While Kalk Bay may boast some of the freshest seafood in the Cape, when it comes to wine it’s a different matter entirely. Lunching on the mini False Bay waterfront earlier this week, my Johannesburg friends watched an impromptu sideshow of waiters pouring leftover bottles of 2008 vintage Franschhoek white into a single bottle which was “resealed” with a screwcap, presumably ready to be served to the next punter.
The debate over the merits of screwcap versus cork as wine closure is a hoary young chestnut hauled out at regular intervals to give tired newspaper wine columns a fillip and to enliven the comment sections of moribund internet blogs While Decanter reporting that NASA airocide technology can remove TCA taint from corks made last week a good one for Amorim, that inventive Kalk Bay waitstaff have come up with a new way of fleecing tourists might be even better news for sales. Especially when a few cases of cholera break out after a Zimbabwe tour to Kalk Bay.
For when offered a screwcapped bottle, when did you last check for an unbroken seal? A re-corked bottle is a dead giveaway, especially if closed with a plastic stopper, which are impossible to reinsert without some serious plastic topiary. Given the price of mineral water, wine is probably not the only beverage with which consumers are being screwed.
Of course the biggest scandal is the volume of SA white being left undrunk in Kalk Bay restaurants. Perhaps high acid levels of vintage 2008 have something to do with this as heartburn is a common complaint. And is the upsurge in rosé for real, or is it perhaps colour blind waitrons mixing leftover white with red? At least we now know why False Bay is so named and the habitat for sharks is not restricted to Neptune’s Domain.