Wine lists to dine for

The Cape Winelands. The place to visit for scenic wonders, an unbeatable lifestyle, ‘the most exciting new wave wines’ according to international wine personality Jancis Robinson and now, the best restaurants on the planet. Wolfgat, a small 20-seater restaurant in the fishing town of Paternoster, was just named ‘Restaurant of the Year’ at the very first ‘Best Restaurants Awards’ in Paris.

Cape Town based fine wine merchants Roland Peens and James Pietersen are huge fans of this humble seaside restaurant and its considered wine list, sharing Chef Kobus van der Merwe’s passion for highlighting local and boutique wine producers.

These revered wine judges have the type of refined palates that can only be honed by experience – they taste around 5 000 local and international wines a year just for starters.

With their hefty epicurean credentials, we asked them to select their top seven Cape Town restaurants boasting menus guaranteed to impress, with wine lists to match.

Wolfgat (Paternoster)

According to Roland and James, the food and wine pairing at ‘The World’s Best’ is a must. The wine list highlights producers from nearby wine regions.

The restaurant’s humble chef, Kobus van der Merwe, is a champion of SA’s indigenous ingredients, many of which he forages himself from sand and rocks along the coastline.

The wines he’s selected perfectly enhance each of his seven foraged courses.

The Vine Bistro at Glenelly (Stellenbosch)

Chef Christophe Dehosse cooks up classical, wine-friendly food that will enhance your wine experience. The wine list is balanced and includes some great international options. Drawing inspiration from traditional, convivial French kitchens, the small menu changes regularly, featuring organic, grass-fed and free-range where possible.

From expert wine lists at fine dining establishments by master sommeliers to quirky finds by wine geeks at casual eateries, take your pick of Cape Town’s finest.


Roland and James highly recommend Aubergine as their inner-city restaurant of choice when it comes to the best food and wine pairing in the Mother City.

This refined gourmet destination offers an extended and complete wine list of local and international wines, chosen to enhance Chef Harald Bresselschmidt’s creations.


Luke Dale-Roberts does it again at this scenic Cape Town institution. Roland and James have earmarked this Grande Dame of dining for its wine list which includes an excellent additional older-vintage South African selection.

Black Sheep

If you’re looking for a fun local hangout with a good, contemporary wine list this is the perfect address.

Black Sheep also offers some really superb wines by the glass and is described as the ‘culmination of 20 years of food, laughter and excellent wine’ for the Japha and Silva families.

The Shortmarket Club

Roland and James speak the same language as Simon Widdison at The Shortmarket Club.

He’s a seasoned wine geek, so be sure to engage with Simon around your selection when you next visit this Cape Town gem. Luke Dale-Roberts, his wife, Sandalene Dale-Roberts, his top chef Wesley Randles and manager Simon Widdison chose a heritage building just off vibey Bree Street (accessed by an incognito entrance off the street) for added intrigue.

La Tête

Another of our fine wine merchants’ firm favourites is this classic Bree Street bistro, with a focus on nose-to-tail cooking, offering a light, menu-appropriate wine list.

La Tête is a farm to fork eatery on Bree Street in Cape Town, the result of the culinary dream of two brothers, Giles and James Edwards.

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About Wine Cellar:

Wine Cellar’s 17-year history and close connections to South Africa’s best wine producers means securing exclusive releases and specialising not only in SA’s most sought-after wines but in Europe’s finest too and having an innate knack for unearthing future winemaking stars. As well as providing top South African and international fine wine with expert advice to private customers, Wine Cellar is also the largest private wine storage facility in Africa managing 25 000 cases at any given time.

Wine Cellar will also host your private or corporate tastings with the option to create your own tailored tasting. You’ll find the Wine Cellar Cape Town tasting room at Price’s Park, Nelson Road, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925 and the Wine Cellar Johannesburg tasting room at Suite 1108 Dunkeld West Shopping Centre, Dunkeld, Johannesburg.

*Article courtesy of Wine Cellar fine wine merchants