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One&Only sommelier Luvo Ntezo

While his cooking skills may leave something to be desired, head sommelier at One&Only Cape Town Luvo Ntezo comfortably inhabits the world of wine.

Grahamstown-born Sommelier Luvo Ntezo has racked up an impressive number of awards over the years thanks to his well-developed palate. The lauded oenophile trained at Stellenbosch’s Cape Wine Academy, spent a six-year stint at the The Twelve Apostles and is currently the head sommelier at the illustrious One&Only Cape Town.

Wine-making hero?

John Loubser of Steenberg Estate.

Best part of the job?

Having the privilege of meeting diners from all corners of the world who have a real passion for wines and being able to take them on a discovery journey of South African wines.

Career highlight?

When I was awarded fourth place in the Chaîne de Rotisseurs Jeunne Sommelier World Championship in Vienna in 2008.

Dream holiday?

I’d love to go to St Petersburg. I have an absolute love for all things Russian and am even thinking of enrolling both my sons for Russian lessons.

Best wines ever tasted?

Petrus 1982, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Penfolds Grange, Screaming Eagle and Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir.

Best food and wine pairing ever?

Having Reuben Riffel cook up a range of South African dishes paired with remarkable South African wines at Soho House in West Hollywood is a major highlight.

Favourite local restaurants?

I love the Hussar Grill in Green Point for its simple food and the fact that I get to bring my own wine and walk home afterwards. And both Reuben’s and Nobu at the One&Only for their great vibes and knowledgeable teams.

Guilty pleasures?

Pinot Noir, Cuban cigars and Meatloaf’s music. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the piano.

Favourite ingredient?

I'm an awful cook but really enjoy buchu- or rooibos infused ingredients.

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