The skies were clear blue last Friday afternoon as the Ikeys were crowned the 6th Vino Varsity Challenge Champions in the annual competition hosted by Backsberg.
In doing so, they wrested the title from Maties, who'd held it for the past three years. The Ikeys team, made up of members of UCT's student wine society, celebrated with a bottle of Backsberg Klein Babylonstoren 2004, straight from the decanter trophy.
Maties were placed second and Tuks were third.
Ikeys' Nick Hoernle said: "We're so pleased that the trophy is back where it rightfully belongs! Go Ikeys!"
Vino Varsity is an inter-varsity wine-tasting competition in which university wine societies are given a platform to show off their wine knowledge and tasting skills.
"The competition encourages wine appreciation on campus, develops young, refined wine drinkers, and celebrates wine," said a Backsberg spokesperson. "Backsberg aims to get the wine societies involved, networking and competing on a national level in a fun environment."
But it wasn't all about quaffing and blind tastings. The teams tackled 30 general-knowledge questions covering wine history, winemaking and international wines. Ikeys played their A-game in this round, getting almost every question right. Tuks used their option of 'phoning a friend' to answer two questions, but not even this tactic could save them. Maties started off slowly but managed to pick up the winning pace towards the second set of questions.
But all was not decided just yet; round two commenced and the Ikeys confidently sailed through the tasting questions, scoring winning marks for blind tasting ten flights of wine. Teams had to identify cultivars, origins, vintage and faults.
The competition would be decided in round three. Teams debated the importance of terroir in a South African setting, considering this from the perspective of the consumer, the producer and the trade.
The judges were AndrÃ© Morgenthal, Wines of South Africa head of communications; Neil Grant, chairperson of the South African Sommeliers Association; and Ivan Oertle, Woolworths wine buyer. They were on hand to give relevant commentary, opinions, and clever wine wit.
Image courtesy of Backsberg.
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