Listing Fee Charging Bastards

[This list is no longer maintained. Accurate as of 2010]

As promised here is the first part of the list of Cape Town Restaurants that charge a listing fee.



DeCameron in Stellenbosch

The Pepper Club & Summerville –

A bargain at R5000 per wine.

Cape to Cuba (all of them): Around R1000 per wine


Sevruga and Beluga (Only for main list and pouring wines)



The Harbour House Group


Greens (Only the ones in Constantia and Claremont for sure. Update: Definitely not the one in Kloof Street )

The Grand

All  ‘Cape Town Fish Market’ restaurants.

Greek Fisherman (Waterfront)

City Grill (Waterfront)

Meloncino (Waterfront)

This info comes from people in the industry who have been trying to get their wine onto these lists and have been told the establishment charges a listing fee.

This is just a start I am sure there are many more. As soon as I found out I will add them to the list.


17 thoughts on “Listing Fee Charging Bastards”

  1. Harry, this needs to go mainstream, it is a bullshit practice that leads to the mafia (Distell et al) rubbish getting listed all over the place because they can afford to buy their way in, print winelists, put up umbrellas.

  2. Please tell me it’s the Grand Restaurant on the Waterfront and not the Westin Grand Hotel? Otherwise, as an average consumer, I’m one of those who doesn’t really care. But please note that if you have a clear favourite list of crappy wines (Distell & Co.) that I’ll probably not return.

  3. Thank You! Its time these unscrupulous characters are named and shamed. Not only these resturaunts but also the producers who sink to such a low by agreeing to pay their way onto the lists instead of earning it by producing a superior product and marketting it accordingly. It’s time producers take a stand and and unite agaainst this!

  4. Another one for your list – the Wijnhuis Restaurants (Stellenbosch and Newlands) and La Perla. About R 15 000 per year for 3 list. Crazy!

  5. This is a great idea. Won’t support the restaurants, won’t try and get wine listed there.
    But this story has 2 sides – how about a collective effort from the wine industry and trade to refuse to pay these fees? Because some are clearly happy to do so and this sends a bit of a mixed message to these sharks – they are certainly getting away with it.

  6. Is it the wine producer or the distributor that pays the listing fees ? Whichever it is, it is a bad practice.
    Mind you it’s possible that some restaurant critics accept freebies.
    A little nudge, nudge, wink, wink, in the food and wine world.

  7. Hi Harry
    Well done and thanks for exposing the chancers, let us know if there are any others! We soooo don’t support this! Incredulous, must think the whole wine industry is a charity supporting their business?! Hope the whole industry shows them the no sign or better still.

  8. I agree with many statements but lets look at one thing here…it is mainly and mostly Cape Town Restaurants that charge listing fees, why?? Because they know that everyone wants to be popular and perceived great in CT…it is not the consumers that causes brands to be everywhere but a snobbish trade that causes this. Restaurants are regional driven, they dont care about quality in the bottle nor the amount of wines they actually have on their list…sometimes upto 10 Sauv Blancs??? That doesnt make sense…CT is the food capital of SA, but the pretencious people here doesnt make it very attactive. This is very generalised and a debate that can go on for ages, but i think a great initiative.

  9. Thanks for the recent comments.

    I’ve been holidaying and have neglected Wine & I completely.

    Carolyn I agree; I even heard a story recently of one restaurant owner trying to get some chairs replaced in return for listing a wine.

    Colyn: I also get rather frustrated, then bored, then a trifle annoyed when I see a wine list weighed down so heavily with Sauvignon Blanc that you can almost smell the green pepper, but has – if any – a mere drop of Chenin Blanc.

    They will tell you they are merely listening to the mob, sorry I mean the market. “Our customers only want skinny and vapid Sauvignons.What can we do?”
    But sometimes the mob is wrong. These followers of fashion occasionally need a nudge in the right direction.

    I’m not telling anyone what they should drink, but that they should drink more widely; letting wines pass their lips even if they can’t pronounce the variety, or it doesn’t taste like chocolate and coffee.

    But if restaurants continue to focus their wine lists on what is simply vogue, then this advice becomes harder to implement. I think that on the whole listing fees and giving stuff away to get listed is detrimental to the increase of more varied and interesting lists.

    Ah, ranting and opining. So satisfying.

  10. YEs Harry, and that was just an example…go look at the Chardonnays and you will see 4 heavy wooded ones with NO lighter style as an option!!! anyway…the CT trade is spoilt for choice more than most people care to worry or think about

  11. The industry is battling enough as it is. I read somewhere that it costs on average R17/litre to put red wine in a bottle, and producers are getting R15/litre. The industry is already subsidising consumers, and by extension, retailers. On top of all that, restaurants still mark the wines up between 100 and 300%. What the hell more do they want?

  12. Thanks for this list, Harry. I have visited a few of these restos to submit my boutique wines but refused to be part of this nonsense. I believe it is a common practice (perhaps even more so) in Joburg restos which is such a shame. I won’t be supporting any of them as a customer, that’s for sure.

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