The first time I went to Publik, a hole in the wall of a wine bar on that famous corner on Kloofnek Road (where Rafikis used to be and Power and the Glory still is), I had the feeling that it was just one of those perfect evenings where everything aligned, an exceptional moment in time, rather than an experience that could be replicated. I am delighted to have been proved wrong by two subsequent (equally delightful) visits.
The casual sophistication of this rare and special place feels a little like small-town Spain or Portugal in Cape Town.
Publik sells unusual wines, many of them available by the glass, opening the way for exploration and adventure.
Even the most habituated of Capetonian winos might find themselves staring at a list of totally unfamiliar names.
Fortunately, the staff at Publik know their stuff and the recommendations are as thoughtful and considered as they are impressive.
Tell them what you like and how you feel, or just say the words that come to mind (maybe it is a green flavour you long for, or something that is full of freshness, lemon zest even. What about chocolate, pepper, tobacco … just say the words and Dominic and crew might just find the perfect match in a glass.)
The small plates of food at Publik are absolutely sublime. They describe the food as “great charcuterie and cheeses”, but it is more than that.
Beautifully presented nibbles packed with flavour that are fantastic companions and supporting acts to the many interesting wines. Highlights: Anchovies, artichokes with melba toast and melt-in-the-mouth boa buns.
From Publik’s website:
“We work with artisan and sustainable South African wines made by smaller, independent producers. Our focus is on wines made in limited volume that follow a ‘minimal intervention’ approach in the cellar.
Many of these are organic, biodynamic or natural in their methods. These wines are some of the most exciting made anywhere in the world and offer incredible value, quality and endless opportunity for unpretentious enjoyment.”
We specifically work with artisan wines made by smaller, independent producers. We call them ‘artisan’ because they are handcrafted in limited volumes, use grapes from sustainable vineyards and follow a minimal intervention approach in the cellar.
Many are organic, biodynamic or natural in their production methods.
These artisan wines have put South Africa at the forefront of the wine world in the last decade. Producers like Alheit, Crystallum, Mullineux, Sadie Family and the many more that we work with offer not just incredible quality but also true value.
They are the real heroes and we want you to discover them and their wines.