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Do wine list rip offs present an alternative opportunity?

While doing the usual Monday morning blog catch ups over a cup of coffee I read Jeanri-Tine van Zyl’s post regarding a Waterfront dining experience. Balducci worms aside, her revelation regarding the wine list at Tasca de Belem at the V&A Waterfront got me thinking about winelists and ridiculous markups.

Criticism of restaurateurs and their wine list markups seems to follow a cycle, becoming the hot topic every few months, when a blogger or journalist happens to have a particularly poor experience. Emile Joubert over at Winegoggle is possibly the most outspoken on this topic and with each new article the restaurants seem to wheel out the same lame reasoning. Perhaps if they were a bit more honest about their reasoning (ala Alan Pick) this debate would be a lot more interesting.

So my thought was this: wouldn’t it be great to see a top producer refuse to supply a restaurant if they felt that their wines were being misrepresented on the wine list. If a winery is as concerned with the end consumer of their wines as most claim, this could be a very interesting area to get into.

Firstly the winery would need to be confidently selling their way through their annual production, which would probably cut down the list of candidates a fair bit in current times. Secondly their wines would need to be attractive enough that the establishment would feel aggrieved to not have them on their list. Thirdly, the wine producer would need enough of a profile to get their PR cronies out there saying something and the rest of us actually taking notice.

Oh, and fourthly it would require some serious balls from the producer. There are a few that could perhaps pull it off. Any suggestions?

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