Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Friday | November 30, 2012
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A bubbly affair
From left: Pierre de Villiers (left); Siphokazi Hermans (centre), of the South African Embassy; and Georgia Smith. Winston Sill / Freelance Photographer
Chester Francis-Jackson, Contributor

Dears, the world is full of moaners and groaners, always looking for someone, something, or Government for which to blame their lack of industry and/or creativity. On the other hand, the world is equally blessed with the Las Chins, Kenny Benjamins, John Issas, Chris Blackwells, Michael Lee-Chins on the national scene, while on the international scene, we have had the Richard Bransons, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and the Mark Zuckerbergs, who, instead of sitting around and complaining about some imagined obstacle, went out, and, through their own initiative, have fashioned their own industries that have impacted, (and positively) the lives of billions across the planet.

Speaking of movers and shakers, as against talkers and groaners, one has only got to look at Kingston to see and appreciate the new sense of industry all around. One such industrious businessman is Christopher Issa, who, when others thought Kingston a most unfashionable destination, worthy of nothing but the derision by some in the middle classes, saw opportunity and grasped that opportunity.

It was his ability to recognise the opportunity instead of joining the bandwagon of naysayers that resulted in what is now arguably Kingston's finest hotel, since the Myrtle Bank, the Spanish Court Hotel, over there in the heart of the country's financial and commercial district.

The Spanish Court Hotel has in three years asserted itself as the city's preferred spot, for the international business class, returning residents, and out-of-towners; with its restaurant and caf literally being the talk of the town as the preferred places to relax, meet for drinks, dine, or simply lyme.

Well, with the Spanish Court Hotel being the talk of the town, little wonder here that another leading brand, known for its savvy and sense of celebrity style, J. Wray & Nephew Limited, recently paired with the hotel to bring to the nation's capital one of its most innovative and fashionable events - 'Wine-Tasting Mondays'. As its name suggests, the event is about gathering oenophiles, wine-enthusiasts and beginners under the auspices of the Spanish Court Hotel and J. Wray & Nephew Limited, for a wine-tasting and gastronomic experience, in a bid to promote wine brands and sensitise the wine-loving public to the joys of wine-tasting/ drinking; as well as to demystify the art of wine consumption and/ or appreciation.

Fitting curtain call

Hosted over a six-week period, the first in the series came to a close on Monday of this week with a fitting curtain call. It was a champagne toast finale on the hotel's SkyDeck, la poolside with clinking flutes and the rich, sparkling fizz of bubbling champagne.

Dears, Mondays in the nation's capital never tasted better as, indeed, guests were treated to a five-course red-and-white varietal, topped by Mot y Chandon; complemented by some fab finger food, that made for some excellent pairing and a total pleasure for the palate.

And, with civilised company to boot, you know we are talking a fabulous demi-finale here and nothing but, as among those spotted at last Monday's do, joining the hotel's General Manager LeeAnn Godfrey and her team; and Wray & Nephew's Debbian Spence-Minott and her team of wine ambassadors were Opposition MP Ed Bartlett; the elegant Carole Fullerton; legal luminary and JLP powerbroker Harold Brady; Kia Motors' Dwight Moore; Kelly Tomblin of JPS; Carreras' Michael Pandohie and his stunning wife Nicole Pandohie; Percy and Eleanor Hussey; the lovely Tara Bradshaw; the charming Suzanne Morrison; the fabulous Maxine Hogarth-Spence; the fab Oralee Bent, who jetted in from Luxembourg; the lovely Kaci Walcott; Brian Purkiss; the lovely Camile Campbell; the lovely Georgia Smith; and plus a number of others.

More anon, as indeed, the buzz is more Wine Tasting Mondays to come.
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