WORDS: RICHARD HOLMES | IMAGES: SUPPLIED

Wine and chocolate may seem like strange bedfellows, but when paired correctly the interplay of fruit, sweetness and cacao can be marvellous. Get it wrong and you’ll end up with a mouth of bitter tannins. The solution? Leave it to the experts.

Creation Wines in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley certainly did their research in creating their “Paradoxical Wine and Chocolate Pairing”, sourcing bespoke chocolates infused with flavour profiles to complement their wines.

“We have two white chocolates, tempered and flavoured to fit the profile of the Creation viognier and pinot respectively, then a milk chocolate for the syrah and a dark chocolate for the merlot,” explains Creation co-owner Carolyn Martin. “Each has also been chosen for its weight and tannin structure to pair with the wines.”

Waterford Estate also uses bespoke chocolates in their pairing, here crafted by Greyton chocolatier Richard von Geusau. Well-trained tasting room attendants are on hand to lead guests through the trio of pairings created by Von Geusau and Waterford’s cellar master Kevin Arnold. Look forward to the Kevin Arnold Shiraz with a masala chai dark chocolate, the Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon with rock salt dark chocolate, and the Heatherleigh Noble Late Harvest paired with rose geranium milk chocolate.

Up at Constantia Glen, Justin van Wyk crafts a superb range of Bordeaux-style wines, of which three reds are offered in the estate’s chocolate pairings. Unlike most estates, the wines here are all paired with dark chocolate, from a milder 60% chocolate with the fruit-forward Constantia Saddle red blend, to an 80% dark chocolate with the flagship Bordeaux blend, Constantia Glen FIVE.

While Gauteng may not have the wine estates of the Cape, a bespoke wine-and-chocolate experience is easy to come by thanks to Great Wines. With his years in the hotel and wine industries to draw on, owner Leslie Berman offers tutored pairings for private groups in and around Gauteng. The tasting pairs seven different cultivars with handmade chocolates from both South Africa and abroad. Ever wondered how rosé will pair with Turkish delight? Here’s your chance to find out.

Creation Wines | 028 212 1107 | creationwines.com
Waterford Estate | 021 880 5300 | waterfordestate.co.za
Constantia Glen | 021 795 5639 | constantiaglen.com
Great Wines | 011 483 3118 | great-wines.co.za