Wine has long been a topic of controversy – from Michael McIntyre’s impersonations of patrons at fine dining restaurants partaking in this convoluted performance, swirling and sniffing this red substance before decreeing, after a moment where all wait with bated breath, that it is in fact “wine” and not vinegar – to the ongoing jest we all know between the wine-snobs amongst us, and those satisfied that they can achieve the desired affect from a box.
Even those of us within the industry itself, have opinions on where the value-for-money mark lies, and what we personally would not be prepared to pay for even the most well-marketed wine. The argument of “what price is too much” is one that simply, could never be won – because fundamentally wine is an art form and one’s appreciation for that is entirely subjective. Our job as sommeliers starts with tasting for you – when we put together our wine lists, we do not base our decisions on what we personally enjoy, but that we believe you would derive satisfaction from, and that means catering for a host of different palates and preferences.
When you join us at Saint, our goal is not to sell you the most expensive bottle of wine on our list, but to help you find your value-for-money point. A bottle of wine for R500 that isn’t suited to your palate, or your meal, will likely leave you feeling underwhelmed and resentful of the price you paid, however an alternative at R550 that enhances your meal and warms the cockles of your heart on a cold winter’s night, is infinitely more likely to ease the pain of your wallet with feelings of the expense having been worth it. That’s not to say that the better wine is always the more expensive – the best wine for the night might in fact be slightly cheaper.
Ultimately, we are not extortionists or salesmen – we are sommeliers, here to help you find the best wine for you, at a price that leaves you feeling that every cent was well deserved. Much like artwork, one cannot dictate to you the amount of appreciation you should get from any artist in particular, rather we work backwards, hearing what you appreciate and then hunting for what fits the brief. Some may look at our selection of Rare & Antique Wines and view them as exorbitant, while others may consider it the perfect salute to an afternoon of luxury and epicureanism. All we can hope for, is that at the end of you evening, in a sigh of content satisfaction, you choose to join us again.