To compile a beverage list such as the Diners Club International Wine List Icon Award winning Saxon wine list; one needs a broad-minded curiosity to explore away from the beaten path – finding unusual and unique selections from around the world.
What is most intriguing about the hotel’s culture is that it is entwined with Johannesburg’s fascination with food. For many in the area, wine is not a matter of ratings on the Platter scale, status labels, hushed tastings of benchmark wines and other trappings associated with connoisseurship. Instead, the area shares a rare comfort that showcases its abundantly mature embrace of wine’s pleasures.
A menu with the above at heart is therefore an ongoing mission. The wine list is a collection of ideas from the sommelier team over a period of time, with varying offerings at strategic price points.
Finding wine from all over the world is one of the best things about working at the Saxon. And this is made possible by a number of ways, for example:
We have the good fortune of being able to travel to some international destinations and pick wines from cellars that we think could be a hit with our diverse clientele. Some of these include Castiglion del Bosco and Podernuovo a Palazzone, both in Tuscany, Italy. Traveling affords us an opportunity to share into a producer’s philosophy and get a deep sense of the terroir.
The wine world is ever evolving. New vineyards are being planted everyday. Laws and regulations continue to evolve too. There is not enough time in the world to keep abreast of some of these changes without the odd visit from a distant winemaker or representative. If not to taste some wines these visits are an important personal relationship that ensures exclusive listings at the Saxon.
For a few years now we are regular participants at some annual auctions, including the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) and the Nederberg Auction (rechristened Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction). These afford us an opportunity to procure some older vintages.
How do we stay informed
By subscribing to vineyard newsletters and international publications particularly Decanter and Wine Spectator magazines. They are among the leading authorities on wines of the world.
The Saxon wine list can be viewed here.