Tawanda Marume

Tawanda Marume, the Best Sommelier of Zimbabwe 2020, is the founder and director of Expression Wines Africa.

What started out as an interest in learning the basics of wine soon became a career path for Zimbabwean sommelier Tawanda Marume.

He studied at the Cape Wine Academy, where, one level after another, he fell in love with wine and decided to pursue the Cape Wine Masters programme. Working at Wine Concepts on Kloof for 4 years catapulted his career into the wine industry.

His first role as a sommelier was at La Colombe Restaurant, working under Jennifer Hugé. Here, Tawanda was exposed to the intensity of the sommelier world. In 2015, Tawanda moved to East Africa and worked for Singita Grumeti in Tanzania, a step which he describes as a major learning curve. He learnt to always put guests first and focus on making them enjoy every moment of a wine experience. He subsequently joined Rust en Vrede Restaurant for a "surreal" episode.

In 2018, Tawanda decided to move to Johannesburg to pursue his dream of starting his own business. He launched Expression Wines Africa in 2018. The company's service offering includes hosting wine tastings; representing wine brands; providing wine service at private dinners and events; and curating wine lists. A big emphasis of theirs is on training, as it's one of the founding motivations of Tawanda's since his journey started over a decade ago.

Tawanda is currently serving as the vice-chairman of the Sommeliers Association of Zimbabwe and he holds the title of 2020 Best Sommelier of Zimbabwe. In addition, he is on the board of the the South African Sommeliers Association (SASA). Along with Xolani Mancotywa, he leads the association's Johannesburg chapter.