Although both are adored by legions of fans, chocolate and wine were never an obvious match. Yet, when paired well, these opposites not only attract but reveal a depth and dimension in each other that’s worth toasting to.
With the Easter weekend fast approaching, here are some of my favourite chocolate and wine pairings …
THE WATERFORD WINE AND CHOCOLATE EXPERIENCE
Created by Waterford’s acclaimed winemaker Kevin Arnold, and Richard von Geusau of Von Geusau Chocolates, each chocolate has been crafted to perfectly complement the Waterford wines, highlighting subtle aromas and flavours. Tastings are available from Monday to Saturday. Booking is essential for groups of over six people.
From a rich cabernet sauvignon 2010 paired with artisanal cigar plum chocolate to a honey liqueur with dark mint chocolate, this four-part pairing is as well-appointed as Lourensford’s landscaped gardens. Tastings are available seven days a week. Pre-booking is essential for groups of more than four people. Cost: R45 per person.
The estate has paired five of its premium wines with five bespoke chocolates. This is a treat the whole family can enjoy – with a junior pairing of three chocolates served with red Grapetizer on offer too.
Groot Constantia’s own range of artisanal chocolates has been created to match beautifully with the estate’s world-famous wines. Cost R140 per person, five wines pair with five chocolates.
AN EVEN CLOSER KIND OF PAIRING …
Alexander Avery Fine Chocolates (situated on Constantia Uitsig Estate) has a range of decadent treats that combine the ultimate tipples with the very best Valrhona chocolates. From Cognac and dark choc ganache to gin and juniper, from rum and banana-infused chocolate to whisky and smoked butter ganache, there’s a cocktail of surprises to intrigue any palate.
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A LITTLE CLOSER TO HOME?
You needn’t travel far to find the right wines for your Easter table. Here are my top choices to enjoy over a decadent lunch shared with loved ones.
SURVIVOR WILD YEAST SYRAH 2017
Survivor, the free-spirited Swartland wine range, has triumphed again with this full-bodied red. Enjoy beside any dark meats, and if paired with chocolate, I’d recommend a dark variety with a hint of mint to bring out the wine’s herbaceous nose.
CONSTITUTION ROAD CHARDONNAY 2016
Continuing a proud tradition, the Constitution Road wines of Robertson keep on impressing, with their new-vintage chardonnay 2016 being no exception. This wine would go beautifully with a roast chicken or grilled fish dish. Or, if you’re looking for a sweeter companion, try a good-quality, nutty milk chocolate.
ALLÈE BLEUE BLACK SERIES OLD VINE PINOTAGE 2017
Made from the Piekenierskloof’s un-grafted bush-vine pinotage, this ultra-premium single-cultivar release is worthy of a very special occasion. The perfect accompaniment to slow-roasted lamb and all the trimmings, save a little for later and try beside a dark chocolate and orange treat.