World's top wine connoisseur in action


Christopher Bates, may very well be the “world’s top wine connoisseur” as the press release for the 6th Concours International des Jeunes Sommeliers proclaimed after he won the competition held on Friday at the Mount Nelson. This afternoon he was opening bottles like a pro at the launch of the Yardstick wines of Adam Mason and Peter Templehoff at Mulderbosch.

cbates 225x300 World's top wine connoisseur in action

Christopher Bates, winner of the 6th Concours International des Jeunes Sommeliers

“So what did you win?” I inquired. “A sabre.” Which must present some challenges to take back to his Hotel Fauchere (estd. 1852) in Milford, Pennsylvania, 90 minutes from the Big Apple. Still last time he won a sommelier competition in SA two years ago, the prize was a giant and extremely fragile wine glass and a sword. Impossible to take anywhere at all. So canny organizers WOSA now have the glass in their palatial palaces in Dorp Street, Stellenbosch, after Christopher donated it to them. Let’s hope the removals manne don’t break it when they move office.

Of course WOSA, not being of a literary bent, would have not appreciated the irony of giving a sword to an American hotelier called Bates. Alfred Hitchcock must be chortling like a Psycho, somewhere.