We take great pride in our carefully selected and often updated wine list, which is why we don’t publish it online. Instead, we’d like to tell you about how we select our wines.
We’re wine enthusiasts and we are passionate about introducing every guest to great quality wines – life is too short for average, mass-produced wines. We travel regularly to Italian and South African wine estates and source wines based on exceptional quality and value for money. We often buy directly from small, family-run vineyards in Italy through the services of an import agent who is a personal friend and who dines regularly with us. Any savings we can achieve we pass directly onto you, and we judiciously avoid the all-too-common practice of rapaciously marking up wines. It’s our sincere hope that if we offer exceptional quality at good value you’ll visit us again (and maybe even tell your friends).
A small sample of A Tavola’s local Cellar Selection
As you can see, we take the sourcing of our wines seriously – we turn down the majority of suppliers who ask to be listed. We believe that a rambling, enthusiastic wine list is far too confusing and that your meal should never have to start with a challenging wine selection process. We usually limit our selection to around 15 local whites and reds, 5 Italian whites and reds and 15 premium ‘Cellar Selection’ wines. Prices range from R135 for a Chenin Blanc to R595 for a very special local Barbera with a John Platter rating of 5 stars.
A small sample of A Tavola’s imported Cellar Selection
Wines by the Glass
We also believe that the standard 750 ml bottle is no longer the necessary unit of wine consumption, so we use a specialist wine preservation system to offer a wide range of local and imported wines by the glass. Prices range from R45 for a 250ml carafe of Chenin Blanc to R75 for a stunning medium-bodied Italian Sangiovese. In most cases, ordering three glasses costs no more than the bottle. We want to make it as easy as possible for each guest to choose their own favourite wine.
How we Select our Wine Glasses
We take our glassware just as seriously as we take what we put in them. The shape of the wineglass allows you to nose the aroma.
Releasing aromas. Enjoying wine is all about aromas. It’s the same joy as smelling bacon frying or sniffing a hot cup of Chai tea. With wine, the aromas are released as the alcohol volatilizes from the surface of the wine. Having an increased surface area is a benefit to optimize releasing aromas while drinking. There have been studies to show how swirling wine increases surface area.
Collecting aromas. Depending on the style of wine, you may want a large aroma collector or a smaller one. There are no set rules, but as you know white wines typically have smaller aroma collectors and bowls to maintain their temperature whereas red wines typically have larger bowls to showcase their aromas.
Thin lips. There are differing opinions on the lip of a glass, however the general consensus is that the thinner the lip of the glass, the less ‘in the way’ the glass is to the drinking experience.
We’ve selected our red and white wine glasses taking these factors into account, and you’ll be delighted at the quality of our glasses.
A Tavola’s crystal wine glasses. Image courtesy of Bernard Myburgh.
Finally, we know there will be the occasional special celebration for which you’d like to bring along your own wine. You’re welcome to do so, and we’ll charge a modest R70 per 750ml bottle as corkage.
So, what are you waiting for? If you’d like to enjoy one of our superb wines, why not book a table today?
“WOW We were in CapeTown for only 1 night and being a lover of italian food and not having an italian resaturant in Mpumalanga where we live I did a lot of googling menu's etc....all I can say that I enjoyed the BEST Italian food that I have ever eaten with a wine list to match and excellent service to round off everything.....I only wish that I had this quality on my doorstep I would definately eat there at least once a week.....WELL DONE.”
“Last night we returned to the place that has become a family favourite for special occasions. If you want good, authentic Italian good, this is as good as it comes. Great wine list, beautiful pasta, lovely staff. We always feel happy when we have been there.”
“I love this spot. Maybe a bit old school in its decor, but perhaps that is part of the attraction. The food is always tasty and well prepared. Service has always been pretty good. lovely wine list with the usual suspects, but if you ask the managers, they sometimes have something special hanging around. Great value for money”
“Extremely friendly staff and the best Italian cuisine in the Cape. the menu is inviting to go back as so many dishes looks too delicious. I had the tagliolini ai fungi con tartuffo . The wine list contains an exquisite section of wines! I will definitely go back for more.”
“I never visit Cape Town without eating at A Tavola. This is no pizza-and-pasta place! Rather genuine, fresh and delicious Italian food. Every dish is a treat and owner David often has interesting specials to try, depending on what he finds freshly available. I always have the zucchini fritti as a pre-dinner snack, and this is the only restaurant where I eat pasta (wheat-free option available) - every dish is a taste sensation. The winelist is extensive and unusual, which says a lot in the wine capital of SA! My favorite is the prosecco. Oh - and excellent service to top it off!”
“Let's start by saying what A Tavola isn't: it's not a pizza joint, or one of the many pseudo-Italian franchises that litter the South African dining landscape. This is Italian dining for grown-ups, when you're hankering for great Italian food, but looking for a more upmarket and sophisticated setting. Service is unobtrusive and excellent, the wine list offers a decent selection of local and imported wines, and the food is simply outstanding: it looks simple, but every element has been put together beautifully with quality ingredients. The restaurant was packed on the night we were there, and I'm not surprised.”