Keen to take your wine tasting experience to the next level? Consider combining it with a unique food pairing, where delectable treats are teamed up with each wine to complement and enhance the flavour profile.
While you can’t go wrong with a classic chocolate and wine pairing, wine estates have also started pushing the boundaries with everything from oysters to braaibroodjies.
Here are a few fun options to consider.
Pesto & Wine Play, Niel Ellis
R100 pp, nielellis.com
Niel Ellis Wines has a great new wine pairing experience! Pesto & Wine Play differs from your average tasting and doesn’t feature a dedicated set of pairings — visitors are rather invited to experiment with the respective pestos and wines and discover their very own choice combos.
Think chickpea and curry, beetroot and almond, mint & pecan nut and kale and cashew pestos which can be paired with Amica Sauvignon Blanc, Whitehall Chardonnay, Bottelary Hills Pinotage and Jonkershoek Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a great way to experience how the different pestos bring out different flavours in each of the wines!
Boerebraai Tapas & Wine Pairing, Middelvlei
R120 pp, middelvlei.co.za
Indulge in South African classics at Middelvlei: Mini Potbrood and Snoek pâté with Middelvlei Chardonnay, Biltong and Mozzarella Braaibroodjie with Middelvlei Rooster Merlot, or Cocktail Boerewors Sosatie with Middelvlei Pinotage.
Alternatively, try the Gourmet Braaibroodjie and Wine Pairing. Nibble on a Snoek and Cottage Cheese Braaibroodjie with Middelvlei Unoaked Chardonnay, Boerewors and Mozzarella Braaibroodjie with Middelvlei Free-run Pinotage, Fig and Brie Braaibroodjie with Middelvlei Shiraz.
Ice Cream & Wine, Clos Malverne
R86 pp, closmalverne.co.za
Try a unique ice cream and wine pairing at Clos Malverne. The seasonal menu is constantly adapted and for spring you can look forward to ice cream flavours like spicy apricot chutney, fennel and sesame ice cream; peanut butter-banana pancake ice cream; or beetroot, walnut and thyme ice cream.
Flash Food & Wine Pairing, Neethlingshof
R110 pp for 5 courses, neethlingshof.co.za
This menu comprises of five bite-sized snacks paired with five delicious wines. Think Sauvignon Blanc with a salmon and trout roulade, Gewurztraminer with a vegetable samoosa with mango atchar and a mini Malva pudding served with The Caracal.
They also offer a kiddies option at R50 per child for 3 courses. Bookings are advisable to ensure availability. For groups of 6 or more bookings are essential.
Wine & Fynbos Cupcakes Pairing, Delheim
R120 pp for 4 pairings, delheim.com
This pairing comprises of 4 fynbos cupcakes, including honeybush cupcake and Delheim Chardonnay, a buchu cupcake with Delheim Gewurztraminer, a fynbos honey cupcake with Delheim Merlot and a rooibos cupcake with Delheim Pinotage.
Bookings are advisable to ensure availability. Maximum of 10 people per group (so no parties or events, unfortunately)
Swirls Cheesecake & Wine Pairings, Eikendal
R80 pp for 3 pairings, eikendal.com
This pairing comprises of 4 cheesecakes and wines, including a lemon cheesecake with Sauvignon Blanc, a berry cheesecake paired with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay blend, and a salted caramel cheesecake paired with their award-winning Janina Unwooded Chardonnay.
Salt & Wine Pairing, Fleur du Cap
R75 pp, fleurducap.co.za
Discover the unusual combination of Fleur du Cap wines and artisanal salts at daily wine tastings where handmade salted bites are paired with their wines.
Beer & Food Pairing, Franschhoek Beer Co
R105 for any 3 or R205 for all 6, franschoekbeerco.co.za
Taste your way through the Franschhoek Beer Co range, complemented by mouthwatering bites like beer-battered fish, weissbier No 5 pretzel, roasted beet & fennel, pork bitterballen, brisket & orange, or beer snap & roasted malt mousse.
Shiraz & Charcuterie Pairing, Anthonij Rupert
R120 pp, email@example.com
The Terra Del Capo tasting room at Anthonij Rupert Wine Estate offers a Shiraz & Charcuterie Pairing. Enjoy three Anthonij Rupert Shiraz wines, from the popular Protea, terroir-driven Cape of Good Hope and flagship Anthonij Rupert ranges, accompanied by three expertly-sourced Italian charcuteries – Napoli salami, Coppa and Parma ham.
MCC & Nougat Pairing, Anthonij Rupert
Head to the upper Anthonij Rupert Tasting Room at the Anthonij Rupert Estate in Franschhoek for a delicious L’Ormarins MCC and nougat pairing. Three L’Ormarins Methodé Cap Classiques (MCC) have each been paired with handcrafted artisanal nougat, each designed to bring out a certain characteristic found in its MCC partner.
Wine & Music Pairing, Black Elephant
R360pp for between 13 – 15 wines, bevintners.co.za
Black Elephant Vintners offer a dexterously composed Music and Wine pairing. According to the owners, “This novel approach to enhance the experience of the wine tasting process by utilising not only the senses of taste, touch, smell, and sight is what distinguishes Black Elephant Vintners from the others.”
The pairing costs R360pp for between 13 and 15 wines, but if you spend R500pp or more on wines it’s completely free!
Bookings are essential.
Biltong, Dried Fruit & Wine Pairing, Durbanville Hills
R95 pp, durbanvillehills.co.za
Enjoy a selection of five wines paired with dried fruit, biltong and droëwors. Durbanville Hills also offers a cheese and wine pairing, chocolate and wine pairing and a crystal tasting where you get to take home a souvenir crystal glass.
Oyster & Wine Pairing, Benguela Cove
R175 pp. benguelacove.co.za
Benguela Cove Wine Estate outside Hermanus has launched a Wine & Oyster Pairing, offering you four oysters prepared in four different ways to match the qualities of four Benguela Cove wines.
Wine & Macaron Pairing, Idiom
R150 pp. idiom.co.za
Think prosecco with a chamomile macaron, Imperium White Gold served with a lemon macaron and the Imperium Black Gold Hailstorm paired with a blueberry macaron. The macarons are garnished with edible flower, jellies, bee pollen dust, ganaches and so much more!
Pre-bookings are essential and tour group bookings are available on request.
Wine & Glass Pairing, Esona
R130 pp, esona.co.za
Esona does a really lovely Taste the Difference experience with Riedel glasses, where they show you how a proper wine glass influences aroma and taste, compared to a standard bar wine glass. Upon that they offer two vintages of each wine to showcase the ageing potential. They’ve even created a special music playlist with specific genres that complement the individual wines.
Citrus & Wine Pairing, Zandvliet
R100 pp, zandvliet.co.za
Zandvliet does an interesting pairing where they match various citrus bites with their wines, including spicy panaforte, dark chocolate and biscotti. Try the Estate Chardonnay with their ClemenGold marmalade and see if you can pick up the enhanced citrus notes in the wine. Or sip their very yummy Kalkveld Shiraz with a nibble of the citrus chocolate, which amplifies the bitter coco and fresh citrus flavours.
Sweet Treats & Wine Pairing, Four Cousins
R55 pp, fourcousins.co.za
If you’re keen for a more lighthearted approach to wine pairing, head to the Four Cousins tasting room in Robertson. The venue itself is stunning, and you can do all sorts of fun food and wine combinations. Their Family Pairing for instance teams up the original Four Cousins range with fun treats like Liquorice Allsorts, Turkish Delight and Zoo Cookies (it actually works really well!). Or try their Scottish Cousin whisky pairing with treats like nougat, toffee and a sweetie pie. These are just two options, there area loads to choose from.
Any interesting pairings that you can recommend? Pop them in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.