There are many things we have done since starting the Foodbarn; one that we are exceptionally proud of is ensuring a very reasonable wine list. Knowing what restaurants pay for wine, we are often quite disullusioned when we eat out by the prices that some restaurants get away with. This has often caused us to question this strategy of keeping our wine prices so reasonable … but are glad that we have stuck to our guns. So, it is with great interest that we read a debate in the media (http://goo.gl/O9BLP) lately about the exorbitant prices of wines in some restaurants. The prices also differ so greatly from restaurant to restaurant that you may find yourself paying almost double in some places in comparison to others. While it is true that not all suppliers charge the same for wine, we as an industry need to get real … How is it possible that some restaurants charge R125.00 for a bottle of wine that they paid R30.00 for? We challenge anyone to justify this.
Obviously, the consumer is allowing this and these establishments are also obviously keeping the wine prices in line with the cost of their food. Quite frankly, this is a bit disturbing. If we were to charge for wine based on the talents of our chef, the wines would be exorbitant and so would our food be. In an effort to make the overall experience affordable and fun, we have taken certain measures.
Firstly, Franck has paired each menu item to the appropriate wine on our list … this is our suggestion anyway and we welcome any discussion and/or suggestions regarding these. Each of these wines is available by the carafe where you get a third of the bottle for a third of the price. We don’t load the price to compensate for any potential wastage as we use the ‘Verre de Vin’ technology to keep the wine from oxidizing. How awesome is it that a table of two could potentially have a three course meal, each course with a different wine and effectively only pay for two bottles … this is what we are about people … making the tastes and textures of fine dining that much more accessible and affordable, and hopefully, enjoyable too!
We don’t have a sommelier to ‘sell’ you an expensive bottle of wine and we don’t have uber expensive wine cooling equipment but we do have awesome relationships with many wine farms with whom we love working. This affords us the opportunity to bring you amazing ‘house’ wines from Klein Constantia and Cape Point Vineyards at very reasonable prices. It also makes it possible for us to bring you our insane winter special with Steenberg Vineyards and Nitida Wines. Not to mention the fab food and wine evenings with passionate and entertaining winemakers such as David Nieuwoudt from Cederberg and Kevin Grant at Ataraxia.
Understandably, there are still guests who prefer to bring their own special bottle of wine and for this we do charge a corkage of R40 and one is not limited to how many bottles you may bring (some people still shamelessly arrive with a cooler box full but that is the minority).
And then there is the Deli where we sell a lot of the wines available on the restaurant wine list (and many others) at really affordable prices.
The bottom line is this; we are passionate about our guests enjoying the overall experience of the Foodbarn (whether you are dining in the restaurant, buying wine at the deli or enjoying a bowl of tapas) … we have the delicious food, the caring and relaxed service, AND the affordable wines … we look forward to spoiling you.
Pete & Franck