I’m taking my wine a tad more seriously these days. Not surprising really as I recently spent a week on a barge (courtesy of Le Boat) on the Canal du Midi in Southern France, joined by fellow travel writer Justin Fox, my best friend of 41 years Janet Lindup, and the inimitable John Maytham of Capetalk fame, who is très knowledgeable about vino (Wine Pick).
Lately, when shopping for incredible wine, I’ve been parting with my plastic at Wine Concepts in the Lifestyle Centre on Kloof Street. Reason being there’s a clued up young sommelier working there as a wine advisor – Babalwa Ncedani -who without fail makes the most perfect red and white recommendations to me, every time. I’m inspired by her knowledge and her passion for what she does, and grateful that she consistently introduces me to superb vintages, like the David Finlayson chenin blanc, a new favourite of mine.
1. Who are you & what do you do?
I’m a sommelier, currently working as a wine advisor in a boutique wine shop on Kloof called Wine Concepts. Funnily enough, I always had a passion for being a chef but I was offered a bursary to study wine through a pilot program so in a way the profession sort of found me. But I couldn’t be happier though, as I discovered, during my varsity practicals at hospitality school, that I was not cut out to be in the kitchen and that I was more at ease dealing with customers first hand. I guess my public relations management diploma also helped me a bit. I couldn’t have found something much more suited to my career perspective.
2. What is your passion – what inspires you?
My passion is wine and working with people. The recommendations and suggestions I make to people, and having them like what I suggested, fuels my inspiration
3.What is it you love about Cape Town?
I love the wine routes. The weather, the diversity of cultures and nations that reside in Cape Town.
4.Name a favourite travel destination & tell us why?
Has to be Switzerland. Besides wine I love chocolate and I was fortunate enough to live in Switzerland for 8 months – now I have a desire to do my own chocolate and wine pairings at home with friends.
5.What are a few of your favourite things in life and what is your pet peeve?
Fave: My family and my job .I love what I do and working with people everyday and not knowing what to expect brings more excitement. And next to that is my bed-after a long day it’s good to get home to it.
Peeve: I cringe mostly when I see someone drinking wine out of a tumbler (CTD: this is SO a pet peeve of mine and of Bianca Coleman’s) and people not appreciating what they have.
Follow Babalwa on Instagram, @babalwan
CTD: If you’re going to drink wine, pop the cork on top quality I say.
Until next time,