Throughout my career as a sommelier, I have received many awards, achieved many “firsts” and reached countless personal goals. I live by the motto ‘there is no such thing as problems, only challenges’ and believe this unique perception of life has gotten me where I am today.

  • 2018  > Eat Out award for Outstanding Contribution to Service

  • 1994  > Certificate for Distillation from the Brandy Association of South Africa

  • 1993  > Diploma from the Cape Wine Academy level (Level 2) 

  • 1983  > Semi-finalist at the 1983 Sommelier World Championship


Being a senior wine/spirit taster has provided me many opportunities. Amongst others, I have been invited to do tastings at many prestigious (and in some instances a once in a lifetime) establishments and events.

  • 1980  > Chevalier du Trou Normand (Approved judge for Calvados Brandy which is considered to be a distinction in 
    Normandy for being associated with Calvados Brandy)

  • 1981  >  Judged the Tastevinage Clos Vougeot in 1981, 1982 and 1983

  • 1994  >  Judged the Veritas Award

  • 1994  > I have been a senior judge at the Distell Challenge for the Young Sommelier Competition since it first started in 2014,
                 I was unable to judge in 2019 because I was working for competitive company that year, and in 2020 I judged the
                 pairing only and not for the service

  • 2015  >  Judge on food for the thrid-year students at the University of Pretoria in 2015, 2016 and 2017

  • 2016  > Judged at Michelangelo, Johannesburg on 4 occasions in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Because of the Covid19
                pandemic, all events were cancelled in 2020. In 2016, I represented France and since then I have represented
                South Africa

  • 2016  > Personally coached the South African team for the blind tasting competition at the World Championship

  • Judged 14 of the 17 Classic Trophy competitions (this competition is based on showing the ageing potential of a wine)

I am proud to say that I have been a part of many "first" in my life, an achievement that not many other sommeliers, chefs and specialist can say they have done themselves.

  • Amongst other, I created the first food and wine pairing evening where people could taste different wines on offer paired with a single dish

  • 1982  > First Swiss wine tasting in Paris

  • 1983  > Created the first Swiss Sommelier Association

  • 1986  > Officially the first qualified sommelier to work in South Africa at Benny Goldberg superstore in Kew, Johannesburg.

  • I was the first certified Sommelier working in the French-speaking part of Switzerland

  • 1985  > Created the first wine list competition in South Africa (that is one year before Diners Club and Peter Devereux took the

  •              concept and created their own national competitions)

  • 1985  > Started the first Music, Food & Wine evenings in Pretoria in 1985 and 1986

  • 1986  > Created the first wine show in Pretoria supported by Pretoria News

  • 1989  > Created the biggest Bordeaux tasting in South Africa

  • 1991  > Created the first independent vintage wine auction in Pretoria

  • 1995  > The first mineral water tasting in South Africa, and only the third in the world

  • 2000  > Created the first official National Cheese Festival which welcomed 5 000 people in the first year which resulted in
                 cheese selections tripling shelf space in stores

  • 2005  > The first public salt tasting in the world open which also resulted in salt selections tripling shelf space in stores

  • 2006  > The first soya sauce tasting in South Africa

  • 2009  > I created the Cape Sommelier Course for the Cape Wine Academy

  • 2014  > The first peppercorn tasting in South Africa

  • 2015  > The first oyster tasting in South Africa

  • 2019  > Created the first food and wine pairing in a public bottle store at Makro Silver Lakes, Pretoria

  • 2021  > South Africa's first public honey tasting 


Eat Out John Psilles Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service