January is my favourite time of year – said no one ever. (Well if they did, I haven’t met them) Acclimatising to the grey, dreary, dribbly skies and brisk temperatures, my recent trip to Cape Town drifts deeper into my memory. As I watch the snow fall outside of my window and my tan quickly fades I think on some of the wonderful, albeit touristy, experiences I had just a few weeks ago.
One such experience was enjoying a girls day out with my sister which included driving into the famous winelands of Stellenbosch. Our destination was Delheim, one of the oldest and most well known estates in the area, on a sweltering summer day.
I was taken aback by the breathtaking landscape. My childhood is full of memories of the mountains and vineyards glowing green under a clear azure blue sky and it strikes me that those bold contrasts of memory had not been imagined or enhanced by homesickness but are just as vivid as I remember.
Pulling myself away from the parking lot into the beautifully manicured estate itself, we had not traveled out for any regular cheeky mid-morning wine tasting, but a special wine and cupcake pairing. (Any doubt in my mind that I was on holiday was dashed at the consideration)
Being seated in a beautiful cellar tasting room, our table had been set out in anticipation for our arrival. A paper place-mat detailed the flavours of the anticipated cupcakes as well has describing the corresponding wines which were efficiently poured into the waiting empty glasses.
I was a little worried we would have a sommelier hovering over our table taking us through each pairing individually, but once the freshly decorated cupcakes arrived and we were given descriptions of each wine, we were left to enjoy at our own pace. Savouring each sip and bite, the delicate flavour of the cakes themselves were dressed with exotic and yummy icing flavours like rooibos, pomegranate, pumpkin and makataan. (A kind of wild melon – a brand new taste for my buds) These were paired with a Pinotage Rose, Chenin Blanc, Pinotage and Gewürztraminer.
|Festival of flavour|
The pumpkin was certainly my favourite with a cinnamon spiced cake and paired with the beautifully ripe Pinotage. The combination made me feel like the Christmas spirit was still going strong after the 25th had been and gone.
While following this fun tasting with lunch on the estate was a tempting option, we opted to venture further down the road to revisit more of this part of my home town. It was a delightful start to our Stellenbosch adventure and a wonderful treat for two sisters to have some rare and special time together.
I highly recommend this great little decadent activity, but those making the trip please note booking is essential.