What is your favourite type of Chocolate? Dark, Milky or a delicate truffle?
Is chocolate a treat or gift that you will like to receive?
Have you tried Chocolate and Wine pairing?
Chocolates. A symbol of love, indulgence and happiness. From Christmas, Valentines to birthday celebrations, my closest friends and family always know the perfect presents that make my heart flutter! Have you noticed how chocolates are always beautifully packaged, ready to be gifted? And how you can recognize brands of chocolates at first sight – my favourite has to be the Lindt bunny! Some will go as far as calling chocolates an addiction…
Beyond today’s proliferation of chocolates lined up along supermarket aisles, there’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to these humble cocoa beans. Starting with the ancient Mayans in 250-900 AD, cacao beans were used as currency, medicine and even in marriage rituals! 10 cacao beans would buy you a rabbit, alleviate tummy aches, and exchanged between bride and groom as a token of love. In 1519, Cortez and his crew arrived in the Aztec capital where cacao trading was in full force. Through trading, chocolate made its way to Spain and soon made its way to the rest of Europe. By the 1850s, Englishman Joseph Fry accidentally added more cocoa butter (rather than hot water) to cocoa powder and sugar – and the world’s first solid chocolate was born!
For those who are health conscious, did you know that the flavor compounds found in dark chocolate lowers blood pressure, lessen cravings for sweets, and reduces stress hormones? “You are what you eat” – my Grandmother always said as she prepares our meals, using fresh ingredients purchased on her daily trip to the local market. Growing up, I have aquired a taste for complex flavours – opting for artisan roasts over filter coffees, red over white wines, and of course, bitter dark over vanilla milk chocolates!
Now, are you ready to try something new? If you are nodding, I think you will really enjoy Groot Constantia’s Chocolate and Wine pairing! A collaboration between two masters, winemaker Boela Gerber and chocolate master Annelize Morkel have created an unique experience to tantalize your senses!
It can be a daunting experience when asked: “What notes or flavours do you pick up in this wine?” That is because the average person can recognize up to 10,000 separate primary wine aromas. You will be surprised to learn, that chocolate has more aroma molecules than wine. At Groot Constantia’s wine tasting, chocolate becomes your guide and prepares your palate to receive wines. For example, you can probably pick up cherry, strawberry or pepper spices in chocolates quite easily. Imagine placing a piece of chocolate on your tongue, as it melts at the tip you begin to taste an intense flavour of morello cherries. As the chocolate slide towards the back of your mouth, you discover cinnamon and spices. Now, take a sip of Groot Constantia 2012 Pinotage, and you can easily pick up on scents of bright red fruit, black berries, and liquorice. On a cloudless summer’s day, you will appreciate the white chocolate infused with roasted almonds and guava. This take the guess work out of wine tasting, and the Sauvignon Blanc 2014 becomes a tropical fiesta in your mouth!
Are you ready for a new adventure? On your next wine tasting trip to Groot Constantia, book the Chocolate and wine pairing experience for R75.00 per person. The tasting room is open daily from 09H00 to 18H00 with daytime cellar tours.
Written by Lisa Huang