We recently had the opportunity to chat to International Chef Pete Goffe-Wood, renowned TV celebrity and chef-patron of the beautiful restaurant, Viande at Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl.

‘Viande’ is the brainchild of Pete, a respected and well-known television personality (ex-Masterchef judge), author and consultant chef. Pete wasn’t looking to start another restaurant, but when he heard of the new owners’ passion for the Grande Roche Hotel, including making it accessible to locals again, he realised it was something he could get behind.

Viande is a country-style establishment with a nose-to-tail menu,” says Pete. Viande, the French name meaning simply “meat”, is a powerful statement of their culinary direction. Special attention is given to local produce and they have their own herb and vegetable garden to provide a “proper kitchen garden” for the restaurant.

We chatted to Pete in particular about wine by the glass as a trend in South Africa.  Pete feels that, both consumers & operators alike, have come to realise that wine by the glass doesn’t have to be cheap and nasty. He finds that consumers often fancy another glass of wine and would prefer to drink wine of the same calibre of the bottle they have already consumed, without needing to buy another whole bottle. Plus, if there is a wine by the glass selection available, this means that a couple dinning can now have a different glass of wine with a three course dinner without having to buy three different bottles.

Pete had this to add…”I think the concept of wines by the glass has gone beyond trend. Diners Club Wine List Awards, for example, now stipulate that in order to achieve Platinum or Diamond status, there must be at number of wines by the glass per varietal, and that there should be interesting and vintage wines available by the glass on those lists.”

There has been an enormous growth in the wine by the glass selections offered in South Africa and Pete feels that this is supported by the fact that operators are now able to open more expensive bottles without fear of losing money due to spoilage.

This of course brought us to the subject of Le Verre de Vin  –  a world-class wine preservation system.  It turns out that Pete has worked in a number of restaurants in London that make extensive use of Le Verre de Vin and since his return to South Africa, Le Verre de Vin is one of the key pieces of equipment he highly recommends to various clients that consult with him.  

We were delighted that Pete had placed an order for Le Verre de Vin preservation technology the moment he opened Viande.  He sees Le Verre de Vin as adding enormous value to his restaurant for a number of reasons.  As they cater to both local and international clients, they can address their various needs with ease:

  • The locals are more cognisant of drinking and driving and are drinking less, so wine by the glass is important for this market
  • For their international clientele – it gives them the opportunity to try a variety of different wines that might not be familiar to them.
  • In all it gives everyone a wider range to choose from.

Pete feels that one of the best features of the system is that it gives them the opportunity to open expensive wines without fear of them spoiling before they finish the bottle, because the Le Verre de Vin system preserves wine for twenty-one days, keeping it as fresh as the day it was opened.

At Viande, which celebrates the goodness of meat, there is still place for bubbly by the flute too – in Pete’s words… “While we focus on meat we do offer a balanced menu and so our wine list must exhibit the same balance”.  And their Le Verre de Vin preservation system allows for the preservation of bubbly too!

Thanks Pete for taking the time out of your busy day for us and we wish you well with your superb restaurant!

If you would like to know more about Le Verre de Vin and how you can really reap the benefit of offering a range of wine by the glass too, then please contact us on 021 788 9788 or email us at info@bermarcollection.co.za and we will be happy to discuss this with you in more detail.