As SA’s top sommelier, Lloyd Jusa (winner of the Wine Service Award at the 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards), comes to the end of his year-long reign, he meets up with wine expert Neil Pendock to unpack prices, pairings and the biscuity finish of his favourite bubbly.
On a balmy Saturday afternoon at the end of September, Lloyd and Neil, fresh from the Cape Winemakers Guild auction in Stellenbosch, kick off by discussing the jaw-dropping prices fetched by some
of the wines — most notably a six-bottle case of Kanonkop CWG Paul Sauer 2013, which went for a staggering R13,400.
Records tumbled, with total sales exceeding R13.8 million and new record wine prices for red, white, Méthode Cap Classique and port.
Lloyd, the sommelier at Five Hundred at The Saxon in Johannesburg, and wine director of businessman Douw Steyn’s various other hospitality interests, sees this as a sign that SA consumers are coming of age, demanding finer wines and willing to pay more.
However, he also believes there’s a strong argument for a good wine at a good price.
He also reveals what he’s willing to pay for a bottle of wine … and how he’s committed to helping wine drinkers make memories. ‘I like to offer an experience beyond a mere pairing,’ he says.
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