The award has been established to bring focus and recognition of achievement to the growing group of professional wine waiters in South Africa. It is co-sponsored by Riedel Glassware, who have also provided infrastructural support, together with Vinimark The Wine Company, importers of Bollinger.
The recently formed South African Sommelier Association (SASA) is fully behind the award, and some of its members were judges at the final.
Blackadder prevailed after a testing day of written exams, blind tastings and a practical assessment where finalists had to decant an aged wine, and select and present wines to "guests", pairing them with items on a menu the finalists were seeing for the first time.
Wayve Kolevsohn was second, followed by Greg Mutambe, sommelier at the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa, where the finals were held.
Ginette de Fleuriot, Cape Wine Master, award organiser and one of the judges, is very pleased with the overall results. "The high standards attained by Joakim and the other finalists have set the benchmark for aspirant sommeliers.
"We look forward to an increased number of entrants in 2012 and wider representation from South Africa’s premier tourist regions. Also, we trust that this award will act as a catalyst for the hospitality industry to expand training facilities and support local sommeliers”.
Joakim, 27, whose father is Scottish and mother is Swedish, grew up in the small town of Västerås near Stockholm in Sweden. His training included three years at a restaurant college and two years at a sommelier academy in Stockholm.
His wide restaurant training in Sweden includes a stint at Michelin-starred Restaurant Mathias Dahlgren, which won the Bocuse d’Or (World Cooking Contest) whilst he was employed there.
After a brief stint as sommelier at the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl in 2008, Joakim returned permanently to South Africa the following year and was appointed sommelier and senior manager at The Roundhouse Restaurant in Camps Bay. Earlier this year he was promoted to general manager, retaining his sommelier duties.
Blackadder’s prize is a trip to the House of Bollinger Champagne in France.