The Vineyard Hotel in Newlands, Cape Town, has always had a bit if a soft spot in my heart! As a young married couple we often stopped in for a drink after work or a romantic dinner. It was also where we experienced one of our most memorable couple’s spa experiences!
I was delighted when we were invited to attend one of the Vineyard Hotel’s Tastes of 2015, wine-paired evenings! The Vineyard Hotel Tastes of 2015 dinner events celebrate some of the amazing local wines of the Cape. Guests are treated to a selection of wines are paired with inspired dishes, specifically created to complement each wine.
The invitation to dinner included a night’s accommodation at the Vineyard Hotel. Our girls were delighted that they were invited to stay over as well!
The Vineyard Hotel
The Garden Cottage
We were booked to stay in the spacious Garden Cottage for the night, which is a great option especially if you are travelling with children, as it has two bedrooms. After checking in we decided to have a quick bite of lunch at the Garden Lounge. We then took a walk around the beautiful gardens, on the 7 acre estate. Founder, Lady Anne Barnard, built a country cottage on the estate in 1799, which is now home to Vineyard Hotel, a 207-room luxury hotel and spa.
Before we knew it, it was time for Grant and I to get ready for our four course dinner. The girls opted to relax in the cottage and order room service. It is something they love to do – let’s just stay they love hotel living!
Vineyard Hotel Wine-paired Dinner
The Tastes of 2015 Wine Paired Dinner is hosted at The Square Restaurant. The Square is the hotels signature, 100-seater restaurant. Our wine pairing for the evening, was with Meerlust Estate, an Estate renowned for producing world-class wines. Meerlust Estate, situated in Stellenbosch, has been part of the Myburgh family since 1756. Today the traditional dedication to the art of wine-making continues, under the guidance of Hannes Myburgh. He is an eighth generation custodian of this seventeenth-century national monument.
Upon arrival we were offered a glass of the Meerlust 2014 Chardonnay. Roy Davies, the hotel manager, welcomed everyone, giving us a brief run-down of the evening’s proceedings. Chris Williams, the Cellarmaster from Meerlust Estate, chatted a bit about the wines we would be tasting. Then it was over to chef Luvuyo Mtwecu, the creative mind behind the menu pairing for the night. It was his job to wet our appetites, with details of the menu.
Our first course was a Pan Seared Swordfish, on a bed of Shrimp and Chorizo Risotto, topped with Butternut Crisps. The dish was paired with the Meerlust 2013 Wooded Chardonnay, a marriage made in heaven! The Sword Fish dish was sublime, with a delicate balance of seafood flavour. The spicy heat from the chorizo, was perfectly complimented by the buttery flavour of the Chardonnay.
The next course was Soya Glazed Tuna Carpaccio, served with an Avacado Tartar and Melba Toast. The tuna was paired with the Meerlust 2010 Pinot Noir. I knew after the first sip this wine would be a firm favourite! The Meerlust Pinot Noir is an elegantly balanced wine, with gorgeous red fruit flavours and a musky perfume on the nose. Being a medium bodied wine it worked really well with the Tuna. My only negative with this dish was the onion in the Avacodo Tartar, which I felt slightly over powered the wine.
Our main course was Beef Fillet Medallion, with Wild Mushrooms, Bacon Boulangere Potato and Carrot, which was paired with the Meerlust 2010 Rubicon. The Meerlust Rubicon is one of the estates iconic wines and I felt it paired well with the Beef Fillet and Mushrooms, which both need a full bodied wine to enhance their subtle flavours.
For dessert we were served a Chocolate and Black Cherry Tart, with Vanilla Pod Crème Ice Cream and Elderflower Chantilly Cream. As the estate does not produce a desert wine, the desert was paired with the Meerlust 2012 Merlot. It was rather different having dessert with red wine but I am one of those people who does not need much of a reason to drink red wine! I think the idea behind this pairing, was that the fruity acidity of the wine would cut through the richness of the chocolate. I am not utterly convinced that Merlot passes for a dessert wine but I enjoyed the individual components of the course regardless.
I would like to thank the Vineyard Hotel and Meerlust for a wonderful evening! Delicious food, paired with amazing local wine and great company, all enjoyed in a beautiful setting – I could not think of a better way to spend a Friday evening. I highly recommend you book for one of the Vineyard Hotel Wine-paired Dinners, you will not regret it!
Location: Colinton Rd, Newlands, Cape Town, 7700, South Africa
Contact Details: tel +27 (0)21 657 4500 or email [email protected]