Of wine lists and worms

After having been presented with an eyebrow-raising wine list from a certain Waterfront restaurant earlier this week team WINE went to investigate. What we discovered is worth sharing.

The premium wine list at Tasca (full name Tasca De Belem) at the V&A Waterfront illustrates a particularly optimistic, if not greedy, approach to wine pricing. An enquiry into the listings verified that the star ratings indicated on the laminated menu are in accordance to Platter’s 2010, and hence the vintages rated in this year’s buyer’s guide. With this as background we proceeded to scrutinize the establishment’s premium offering.

Vintages are only provided to four of the wines listed (those belonging to Steytler Pinotage 2001, 2003 and 2007 and the Vriesenhof 1982), the rest of the listed shows a concerning lack of details – no vintage, incredulous star ratings and lack of varietal break-down. The “Glen Carlou” at R1000 being a case in point. Um, would that be the Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon?

But let’s talk prices. “KWV Roodeberg” is listed as a five-star wine trading at R2000, to put this into perspective, KWV Roodeberg 2007 currently retails for R63 at the KWV Wine Emporium. “Steenberg Catherina” (sic) red blend, which trades at R175 ex-cellar, reflects a similar star and price listing. You’ll be able to order a “Vriesenhof 1982” for R10 000. I can go on.

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