Funky Wines + Steak
A Wine Bar where you wouldn’t expect to find one.
This is most people’s first response when they walk into Publik Wine Bar Cape Town , South Africa.
Understanding the dynamics which makes our wine bar a success, is something discussed ad infinitum both sides of the counter. Whether it is the people frequent our bar, whether it is the music, seeing others having a good time or whether it is the unique wine selection. But it works!
There are always those people who are skittish coming down into the pit- an old garage space that is below street level.
A guaranteed reason for them to come down is when someone has referred them. Word of mouth is by far the most influential factor on making people try something new. It brings them to our door and inside the shop — which smells like meat, when you walk down the stairs, as we share it with a butcher☺Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants.
Steve Jobs said — ‘A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.’
That doesn’t ring more true when it comes to wine .
‘I’d like a Sauvignon Blanc, and some ice please’ — Sure I’d say, before I pour them a Riesling. ‘Damn , this is tasty ‘. ‘Indeed sir/madam’ — you’ve just tasted a wine that you ‘DON’T DRINK!!????’.
“Wine drinkers are a complex bunch” — is probably not a surprising statement...Wine being the most sophisticated of libations.
Of the people entering our bar I feel they can be classified into 5 categories.
- The Wine novice — they know 2 types of wines — White and/or Red. They’ve heard of something other than a Sauvignon Blanc or ‘Cab Sav’, but haven’t ventured down that path. They usually ask for a dry red, or a semi sweet white.
2. The Wine Drinker — Drinks a lot of it, but mostly plonk ( admittedly I was one of these not too long ago).
3. The Amateur — He slurps , swirls, dives his nose into the glass, and shakes his head in agreement. ( I am probably still in this phase, without the slurping part)
4. The Wannabe Wino — They know the wine maker ‘PERSONALLY’!, the estate, the wines, and they will elaborate about different varietals, regions or winemaking methods.
The best way for you to approach them is with caution — ask questions to gauge their familiarity with the current wine list , rather than trying to teach them anything. The last thing a ‘Wino’ wants is someone who knows/aims to know more than they do. They will then try and prove you wrong for the rest of the evening.
5. The Expert /Wine maker — He who doesn’t say much. Know what they like, but aren’t afraid to try something new. They have the ability to sum up a wine with one word. ‘big’, ‘tight’, ‘fresh’ are some of the more common descriptions.
A wine bar must have a certain dark edge to it , a unique allure, a mystique — something which can’t be easily replicated.
Come and say hi at 81 Church Street, just off Bree Street opposite &Union — now Weinhouse + Beergarten
Open Mon- Fri ; 4 pm –10 pmish.