Well-known Cape Wine Master Bennie Howard was in Port Elizabeth last week to share his choice of some of the top double gold and gold medal winners from the annual Veritas Awards, South Africa’s foremost wine and brandy competition.
It is the 16th year that Howard, who is the vice-chairman of Veritas, has hosted the prestigious post-awards tasting in the Bay.
The former radio announcer has close ties to the city, having lived here for six years before leaving for the Cape to become Stellenbosch Farmers Winery’s PR manager back in 1981.
Last Wednesday’s tasting at the Garden Court Hotel at Kings Beach was attended by 86 wine lovers. Jacques van der Merwe, of Wine Roots, was the local organiser on behalf of Veritas.
The 26th annual awards took place in Cape Town last month and saw Distell steal the show with two double gold and 12 gold medals, followed by Spier in second and Rustenberg and Flagstone in joint third.
A whopping 1317 medals were awarded – 38 double gold, 167 gold, 484 silver and 628 bronze.
Sauvignon Blanc was the top scorer, with Bay tasters lucky enough to sample the standout Tokara Reserve Collection Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2016, which seemed to go down particularly well.
The Bay tasting included a total of 18 wines – one bubbly, six whites, eight reds, two sweet wines and one brandy.
“It was wonderful to see such enthusiasm in Port Elizabeth for the tasting,” Howard said.
The Kasteelberg Viognier 2014 – “a brilliant choice with spicy food” – and the Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 2012 – “try it with kudu steak or a beautiful bobotie” – emerged as two of the highlights for many of the guests.