Winos 1; Foodies 0

Until recently, South Africa’s national flag carrier had been offering sparkling wine from a province in the north east of France to business class passengers (some of whom are rumoured to have the finest of palates). The airline said that would now be replaced by the rather sensational bubbly from South Africa’s own Western Cape province.

PongraczSylvain Bosc, SAA general manager, commercial, said: “South Africa is one of the world’s top producers of quality wine, from its wonderful red Shiraz, crisp Chenin Blanc to stunning sparkling Méthode Cap Classique…Indeed, there is no reason whatsoever to serve foreign wine on board SAA.”

This news would soothe some frayed nerves in the local food and beverage industry after trolleys flew earlier this month over the airline’s granting of a big catering contract to a German company. Executives from the company encountered stormy weather during an SAA briefing to the finance committee in Parliament when MPs from all political parties cried foul on hearing about an R85 million catering contract that SAA had awarded to a German company.

It was revealed that Air Chefs, a SAA subsidiary, provided catering for flights and lounges at all South African airports except for the new OR Tambo International Airport lounge in the high-flying northern City of Gold, Johannesburg, which was to be serviced by the German company. United Democratic Movement MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa was reported as saying that the award of the contract was “wrong” when South Africans could cook.

Does anyone fancy a nice glass of Pinotage with their sauerkraut? – Siobhan Cassidy/African News Agency

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Siobhan Cassidy

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