It never dawned on me that I would drink wine, let alone make a living out of it,” says Tinashe Nyamudoka.

Yet, just eight years after his first taste, while waiting at The Roundhouse restaurant in Cape Town, the 30-year-old is making a name for himself in a historically white-dominated industry.

His thirst to learn, willingness to improve and the usual ingredients of hard work, patience and perseverance uncorked a career that has taken him to South Africa’s finest restaurants. He learned alongside seasoned sommeliers André Bekker and Eric Botha at The One & Only in Cape Town, earned his official badge via the Cape Wine Academy and took tenure as head sommelier at Cape Town’s Nobu and then at The Oyster Box in Umhlanga.

In July 2015 Nyamudoka was ready to return to the Cape and join the team at The Test Kitchen, ranked 28 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. He hopes, through starting his own business one day, to share his passion for wine and make a positive impact on others, in the same way, many have done for him.

His favourite wine, by the way, is a Rudera Robusto Chenin Blanc 2006.

Find Tinashe on Twitter: @tnashenyamudoka