“If food is the body of good living, wine is its soul” – Clifton Fadiman
Tsogo Sun’s commitment to excellence and exceptional experiences is ongoing and extends to both the food and beverage served at its restaurants and bars. Over the years, Tsogo Sun has taken pride in, and continues to add to its selection of the finest and most exclusive wines.
2014’s annual Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction and Nederburg Auction were no exception as Tsogo Sun secured wines that earned the Auction’s Seal of Approval. The seal of approval is affixed to each bottle as a mark of quality and authenticity, a reaffirmation to buyers that the wines epitomise rare and properly matured South African wines.
Tsogo Sun spent just under R3,2 million at the two wine auctions in 2014, firmly nailing its colours to the mast in respect of its commitment to offering guests an exceptional experience in food and beverage.
The group took top spot at both auctions for total wine sales by a single bidder – the first time a hotel group has topped the list at both the Nederburg auction and CWG.
Spending more than R700 000 at the Nederburg auction, Tsogo Sun’s purchases represented 10.3% of the wines on auction, totalling 1 014 bottles of wine. The bidding continued at the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild auction where Tsogo Sun walked away with 3 036 bottles of premium quality wines at a value of nearly R2,5 million.
The Tsogo Sun delegation, which included five of the group’s top wine aficionados, were briefed to buy an exceptional selection of wines at the best possible prices to enable Tsogo Sun to offer its guest an unmatched and exclusive experience with the wine on offer by the group.
The five chosen with this task were Garry Reed, general manager of Southern Sun The Cullinan in Cape Town; Norman Wallace and John van Rooyen, both operations directors; Georgio Meletiou, Western Cape regional sommelier; and Miguel Chan, group sommelier.
Mr Reed explains that the foundation of the team’s preparations for the auction was an understanding of their guests’ needs and preferences. “As a starting point, we looked at which wines our guests historically enjoy. Understanding the intrinsic qualities of each wine was also crucial as they come at a premium and it was imperative that the wines we purchased are food friendly.”
Most of the wines bought are structured and aged, being more than five years old. “These are wines that need food to express their best, reflecting our emphasis on food and beverage as a core component of our business,” adds Mr Reed.
“The food and wine pairing experience is one that Tsogo Sun pride themselves in by being able to pair food dishes with wine to enhance the dining experience. Our sommeliers are often present at our restaurants to make food pairing recommendations for our guests,” says Miguel Chan, group sommelier.
“The main concept behind pairing is that certain elements (such as texture and flavour) in both food and wine interact with each other, finding the right combination of these elements heightens the dining experience,” concludes Chan.
The wines are available on the wine lists of those Tsogo Sun hotels with a strong existing base of wine-lovers. In Gauteng, this includes Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton, 54 on Bath, Sandton Sun, Riffs at Garden Court Sandton City, InterContinental Sandton Towers, Intercontinental OR Tambo Airport, Southern Sun OR Tambo Airport, and at five Montecasino outlets, namely The Palazzo, Southern Sun Montecasino, Aarya at SunSquare Montecasino, Jenda and Café Cru as well as at Back of the Moon, in Gold Reef City. In the Western Cape, the wines will be available at Southern Sun The Cullinan, Southern Sun Waterfront and Southern Sun Cape Sun, and in Durban at the Beverly Hills, Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani and The Grill Jichana.
Tsogo Sun has a portfolio of more than 90 hotels and 14 casino and entertainment destinations throughout South Africa, Africa and the Seychelles.