When Tongai Joseph Dhafana (‘Joseph’ to his friends) left Zimbabwe, he didn’t know where his path would lead him next. His first job on South African soil was as a gardener at Bar Bar Black Sheep in Riebeek-Kasteel, but hard work and enthusiasm saw him climb the ranks and into the restaurant as a waiter. This was when his love affair with grapes began and his mentors, Eben Sadie and Chris Mullineux, saw his potential. Joseph enrolled at the Cape Wine Academy in Stellenbosch to earn his qualification in oenology and he the esteemed sommelier at Silvermist’s La Colombe in the Constantia Valley.
In 2015, Dhafana entered a blind tasting wine competition that landed him the third place in South Africa and 12th in the world championship alongside the rest of the national team. Since then, he has started his own company, Mosi Wines, and is exporting to Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
After learning about the great knowledge of this wine connoisseur, we had to ask him what he would pair some of our favourite dishes:
Paella: The Sadie Family Wines Pofadder 2012 is fruity and herbal with
a mineral backbone, this is an excellent choice to accompany any seafood, such as a mussel dish.’
Pulled brisket tacos: The vivid fruity flavour and spicy, gamey quality of the Stony Brook Vineyards Shiraz Mourvèdre Viognier 2010 are great paired with smoked meats or the rich flavour of brisket.
Jelly squares: A fresh and acidic sparkling wine like the Krone Night Nectar Cap Classique 2011 complements a light, fruity jelly superbly.