As a self-professed foodie with an affinity for desserts, there’s nothing I enjoy more in life than a little something sweet, so as you can probably imagine, I was more than a little giddy when I discovered that there are a few wineries in Stellenbosch that offer dessert and wine pairings. Yes, we’re talking cupcakes, fudge and chocolate here!
Today I’m going to be highlighting three wineries that are perfect for dessert lovers as well as suggesting a few others that are still on my foodie bucket list, so let’s dive right in.
Cupcake and Wine Pairing at Delheim
First up, let’s talk about one of the most popular pairings in Stellenbosch: wine and cupcakes!
For this wine tasting, we visited Delheim, which is a family-owned estate on the slopes of Simonsberg Mountain. After enjoying a delicious Cape Malay meal at their restaurant, we moved to their downstairs tasting room, known as the Cellardoor.
Here we each received a tray with four different types of cupcakes and accompanying wines. There was a Pomegranate Cupcake with a Pinotage Rosé, a Rooibos Cupcake with a Chenin Blanc Wild Ferment, a Pumpkin Cupcake with a Pinotage, and a Makataan Cupcake paired with a Gewürztraminer.
All four pairings were absolutely delicious and I devoured every last crumb, but if I had to choose favourites, I would go with the Makataan and Gewürztraminer. I know the name is a bit of a mouthful, but basically, the Makataan is a wild melon with a sweet yellow flesh (this is used in the icing and you also get a tiny bit of the candied fruit on top), and the Gewürztraminer is a white wine that is fresh and fruity.
I don’t know if I enjoyed the wine more because of the cupcakes, or the cupcakes more because of the wine, but either way, it was a really fun wine pairing!
As a quick note: the cupcake menu is always evolving and changing according to the season, so you may find something slightly different when you visit, but I’m sure it’ll be wonderful either way – Delheim knows what it’s doing in the wine and cupcake department! I should also mention that Delheim is the only winery to offer a wine and cupcake pairing, so they are worth seeking out.
Address: Delheim Wine Estate, Knorhoek Road, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa
Fudge and Wine Pairing at Avontuur
Avontuur Wine Estate has been producing wine grapes for more than 140 years, and during that time they’ve managed to come up with a whole range of award winning wines. They’ve also discovered that wine and fudge are a match made in heaven, which brings us to our next wine pairing.
After touring their beautiful property which is home to champion studs, we walked back to the tasting room ready to sample their creations. Here we each received a white box with Basilei Handcrafted Confectionary emblazoned in blue and gold.
The box contained five different types of fudge and nougat: Dark Chocolate Fudge, Mint Chocolate Fudge, Cocoa and Caramel Fudge, Fig and Walnut Nougat, and Cranberry and Macadamia Nougat.
This selection of fudge was paired with a range of white and red wines, and let me tell you, it worked! The evidence is in the fact that we hardly used the spittoon, opting instead to drink all the wine. My favourite of the day was Luna de Miel which is a Chardonnay, and as for my favourite fudge, that would have to be the Mint Chocolate.
Have you ever tasted something so amazing that you knew everything else would pale in comparison afterwards? That’s what that bar of fudge did to me.
Now for the saddest part of the day; I was so looking forward to eating the rest of my fudge back at the hotel – I had visions of sitting in bed, a cup of tea in hand, and maybe watching some YouTube or Netflix – but then the worst thing happened…I forgot my whole box of fudge on the table! I’m still mourning that box a month later.
Address: Avontuur Estate, 7130 R44, Firgrove Rural, Somerset West, 7130, South Africa
Chocolate and Wine Pairing at Lovane
I visited Lovane on my first trip to Stellenbosch two years ago, and while I didn’t get to go back on this latest trip – so many wineries, so little time! – I do remember their wine and chocolate pairing, which I thought was cleverly unusual.
It’s been a few years since that visit, so I don’t remember the exact wines we had, but I do remember their chocolates (you can tell my priorities!) including: milk chocolate with liquorice, dark chocolate with chilli flakes, and dark chocolate with sea salt.
Their tasting room was located at basement level and they had exposed brick walls and wine barrels as tables, so it was cozy and casual down there, which I enjoyed.
Address: Lovane Boutique Wine Estate, Polkadraai Rd, Stellenbosch, 7604, South Africa
So there you have it, three wine pairings for the wine lover with a serious sweet tooth! There are a few other wineries in Stellenbosch that also offer wine and chocolate pairings including: Waterford, Lanzerac, Rudera and Bilton. I haven’t visited these myself, but if you’re looking to do a wine and chocolate themed road trip, you could try and hit them all up!
I’ve also read that you can find wine and ice cream pairings at Clos Malverne and Somerbosch, so it looks like I have good reason to return to Stellenbosch. I hope this is a continuing trend because you can’t go wrong with a glass of wine and a little something sweet in my opinion!
Have you tried any dessert and wine pairings?
What would you like to see paired with wine?
I visited Stellenbosch as part of the #Stellenblog campaign organized by Destinate.