The Oyster Box Hotel’s wine cellar has a new boss

2009-09-19 00:00

WINE expert Thato Goimane is determined to turn Durbanites into wine lovers.

He recently relocated to Durban and will be in charge of the wine cellar at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga, which is set to reopen on October 1 after a massive renovation.

The new sommelier told Weekend Witness that his love affair with wine started during a short stint as a waiter.

“I attentively looked at this group of guys doing all the sniffing and swirling of the glasses and the comments they made about the wine, then I immediately thought it was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life coming from the township of Soweto.

“I decided then that I wanted to make wine my passion,” he said.

After completing the Cape Wine Academy preliminary course in 1998, he obtained a certificate in the “fine wines of the world” course in 2005.

“With these great achievements under my belt and my thirst for a deeper and richer understanding of wines, I attended the Wine Tasting­ Academy at the Sheraton Arabella in Cape Town,” he said.

For Goimane, wine is much more than a drink; his passion is evident as he describes how he has learnt about different wines during the past five years.

“The wine academy in Sheraton Arabella equipped me with the ability to taste and judge wine at a professional level.

“This not only gave me greater knowledge and understanding of wine, but I also learnt the intention behind each and every bottle,” he said.

Goimane said he is excited about working at the Oyster Box and created a wine list that not only includes some of the best wines in South Africa, but also offers a fine selection of international wines.

“I have created a cellar which combines­ both Old World style, which offers wines with less wood and concentration, and the more robust New World style wines.

“It is my ambition to continue studying the vast techniques and traditions of wine making and tasting.”

Goimane said that introducing his wine list to Durban­ will be challenging, but he is confident that people will love the wine.

“People are very interesting here. I want to create a wine culture that includes more young people,” he said.

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