5 minutes with Roland Peens, Director of Wine Cellar on this exciting new venture and on taking the guess-work out of ordering fine wine...

Wine professionals and expert palates Roland Peens and James Pietersen of Wine Cellar – fine wine merchants are set to launch Cape Town’s hottest new online wine club, Wine Cellar Insiders, with an aim to taking the guess-work out of shopping for fine wine and exposing wine aficionados to a whole new world of exciting wines.
South Africa is being quoted by leading international wine experts such as Master of Wine Tim Atkin as one of the most exciting wine producing countries. Not only is South Africa pushing the boundaries of fine wine, it’s also producing some of the best value wines in the world. With so many exciting new producers and an abundance of choice, it can be difficult to select fine wines, be it for a big occasion or a quiet night in.
Tasting over 5000 wines each year and with over 35 years of combined fine wine experience, Roland Peens and James Pietersen will select wines that they enjoy on a regular basis – anything from larger, dependable producers through to cutting-edge Young Guns and even international wines to expand drinking horizons.
Each month, the Wine Cellar duo will select 6 exciting wines for the Wine Cellar Insiders club cases, delivered directly to your door. We caught up with Roland Peens to chat about his exciting new venture….
Q: A little known fact is that you and James Pietersen taste over 5000 wines each year and have over 35 years of combined fine wine experience – explain part of the process you will both go through in choosing wines to be included in the Wine Cellar Insider cases each month?
A: This is more of an organic process. We are constantly tasting new wines and identifying producers and wineries that offer exceptional value. Often we taste a wine and go ‘Wow! This offers incredible value, we need to tell our customers about it’. Since the consumer is inundated with wine offers, this gives us the opportunity to show off the exciting, better value wines. Unlike many wine clubs, the Wine Cellar Insiders selection is specially curated each month to highlight the wines you should be drinking! Each month our selection also includes a benchmark international wine to further expand your wine horizon.
Q: Every delivery also comes with notes on each wine and food pairing ideas, please tell us a bit more about the information supplied in each case?
A: Some of the exciting New Wave, Young Gun wines that are pushing the boundaries in South Africa are often not made in the traditional style. These often have no oak maturation, lower alcohol, have a different texture or are made from grape varieties that are rather unknown. The wine scene has moved away from just Chardonnay, Cabernet and Sauvignon blanc. We therefore offer the customer more information on each wine and how to enjoy them. With or without food, what temperature and what to expect. This doesn’t mean that there will only be ‘geeky’, ‘hipster’ or ‘natural wine’, we always add a few classics, as they too are better than ever before.
Q: Subscribing to the Wine Cellar Insider is an easy and sure way to broaden one’s wine knowledge and educate one’s palate. Sounds like an amazing gift idea – is it possible to purchase as such?
A: For sure. I think this is a great gift idea, especially if you have to drink the same boring supermarket brand every time you head to your in-laws for example. Expanding your palate opens you up to new flavours and experiences, especially with the explosion of diversity in SA wine.
Q: Wine Cellar Insiders offers free delivery – does this count for Cape Town and Johannesburg? What is the radius of delivery?
A: We deliver at no charge all around the country, direct to your office in Sandton or to your farm in Citrusdal. You place the order online, we deliver fine wine. 
Q: Subscribing to Wine Cellar Insiders certainly saves one time on decision making. What are the different subscription plans, and which one do you recommend?
A: You can purchase the monthly case once-off at any time for R1000. Or subscribe for 6 months at R950. A 12-month subscription is just R900 monthly, which is automatically debited off your credit card, so it’s hassle-free experimentation of fine wines at your fingertips. 
 Q: There are different Wine Cellar Insider case options to choose from. Please tell us about the first options you will be offering?
A: We have recently added a Champagne Insiders membership too. For R1500 per month, you will receive exciting, different and benchmark Champagnes every second month. James and I love Champagne and again, we want to show our customers the incredible diversity within the region. From Grower champagnes to Grand Marques, Rosé to Blanc de Blancs, the Champagne Insiders Club will be an incredible journey of exploration, flavour and celebration!
Take the guess work out of buying wine and have 6 bottles delivered to your door every month. The Wine Cellar Insider case is offered on a 6-month or 12-month subscription plan, or as a once-off purchase. Delivery is free and notes on each wine with food pairing ideas will accompany each case.

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