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The Mercury Wine Week is already under way in sunny Durbs, with new dedicated 20-minute tastings being served up every evening.  It’s a great forum to ask questions and find new favourites. And if you think you have a palate that knows a thing or two about wine, you could test your taste ability and qualify for the National Wine Tasting Championships next month. (PS if you win the nationals you’ll be flown to the World Wine Tasting Championships in France).

The KZN leg will be held for one day only on August 29, between 12 and 3pm at the Mercury Wine Week. Think you’ve got what it takes? These four steps stand between you and being recognised as a champion wine taster:
1 – Taste 30 wines from a selection presented by the best South African wineries at the Mercury Wine Week.
2 – Enter the blind tasting competition and recognise 7 wines served blind.
3 – Secure one of the highest scores and become one of the top 12 national tasters from around South Africa.
4 – These top 12 competitors will be invited to the national finale in September 2015, in Cape Town where the South African team of four will be selected to compete in the World Championship in Chateauneuf du Pape (France) on the October 17, 2015.
Cost to enter is just R20 and is open to all over 18 years old. The full tasting experience should take approximately 2 hours to complete but all competitors can do the experience at their own pace.
Check out the full list of exhibitors here and the schedule of events here.

Date: 28-29 August
Times: Friday 28 August: 17h30-20h30
Saturday 29 August: 12h00-15h00
Prices: R120 per person
Venue: Grindrod Wine Theatre, Suncoast
Tickets: Book at Computicket

Try These 3 Wines While You’re There
Worried you’ll miss out on the best of the bunch? We asked Wade Bales to handpick 3 wines that will be available for tasting at The Mercury Wine Week.

#1 Raka Biography Shiraz 2011
This wine from winemaker Josef Dreyer put Raka on the map. The Shiraz offers a kaleidoscope of black berry, violets, vanilla and white pepper aromas and flavours. Elegant, refined, and unmissable!

#2 Bon Courage CC Jacques Bruere Blanc de Blanc 2009
Despite this being an ongoing award-winning product, it’s not widely known and we’d consider it to be still be a bit of an undiscovered gem. This elegant Methode Cap Classique has a strong yeasty nose and a faint lemon scent. It is a white crispy wine with a creamy complexity on the palate. A wine with great finesse.

#3 Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2015
From one of the best Sauvignon Blanc producers in the Cape, don’t miss the opportunity to try this year’s newly-released vintage. Think passion fruit, ruby grapefruit and freshly cut grass on the nose followed by fresh citrus notes.

Don’t forget to rate the wines you taste on the Wine23 app so you can remember the ones that caught your fancy in future.

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