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Sobremesa Wine & Food Training

Welcome to the remarkable world of wine, food and other marvellous beverages!

We often get asked what our name means and why we chose it. We all love sitting around a table drinking lovely wine, or other beverages, and eating amazing food. Having a time-out into the good life, where time slows down for a while. This is exactly why Sobremesa came about, to share our collective love for and knowledge of wine and food.

So what does it mean?
This Sobremesa site gives the definition:
“Time spent in conversation, digesting, relaxing, enjoying. Certainly not rushing. How we eat & drink is as important as what we eat & drink.“
Play with the word and you get to our slogan of Intellectual Sobriety.

Welcome to the remarkable world of wine, food and other marvellous beverages! It is our privilege to introduce you and be your guides on this breath-taking journey.

Below is a short introduction to the courses we offer.

We also offer custom courses to suit your requirements.


An introductory wine course for the person just starting out on a wine appreciation journey, or for the wine fundi who needs to understand the basic why, what and how of wine.


The course is structured as a 3-module unit, to be completed within a designated timeframe. As with all Sobremesa courses, there is a knowledge test and upon successful completion thereof, a certificate.


Module 1 revolves around the influences of bringing the grape to the glass. It provides an understanding, as well as lots of new wine words, as to why specific wines, smell and taste the way they do. The practical focus is on white grape varieties and the basics of tasting wine.


Module 2 offers a bit of detail around the different types of wine producers in South Africa, also looking at specific areas and decoding more of what terroir is all about. Practice makes perfect, and in module 2 red grapes are tasted according to the same method used in module 1.


Module 3 is both the beginning and the end of this wine course, with a nod to what can go wrong and how to recognize wine faults. A look at sparkling wine, often drunk before a meal; and the what and how around bubbles in South Africa, with reference to the rest of the wine world. The end, as dessert and fortified wines are discussed, again focusing on South Africa, but with reference to the International counterparts.


The bigger cousin of wine 110, and for the person who needs to know, not only about wine, but most other alcoholic beverages. A course ideally suited to those working in the Food and Beverage Industry, who must be able to advise and understand the jargon.


The course is structured as 6 modules, with module 1- 3 a repeat of what is discussed in Wine 110.


Module 4 and 5 focus on other alcoholic beverage; different beers and distilled products, such as brandy, gin, whisky with a ‘y’ and a ‘ey’, and the other well-known commercially available spirits.


Module 6 is about gastronomy and decoding the basics of food and wine pairing. No more guesswork of which alcoholic beverage with what food, as module 6 explains the rules the ‘in the know people’ apply.


Come fly with us on an International wine journey. Apply what you learnt in Wine 110 or 112, what makes South African wine different to their International counterparts, and gain knowledge on the well-know wine regions of the world, both Old and New.


Module 1 and 2 focus on the whites and reds of France and Germany, with Module 3 decoding Spain and Portugal. Module 4 studies the fizz of Europe and why specific names apply to specific products. Different styles of a sparkling wines are discussed and explained, looking specifically at the different sparkling wine regions.


The last module, 5, leaves behind the Old World of European wines, and looks at what the New World countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, has to offer.
All modules are supported with tastings focused on wines from the wine regions covered.

Sobremesa wine courses will inspire you to grow in your wine journey, with skills and knowledge to enable you to speak wine.


Wanda Cronje

Cape Wine Master

Lisha Nelson-De Villiers

Cape Wine Master

Michelle Grimbeek

Educational Specialist



‘Great day,lecturer so knowledgeable.Snacks were awesome too.’


‘Well presented and very educational.I have a much better understanding of wine tasting now.’


‘Wanda taught me the Preliminary Wine Course which gave me an understanding of South African Wines as well as the Wines of the World course. I implore you to take up a wine course with Wanda.’

Nathan John


‘Mrs Cronje is an excellent lecturer, who truly goes above and beyond to create a fun and interesting learning environment for her students. Her passion for the arts of culinary and wine culture is contagious, inspiring us to deepen our own knowledge. She is always patient, kind and dedicated to helping us achieve our best in the work set out for us.’

Bradley Page


‘When I think of Cronje I think warm-hearted, just like a perfectly aged Meerlust Rubicon.
It was such a privilege to have been taught by such and experienced and passionate person. She was the one who truly made me fall in love with the fine art of culinary and to enjoy wine, as it is ment to be enjoyed with family and friends. I cannot express my gratitude. I will forever think of Mrs Cronje with every glass of wine I enjoy.’

Lorainne de Waal



Wine seems to be part of my DNA, spending my formative childhood years in the shade of KWV HQ, might have played a part. I love everything about wine, but most of all I love to introduce others to the stories of the producers, the farms and the magic in the “Wine of Origin South Africa” bottles.


I was ‘forced’ to study wine, as wine courses were part of my diploma at Granger Bay Hotel school. After two years of working off study debt, working in the Hospitality Industry in the UK, I returned to South Africa in 1997 to start a business catering to international film crews and advertising companies. I attribute my pride in South African wine to some of the people I work with during that decade, realizing that our wine quality and the characters in our industry makes for good stories and great national pride.


I have been involved with wine education for the last 21 years during which I was part of the Sommelier Level 1 government programme, lecturing about wine in a church in Gugulethu.


I believe my formal training as a chef and qualified educator, my knowledge of wine and me never taking myself too seriously has helped to grow my business of small food and wine cooking and pairing events. Fun with Food recently changed into Sobremesa Food & Wine Training as more and more focus was on wine training for anyone wanting to be able to ‘speak wine’ and decode food.


Lisha has been a farmgirl all her life. Many of her school holidays and week-ends were spent working in the vineyards and the tasting room on the family wine estate. Whilst still a teenager she travelled abroad to represent the Nelson Wine Estate at international wine shows.


These experiences kindled her interest in winemaking. After matriculating at Paarl Gimnasium in 2000 she went on to study Viticulture and Oenology at Stellenbosch University. Between 2001 and 2007 she graduated first with a BScAgric (cum laude) and then with an MScAgric (cum laude).


In 2008 she Joined the family winery as head winemaker. Currently Lisha is the CEO and responsible for running the entire family wine business.


After visiting many wine growing regions around the world, Lisha decided to formally broaden her knowledge about wines and wine growing regions around the world and enrolled at the Cape Wine Academy.


Lisha’s interests include wine, reading, horse riding and travel. She is married with two children.


I have been part of the Educating world since 1990. I am a qualified educator and I have taught, tutored, facilitated, assessed, and moderated many learners over the years.


I am a qualified Facilitator, Assessor and Moderator with CATHSETA, as well as a Course designer and developer. I also have a Diploma in Wine from the CWA.


I was the manager of Caroline’s wine shop in the Somerset Mall and then worked for the Cape Wine Academy for 16 years. I had various responsibilities including selecting and buying wine, selecting lecturers, planning functions and events with all its logistical administration. My main role was the planning and co-ordination of all the courses that the CWA offered.


I am currently part of Turnkey Events that organize the SAWWA, Gold and Vitis Vinefera Wine Awards.


I also consult to small groups and individuals, that requires assistance, relating to anything in the above parameters