A haven of luxury amid the unexplored wilds, the Time + Tide Miavana experience is one of adventure blended with absolute luxury. At the core of our offerings is a food and wine experience that celebrates the quality and diversity of southern Africa’s abundance. From sustainably caught reef fish to aromatic vanilla pods and delicate tropical fruits, the flavours of the region are tantalising and unexpected. With an astute culinary team in place to bring these foods to life, our resident sommelier, Alfred Muswaka of Zimbabwe, is charged with curating a collection of wine that complements the style and inspiration behind our daily-created menus. To showcase the quality of the region, around 65% of the wines featured are produced in South Africa.
From crisp chenin blancs to earthy pinotages, Alfred brings together a wine collection to rival any city-based cellar, despite the incredible remoteness of the resort. Aside from the challenges of choosing wines (Which will best complement the foods? Which will appeal most to an international audience?), Alfred must account for the challenges of a remote, tropical location. From procurement and shipping to heat and humidity, there are countless elements that he must factor in.
With a background including a Sommelier Certification, Level 3 WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust - London Based) and a Cape Wine Academy Certificate in Wine, Alfred is well prepared for a career in the sommelier arts. Despite his extensive qualifications, he’s a firm believer that being a sommelier is a just like a fine wine – both should continue to improve over time. It’s more than having a highly refined palette and the ability to do perfect pairings. It’s having an in-depth understanding of the industry from how the obstacles of production impact the long-term product, how micro and macroeconomics affect the viability of the industry, and how climate change can alter the chemistry of grapes.
As a part of his continual education, Alfred recently attended a Business of Wines course offered at NQF Level 9 (National Diploma Level) by the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. Taught by professors, industry authorities and wine judges, the course was designed to maximise the attendees insight, business acumen and leadership skills. In addition to sommeliers, the course was attended by hospitality professionals, wine makers, viticulturists, wine marketers, entrepreneurs and distributors.
One of the aspects Alfred most enjoyed was the diverse student body and the insight that they each brought. Just as wine offers all different flavours, origins and styles to create a complex and thriving industry, a diverse student body also brings richness and depth. Learning from the other attendees that came from a variety of ethnicities, ages and backgrounds was an eye-opening experience for him that rejuvenated his appreciation for just how remarkable this industry can be.
Just as many in the Time + Tide family have turned their passion into their livelihood, so has Alfred with his love of wine. His enthusiasm for sharing his knowledge is infectious and can be felt with every swirl and sip during a wine tasting at the resort. He’s a firm believer that you don’t have be an expert to enjoy a tasting – you just need a sense of curiosity and a love of discovering new things. As the sun sinks into the Indian Ocean, step inside the Time + Tide Miavana wine cellar and explore the flavours of our collection with Alfred.
Come, let us show you.