The authentic South African pairing of red wine and biltong at Marianne's wine estate

Perfect Food and Wine Pairings in the Cape Winelands (enter to WIN!)

In the Cape winelands February is a busy month. Harvest is in full swing and the December break is a distant memory. However, thanks to Valentine’s Day, love is in the air and nothing beats the perfect combination of spending the day with a significant other in the beautiful Cape winelands.  Another winning formula is food and wine pairings.

Most of us are familiar with cheese and wine pairings and even chocolate and wine has become somewhat ordinary, but there are a host of new and exciting pairings springing up all over the Cape winelands to tempt your taste buds and help you experience wine in a whole new way.

Not only is February in the Cape busy but it is hot with temperatures in the mid-30s.  How cool then is Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch’s unique ice-cream and wine pairing where handmade gourmet ice-creams with exotic flavours are paired with their delicious wines. The wine and ice-cream pairing includes 4 wines starting with Kiwi fruit & chili ice cream paired with Clos Malverne Sauvignon Blanc and ending with Pineapple, coconut and mint ice cream paired with Clos Malverne’s Honey Dew – a delicious Chenin Blanc sweet wine. Not only does Clos Malverne have a spa but now one can also overnight on the estate.

Clos Malverne's unique ice-cream and wine pairings

Clos Malverne’s unique ice-cream and wine pairings

Delheim in Stellenbosch, was a founding member of the first wine route in the country. This estate offers a cupcake and wine pairing which captured my imagination. Whilst cupcakes are a little girl’s indulgence, paired with grown-up wine it is a ‘naughty but nice’ experience. How yummy does a Rooibos cupcake infused with lemon and topped with a cream cheese and honey icing paired with the Delheim Chenin Blanc Wild Ferment sound? Because the cupcakes are freshly baked each day pre-booking is required.

Delheim's decadent wine and cupcake pairing

Delheim’s decadent wine and cupcake pairing

 

In Stellenbosch, Marianne’s wine estate offers a biltong and wine pairing and you can’t get more South African than this! Guests are treated to 5 wines paired with three different types of biltong including Springbok and Pinotage; Kudu and Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz and then beef with their flagship Bordeaux blend, Floreal. A brasserie bearing the same name has recently opened on the estate.

The authentic South African pairing of red wine and biltong at Marianne's wine estate

The authentic South African pairing of red wine and biltong at Marianne’s wine estate

Fleur Du Cap – Salt and Wine pairing – at first thoughts one would think ‘yuk’ but South African Chef Craig Cormack has a fascination with gourmet salt (more than 161 of them) and in collaboration with Fleur du Cap has put together a unique tasting of 5 wines paired with tapas style offerings infused with specific salts. How exotic, and dare I say erotic, does unfiltered Chardonnay together with Black Larvae salt from Hawaii infused in a green olive tapenade sound or Cabernet with Khoisan flakes from the West Coast and sundried tomatoes and mature Gouda?

Fleur du Cap -SaltedCaramel LR (2)

Fleur du Cap’s original salt and wine pairings

Benguela Cove located on the Bot River Lagoon near Hermanus offers an unusual Liquid Gold Millionaire Pairing. Their Noble Late Harvest is paired with Millionaire’s Shortbread with a dark chocolate and gold leaf – described as ‘’A multi-textured caramel delight which highlights the sweetness of the wine. The crunchy shortbread base, soft caramel filling and cold, crisp chocolate topping creates a sensually delicious flavour explosion.’ Yum!

The delicious pairing of Millionaire's Shortbread with Benguela Cove's Liquid Gold

The delicious pairing of Millionaire’s Shortbread with Benguela Cove’s Liquid Gold

Creation wine estate in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley has always been at the forefront of wine pairing and over the years won many accolades for their food and wine pairings including one for Innovation by the Great Wine Capitals Network. Their tapas and wine pairing is the most popular and they are now focussing on drawing attention to herbs grown on the estate complementing their wines, such as mint and Merlot, chervil and Sauvignon Blanc and basil and Chardonnay.  According to innovative owner Carolyn Martin “At Creation we have always believed that what grows together goes together. Now that our herb garden is coming into its own it is just such a pleasure to match the fruit from our vineyards with the produce of our garden”.

Creation Wine's popular tapas and wine pairings

Creation Wine’s popular tapas and wine pairings

For a special Valentine’s month date why not combine a feast of pairings to create a truly memorable day.

Vindigo Travel is running a competition to win a selection of perfect wine pairings for two.

How to enter:

Follow Vindigo Travel on twitter and/or like our FaceBook page or if you already follow us leave a comment to automatically be entered into this competition.

Terms and Conditions:

Competition runs from 14 to 29 February 2016

You can only enter once

You must be over 18 years of age

The first correctly completed entry to be drawn randomly will win the prize

The prize includes a wine tasting experience for two at the following vineyards –

  • Benguela Cove: A Liquid Gold Millionaire’s tasting for two to be redeemed at either our Benguela Cove or Benguela on Main venues.
  • Delheim: Wine and Cupcake pairing for two;
  • Clos Malverne: Wine and Ice-cream pairing for two;
  • Marianne: Wine and Biltong pairing for two

The prize excludes transport to and from the tastings

Tastings are subject to availability and must be arranged directly with the vineyard within stipulated time period

The winner will be notified by twitter and/or FaceBook

 

All images by kind courtesy of wine farms.

 

Ardmore ceramics

Ardmore Ceramics – where dreams come true

Ardmore ceramics are distinctive, unique and colourful – rather like their creators and the country they come from. They embody colour, joy and Africa and celebrate excellence, beauty and creativity.

The brainchild of Fée Halsted, who also individually designs each piece, Ardmore was started in 1985. As South Africa celebrates its coming of age, celebrating 21 years since democratic elections were held and a quarter of a century since Nelson Mandela walked free out of prison, Ardmore is celebrating 3 decades. A remarkable achievement.

Quality is a defining hallmark of any Ardmore piece and it is thanks to the partnership and high standards that the owners have with regards seeing the Ardmore range represented internationally at Christies and locally in South Africa through Greig jewellers.

The name Ardmore derives from the Gaelic for ‘high place’ and is Latin for zealous and ardent.

Located in rural KwaZulu-Natal, Ardmore was originally the result of an artistic partnership which grew between Fée Halsted who had moved to Ardmore Farm in the Drakensberg Mountains and Bonnie Ntshalintshali who was the daughter of the housekeeper and whose polio meant she was unable to work in the fields.  Fée who had a degree in Fine Arts offered to train young women in the area to come and train at Ardmore. After various moves the Ardmore Studio and Bonnie Ntshalintshali Museum named for her friend who died tragically from AIDS in 1999 moved to Caversham.

At the opening of the recent anniversary celebration and new exhibition at the Cellars-Hohenort in Constantia I had the opportunity to meet and chat to two of the Ardmore artists. Given the strong botanical theme of the most recent exhibition, it was fitting that the launch took place at the Cellars-Hohenort known for the magnificent gardens created by the late hotelier Liz McGrath.

Ardmore Ceramics are highly prized collector’s items and they don’t come cheap.  I spotted a Hoopoe Espresso cup for R1800, an owl butter dish for R7000 and a Giraffe tea pot for R8000. These are not items you would use but rather display and enjoy for their craftsmanship and artistic aesthetic.

Mandla Ngwenya (whose last name means crocodile) hails from Zimbabwe and has been at Ardmore for 4 years. For him it ‘has been a dream come true’ to be able to make a good living from his artistic ability. Ardmore employs 60 people, the majority being female. Each artist works in pairs on an individual piece which can take up to a month or more to complete. A sculptor is paired up with a painter. In addition to being paid employees, on the sale of the piece each artist receives 15% commission. Large pieces sell for 10s of 1000s of rand so in addition to having the status of being an Ardmore artist, the artists make a respectable living. Ardmore also has an active programme to expose their artists to international trends and so recently Alex ‘Rider man’ Sibanda (whose name means lion) was invited to Russia to do a demonstration. Known as ‘Rider man’ because of the figures he sculpts shown riding hippos and all kinds of exotic beasts, Alex who is a sculptor hails from Bulawayo in Zimbabwe and has been with Ardmore for more than 5 years.

Fée recently received an Honorary Degree from the University of Pietermaritzburg for her contribution to the area and upliftment through her artistic endeavours in job creation.

What is evident is the theme of Ubuntu which means that ‘we are because of other people’. It is obvious that Fée is held in high esteem and much loved by those who have been nurtured and by her commitment to Ardmore. At the launch she reiterated that ‘growing the artists means everything to me’ and it is evident that Ardmore is growing from strength to strength.

Ardmore has recently branched out of ceramics into fabric known as Halsted Design with a vision to transfer African Art into Global Design. They offer bespoke homeware such as colourful table cloths and cushions.  See www.halsteddesign.com

Halsted Design

Halsted Design fabrics feature vivid African designs