The 7th of July sees chocolate lovers celebrating World Chocolate Day and what better way to savour this much-loved confectionary than by pairing it with another indulgent and legendary treat – wine!
When done properly, there are few things as deliciously decadent as chocolate and wine. Wine’s acidity and tannins can clash with the creaminess and subtle flavours of chocolate. As with most food and wine pairings, the aim is to complement or contrast the flavours.
Chocolate has more aroma molecules than wine with dark chocolate being the easiest to pair with deep, dark reds. Cab Sauv , Pinotage, Late Harvest, Muscadel or Port-style wine is also generally a good pair with dark chocolate.
How to get the most out of your Chocolate and Wine Pairing experience:
It’s important to tap into all five of your senses.
- Smell the chocolate and savour the aroma.
- Take a small piece and let it melt slowly in your mouth.
- To fully appreciate the chocolate’s scent, make sure you inhale through your mouth and out through your nose – this allows for the flavours and aromas to fully penetrate your senses. Think about the aroma, consider the flavour, texture and how long it lingers.
Now do the same with the wine.
- Look at the colour, smell it, enjoy the aroma.
- Take a sip and before you swallow, savour the flavours. Is it dry or sweet? How fresh and fruity is it? Does it feel light in the mouth or weighty and thick?
Now it’s time to taste the two together.
- Take another small piece of chocolate, and allow it to begin melting in your mouth.
- Then take a sip of the wine. As you swallow the chocolate and the wine think about how the flavours work together.
- Are they both equally sweet? Do the flavours of the wine and chocolate meet at the end, or do they stand apart? Is the combination better than the two separate parts?”
The Chocolate and Wine Pairing at Groot Constantia features five special hand crafted chocolates carefully matched with 5 of Groot Constantia’s wines.
- For lovers of white wine there is the Groot Constantia Blanc de Noir or Sauvignon Blanc paired with a tropical guava white chocolate.
- Following this is the Groot Constantia Chardonnay paired with white lime and apricot chocolate.
- Moving on to the red wines there is a Groot Constantia Rood paired with cherry blossom chocolate.
- After this try the Pinotage paired with blackberry milk chocolate or the Shiraz paired with secret spices and vanilla chocolate.
- Finally there is the Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Reserve Red paired with dark morello cherry chocolate.
Groot Constantia’s Chocolate and Wine Pairing experience costs R125 per person and is available every day from 09h00 to 16h00 in all three tasting venues on the estate – the modern production cellar, the tasting hall, and the historic Cloete Cellar for those who hold a Visitors Route ticket.
A combination Chocolate and Wine Pairing and Visitors Route experience costs R145 per person and includes the Chocolate and Wine Pairing and the full Visitor’s Route experience, which covers museum access, a guided Cellar Tour, a wine tasting and a Souvenir Spiegelau Crystal Glass. The Visitors Route experience ticket alone costs R95.
For more information on Groot Constantia’s Chocolate and Wine Pairing and Visitors Route experiences visit www.grootconstantia.co.za or connect with Groot Constantia via social media on Twitter, facebook and Instagram @GrootConstantia.