Talented 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.
Cupcakes for Hope has also contributed to other charities, including: Cansa, Reach for a Dream, The Sunflower Fund, CHOC, Little Fighters Cancer Trust and Hospice. (Image: Wikipedia)The effects of cancer are being fought one cupcake at a time, to raise awareness and funds for families affected by the disease who are in need of medical assistance.Cupcakes for Hope is a non-profit organisation established in 1999. “I have always loved Oprah’s Angel Network and it showed me that we can all make a difference in someone’s life,” said Sandy Cipriano, its founder. “You don’t need money, but if you have love and a bit of time, you can all make a difference.“In 2009, we had our first fundraiser at our restaurant, Rio Sol Portuguese Restaurant, in Vereeniging. The first year we raised R5 000, the following year R50 000 and so it grew and grew. In 2011, Cupcakes 4 Kids with Cancer set a new world record for the most cupcakes on display – 21 000. Through this achievement we were able to raise R200 000 for kids with cancer.”MEANINGFUL WORK ALREADY DONEIn September 2014, Cupcakes for Hope hosted the third National Cupcake Day 4 Kids with Cancer at 55 malls – and raised R1.2-million.“Thank you to all our sponsors and amazing Cupcake Angels, who baked all the stunning cupcakes for the event,” Cipriano said. “All your hard work has made a difference in the lives of so many cancer patients already. I can’t wait to see what God has got planned for us in the future.”In 2012, Cupcakes for Hope auctioned a very special cupcake for R14 000 at the Mark Scott Golf Day at the invitation of Zelda la Grange, who was the personal assistant to Nelson Mandela. Mark Scott is the son of popular TV personality Darren Scott, who was diagnosed with cancer of the kidney.“It is truly amazing how a beautiful cupcake is bound to bring a smile to your face. This has to be South Africa’s most expensive cupcake,” Cipriano said about that sale.Cupcakes for Hope has also contributed to other charities, including: Cansa, Reach for a Dream, The Sunflower Fund, CHOC, Little Fighters Cancer Trust and Hospice.WALL OF GENEROSITYIn late November, Mugg & Bean, which has been a Cupcakes for Hope sponsor since 2012, held its Wall of Generosity campaign. Since the start of its sponsorship, the coffee themed restaurant franchise has raised over half-a-million rand for the charity.During its latest event, members of the public were invited to Sandton City, in Johannesburg, and share in acknowledging the meaning of the Wall of Generosity. On the day, Mugg & Bean gave away cupcakes from the wall and each person who received a cupcake was asked to write the name of their cancer hero on their hand and to take a picture holding up their hand with the cupcake.This act signified support for those who were suffering or had suffered from cancer, as well as supported the drive for awareness of early detection in children and how this could save lives.According to Mugg & Bean, the Wall of Generosity was a way for it to give back; it was also a way for it as a brand to lend its support to a cause in which the company truly believed. “Ultimately, it is a way for us to raise awareness for the plight of so many adults and children suffering from cancer,” the company said.PARTY OF HOPEIf you would like to support the cause and help to create awareness at your company or your child’s school, register now to host your own Party of Hope.Cupcakes for Kids has set the following dates for the Parties of Hope in 2016:4 February: World Cancer Day;15 February: International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day;1 April: Caps 4 Cancer (April Fools);5 June: Cancer Survivors Day;16 July: Nelson Mandela International Day;1 September: International Cupcake for Breakfast Day;Whole of September: Childhood Cancer Awareness; and,31 October: Superheroes 4 Cancer.When you register for a Party of Hope, the organisation sends you: leaflets containing information on early cancer warning signs and badges to wear on the day, as well as cupcake baking cups and balloons bearing the Cupcakes for Hop logo.Companies can use this event as a team building project and challenge their different departments to a bake off. Some companies host Cupcake and Tea parties for their staff. There is no right or wrong way of hosting your event; whatever works in your environment will be perfect.“Remember, this is not so much about fundraising but about educating others about the cancer early warning signs,” Cipriano said, “so the only requirement is that either an email or leaflet gets sent out to all the parents or co-workers.“We also now have the early warning signs in 11 different languages available for download.”
Suspended Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and former Lok Sabha member from Koraput, Jayaram Pangi, joined the BJP here on Tuesday.Mr. Pangi, who was suspended from BJD after the recent panchayat polls over “anti-party activities”, joined the BJP in the presence of Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and others. Former Congress leader Giridhar Gamang, who had joined the BJP two nearly two years ago, was also present.While Mr. Pradhan said that Mr. Pangi joining the BJP will be a boost to the party in tribal-dominated areas, senior BJD leader from Koraput, Rabi Narayan Nand, said it will not make any difference to his party.Murder caseMr. Pangi’s name had figured in the case relating to the murder of primary school teacher Itishree Pradhan at Tikiri in Rayagada district in 2013. The BJD had denied a party ticket to the tribal leader in 2014 elections Meanwhile, a tweet by Baijayant Panda, BJD MP from Kendrapara, created a flutter in political circles during the day. “One gone yesterday, another today. Yet when I cautioned last week, was contradicted. Now large sections unrepresented, resentment everywhere,” he tweeted. He was referring to BJD leader Amar Nayak joining the BJP in Jajpur district on Monday and Mr. Pangi joining the saffron party on Tuesday.Reacting to Mr. Panda’s tweet, BJD spokesman Pratap Keshari Deb said the MP should have asked the BJP how they accepted Mr. Pangi, whom they had accused of having a role behind the killing of Itishree Pradhan. “The BJP was accusing the BJD of shielding Mr. Pangi in the murder case, but how did they accept him now,” he asked.
Playing in only their second Women’s World Cup, the Netherlands qualified for the final against three-time champion US with a 1-0 win over Sweden in extra time in the second semifinal.The reigning European champions were undefeated coming into the semifinal at Stade de Lyon, while Sweden lost 0-2 to the US in the group stage, reports Efe news.England and the US put on a terrific display of offense on Tuesday in the first semifinal, but the Swedish and Dutch sides opted for caution.As neither team had been expected to get this far, the emphasis on avoiding mistakes was understandable on Wednesday, though perhaps not much appreciated by the 48,000-plus in the stands hoping to see fireworks.Sweden managed two shots in the first half and the Dutch, despite enjoying 53 percent possession, produced only one chance. The stars — Vivianne Miedema for the Netherlands and the Scandinavian side’s Stina Blackstenius — were nearly invisible.The Dutch began the second half without their best player in the 2017 European Championship, Lieke Martens, who has been hampered by a foot injury.The match came alive for a few minutes about midway through the second half.Netherlands goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal had to be sharp to divert a low strike from Nilla Fischer to the post in the 71st minute.On the following sequence, a Miedema header forced a heroic save from Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl, who subsequently turned aside a shot by Shanice van de Sanden.Finally, nine minutes into the first extra-time period, Jackie Groenen, who wears No. 14 jersey of Dutch legend Johan Cruyff, put the ball in the Swedish net with a textbook shot into the bottom corner.advertisementAlso Read | Peru crush Chile 3-0 to set up Copa America final against BrazilAlso Read | Copa America: Jesus, Firmino on target as Brazil crush Argentina to reach finalAlso See