tannat going head to head.
  • The Darling Bonecrusher Wit Beer from Josephine proved very popular and so did the Cider. The tannat was seen as too tannic, but the Cederberg Shiraz came through in the end.
  • The milder tannins and spice of the shiraz complemented the dish nicely and the diners were in the mood for red wine.
Dessert:Coconut panna cotta with coriander ice cream, cucumber sorbet, meringue, compressed cucumber and caramelised cashew nuts.
Once again very interesting pairings.
  • Josephine made a cucumber and honey infused rum, that worked, but was perceived as too alcoholic at this stage of the meal.
  • Peters Quinta do Portal Fine White Port was an interesting addition, but the tanning clashed with the delicate dessert.
  • Higgo's Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc NLH took the winning points in the end with Miles Mossop Kika close on it's heels.

At the end of the evening the scores were tallied and Defending Champion Higgo Jacobs had to hand over the prestigious Tokara Cup. Peter Melis came third with only a few points on Josephine Gutentoft. Leaving Jaap-Henk as the Sommelier with the preferred pairings on the evening.

To watch the video of the evening please click here

Contact Tokara for more information on the next Sommelier Shoot-out!
email: reservations@tokara.com
phone: 021 885 2550

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