Sommeliers’ World Cup in SA

first_imgTalented sommeliers from around the world will visit the Western Cape’s wine region to battle it out for the top spot in October 2010. (Image: Rodger Bosch,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library.) MEDIA CONTACTS • Andre MorgenthalWosa communications manager+27 82 658 3883RELATED ARTICLES • Acclaim for SA sommelier • SA wine on world top 100 list • Wine on the wold side • SA scoops world wine awardsJanine ErasmusThe Wines of South Africa (Wosa) Sommelier World Cup kicked off in March, with country rounds taking place between March and June 2010 prior to the grand finale later in the year.The competition is aimed at celebrating the historic first-ever African Fifa World Cup, and at promoting the sommelier as a career choice in South Africa.Twelve countries will show off the skills of their wine professionals through a series of stages modelled around the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Once the gruelling preliminaries have been decided and the finalists named, countries will move on to the taxing last round and, hopefully, glory.The top sommeliers from Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, UK, US, South Korea, Canada and Russia will gather in the scenic Cape Winelands for the finals of the Wosa Sommelier World Cup between 11 and 19 October, with the main event happening on 15 October.The host country will show off its flourishing wine and wine tourism industries, treating the visitors to a week-long, all expenses paid tour of the region. Finalists can look forward to a unique wine experience.Only those already employed at a hotel or restaurant in one of the competing countries are eligible for entry. Registration is now open online through the competition’s website.Hot contestThe semi-finals take place in each of the competing countries from March to June, culminating in the last semi-final that coincides with the world’s biggest football tournament, which plays out from 11 June to 11 July.Semi-finalists are in for a tough time, with a written as well as a practical tasting test on the cards. But the day promises to unfold in a festive spirit, from the warm-up (player registration) to the kick-off, first half (blind tasting of six wines), second half (the country’s game plan for ultimate victory), and the final event, Laduma!, when the winner is announced.The top sommelier will take his or her place in the final squad in South Africa for an intensive week-long tour of the winelands, a popular tourist attraction. Here they will inspect some of the top wineries of the region, consult with experienced winemakers and gain practical knowledge of the famed culinary bounty on offer through fine wining and dining.The final round takes much the same format as the semi-final, with the addition of the hat-trick, or announcement of the top three, and penalty shoot-out, where the three compete before a live audience.Distinguished judges, or referees, include Mauritian-born Miguel Chan, group sommelier of Southern Sun; sommelier Neil Grant of the award-winning Rust en Vrede Restaurant; Åsa Karlsson from Sweden, a top international sommelier and trainer now running her own company; Swedish-born Mia Mårtensson, now working in South Africa as sommelier for the Winery Of Good Hope in Stellenbosch; and Hans-Jürgen Podzun of Germany, president of the German Wine School and experienced wine judge.Training wine professionals in SAIn South Africa budding sommeliers don’t have many options for training. Andre Morgenthal of Wosa says there is no formal internationally accredited diploma course, such as the ones available overseas, but this is because there is not yet enough demand.The Cape Wine Academy offers the Cape Sommelier qualification at both its Stellenbosch and Johannesburg training centres. The course comprises seven modules, adding up to a total of 105 learning hours. There is also a three-year practical experience requirement before the certificate is issued.Hospitality training company Let’s Sell Lobster runs a Wine Advisors School that offers a number of in-depth wine adviser courses to help people in the trade improve their knowledge of wine, especially in terms of assisting and serving guests.Originally from Rostock in Germany, internationally qualified sommelier Jörg Pfützner is responsible for training. Pfützner currently works in Cape Town as sommelier at Aubergine restaurant, one of the top establishments in the country.The school says that although South Africa has few sommeliers who can match up to international standards, its wine advisor course is a start, and will form the foundation of the future pool of top-notch wine professionals.last_img read more

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Practice Fusion Bundles the Cloud and Dell Hardware for Doctors

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Analysis#Announcements#cloud Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts center_img Practice Fusion, one of the SaaS electronic medical record (EMR) pioneers, has announced a Dell-based hardware system bundle for doctors spinning up to its free cloud-based EMR system. Ryan Howard, CEO of Practice Fusion, walked us through what it means to bring the cloud to a small clinic – ground zero in the medical industry’s transition to electronic medical records.The proposition for doctors is simple: The U.S. federal government has proposed incentives to move to electronic systems. A doctor can qualify for $44,000 or $66,000 in federal stimulus dollars for completing the migration in the next several years.A mix of traditional vendors, startups, and specialists are working to meet the demand from doctors needing to transition. And even though there are specific definitions for what constitutes an EMR solution, each doctor faces a complex solution. According to Howard, his company has found that the average size of an office is less than nine doctors – which means that in many cases, a very busy doctor is also a part-time CTO. The business of health care these days requires that a lot of paper is generated – a lot of it by fax – and all of which must be protected by compliance regulations such as HIPAA. Other technology challenges include having older browser technology, no Internet connection, no wireless access. or not having a digital camera. When technology investments are made, there is a desire to get extreme value out of them. Practice Fusion’s Dell-based hardware system bundles a heavy duty scanner and printer, as well as a camera for digitizing visual records. Integrating these devices seamlessly with the cloud applications is one area where vendors will need to create tight integration with the PC.Below is an example of a what a doctor sees when adding patient immunization information into Practice Fusion. The system is a great example of where a broad set of available data can be powerful to patients, doctors, and communities. And an example of how small businesses need a deep connection between local hardware and cloud applications. (More Practice Fusion product images can be viewed at the companies Flickr account.) A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… mike kirkwoodlast_img read more

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How to win in the booming China babytech market

first_imgMatthew Ryan Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Thanks to the relaxing of the single-child policy in 2016, China is predicted to be heading towards a baby boom, with the number of newborns predicted to reach 18 million by 2018. As a result, the countries already crazy annual spending on baby products is set for 15 per cent year-on-year growth, rising to RMB 969 billion ($147.4 billion) by 2020. Chinese born in the ’80s and ’90s are fearless tech lovers, with a recent survey finding that 60% of the population consider themselves early adopters. Babytech sales are already strong, and these changing demographics paired with a growing urban middle class are set to See also: Is smart baby tech a parent’s dream or worst nightmare?A number of babytech devices have already created a furor in China. In particular Moodoo, a smart fetal monitoring patch which managed to raised more than $4.3 million in five minutes. Other successes have been smart milk formula mixing machines, like NicePapa and the number of smart thermometers and monitoring devices. We spoke to Liang Du, CEO of Mommy Knows, an OEM/ODM company that focuses on Smart Diapers, Oscar Chan of Bimado, a foreign owned, but Chinese based baby tech manufacturer and Lucas Wang, CEO of hardware collaboration platform, HWTrek. They gave us the info on what overseas companies need to succeed in this flourishing smart product market. Consider the Chinese family as a wholeA difficult recent history and rapidly changing social milieu have created complex sets of consumer demands that are distinct from the US. Young Chinese parents are some of the savviest, early adopters in the world and make, informed, research-driven tech consumption decisions. Unfortunately, the situation is not as simple as marketing strictly towards this demographic. Grandparents commonly take the role of raising children, while parents work long working hours. According to Liang Du, creators of babytech devices “Always have to consider three factors. First, the user (baby), then the person purchasing the device (the parents) and finally the operator (grandparents).” Older generations of Chinese mostly grew up poor, in a country that was technologically behind the rest of the world and are confused by complex features. They also hold a number of folk beliefs that are incomprehensible to non-natives. For example, Bimado found at the testing stage, that many older Chinese believe that the correct treatment for a child with a fever is to wrap them in as many layers as possible, making it impossible for their device to get accurate temperature readings. Oscar Chan recommends that overseas companies in the babytech field in China, “study the overall preference of the whole Chinese household, rather than thinking about consumers individually.” You need to make the device simple enough for this generation to use, while still being technically advanced to attract parents. Being foreign is no longer enoughChina has changed. The catchment of buying a product from the West is fading and consumers are starting to prefer Chinese electronics brands. This is especially true of IoT and smart products, where China is widely perceived as having a competitive advantage. The ecosystem for smart products in Shenzhen and the rest of China is so advanced, that it is almost impossible for overseas companies to compete on features. Oscar Chan, recommends that it’s better to concentrate on branding, industrial design, and product safety: “Many Chinese products have really strong features but feel cheap or look ugly. Foreign companies can really add value and be competitive through telling a story…. branding, industrial design, swish UI and safety certification.” These views are echoed by Lucas Wang: “For more simple functioning hardware you can’t differentiate on hardware because that is easily replicated, the real value for Chinese consumer is in services and user experience.”Companies need to be special. The market is much more mature than the West and consumers have seen a lot before. Just adding BlueTooth, Wifi, and an app to a traditional toy, is not enough to woo consumers. According to Liang Du, If you do want to go down that path of adding technical features to a familiar baby product, then “make sure that every last bit of your design is as good as the traditional product.”Find a local partnerMao Zedong said “Women hold up half the sky,” but in modern Chinese households, the mother now has an even greater share of the decision making process. As Liang Du explains, “The role of the father in shopping has been reduced to only suggestions. It’s useless selling a babytech product on features or techy spec stuff that men like. You need to use more feminine trigger words in your branding like “natural” and “environmentally friendly.”To meet the demands of the China market, it is best to work with a Chinese partner. The supply chain in Shenzhen and the rest of China is pretty complete, from sensor manufacturers to specialist babytech design houses. Foreign companies who base themselves in China, can take advantage of this ecosystem and get both the edge on the local market and the global one. As Oscar Chan explains that “Shenzhen has become so international. The company I work with has a Swiss designer. Shenzhen had a good downstream ecosystem and now they have upstream as well. Everything is here.”Lucas Wang adds: “Working with a local design house or manufacturer, means that you are able to meet the rapidly changing preferences of local consumers. The preferences of Chinese parents change so quickly and without a local partner, you are fumbling around in the dark.”center_img Tags:#baby#babytech#China#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#top Follow the Puck Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more

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