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This July, two of SA’s top sommeliers will teach you a thing or two about wine at The Good Food & Wine Show (GF&WS) in Johannesburg.

As you can tell by the name, our show isn’t just about good food. It’s also about wine. Lots and lots of exquisite wine. And other exciting grape-derived stuff! Like our stimulating installtion, the “wine wall”, where you can smell the diverse flavours of a variety of wines. Then there’s a host of wine farms showcasing their latest vintages. Plus, we have an association with the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirit Awards, promoting the very best blends, Bordeaux-style beauties and other award-winning wines. And finally, there’s the Wine Theatre, where you can put your sense of taste to good use at wine appreciation demos, as well as food and wine pairings. At GF&WS in Joburg, these will be overseen by two expert sommeliers: Gregory Mutambe and Lloyd Jusa.

Zimbabwean-born Gregory began working as a cellar hand in 2004 at Mukuyu Winery, the oldest winery in his home country. This was where his passion for wine started. Gregory remarks, “I never thought I’d drink wine, but the job offer at the cellar was a good “accident”. Wine found me.”

In 2006, Gregory relocated to South Africa, and began a three-year diploma at the Cape Wine Academy. He then had on-the-job training at Signature restaurant in Johannesburg, before moving back to Cape Town, where he worked at the Vineyard Hotel and Spa. He was then appointed Head Sommelier at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in 2011. He has been a wine judge for the Nederburg Wine Auction, the SA Chenin Association and the Platter’s Wine Guide.

Lloyd Jusa also hails from Zimbabwe, and has worked in the wine industry since 2006. He first enrolled in the sommelier programme at The Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg, then obtained his qualification through the Court of Master Sommeliers in the UK. Since then, he’s travelled to numerous spots in Europe, including Germany, Austria, France and Spain, and is now Head Sommelier at The Saxon, as well as Director of The Saxon Collection Wine Programme.

Lloyd won the Best Wine Service Award at the 2015 Eat Out Mercedes Benz Restaurant Awards, and was featured as the Best Dream Team Sommelier in the World by the UK edition of Country Life. He’s also contributed to Woolworths’ Taste Magazine, Real Estate Magazine, Joburg Live and other publications. He judges the South African restaurant and hotel wine lists for Diners Club International. Of his profession, Lloyd says: “Wine service is all about connecting with the guests and not imposing on them. It’s about creating memories.”

It’s safe to say that you’ll be in very experienced hands when you venture towards the Wine Theatre at GF&WS between 28 and 30 July 2017. Book at http://bit.ly/2tpfJND.

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