At the beginning of June, Jeanne and I hopped in our car and drove through the country to Vondeling Wine. We were invited to try out their new savoury cheesecake and wine pairing, a combination I never thought would exist!
Their very first edition of Vondeling’s savoury cheesecake and wine pairing was such a huge success, they decided to host not one, but two more!
We attended their second event on the 8 June, which included a food and wine experience that included 4 different savoury cheesecakes paired with 4 of Vondeling’s most well-loved wines, including their signature white blend, Babiana, and signature red blend, Monsonio.
The tasting started at 12h00 – perfect timing for lunch – and only 30 seats were available. These savoury cheesecakes are made with 4 different types of cheese, including cream cheese, parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
The following pairings were included in the tasting:
1. Salmon cheesecake paired with Vondeling Rosé
2. Chicken & Peppadew cheesecake paired with Vondeling Chardonnay
3. Biltong cheesecake paired with Vondeling Monsonia
4. Salami cheesecake paired with Vondeling Baldrick Shiraz
After the tasting, which takes about an hour, guests are encouraged to linger longer at Vondeling on the shaded terrace or lawns with a bottle of Vondeling Wines and there is an opportunity for guests to get their hands on a packet or two of the delicious Biltong available to purchase (we walked away with salami sticks and sliced biltong).
About the four wines included in the tasting
Before getting into my review, I wanted to share the information given to us about each of the wines we were about to taste as it gives you an idea of the aromas, tasting notes and flavours. It will also give you an idea of why each of these wines were paired with the different cheesecakes as the flavours are all very unique.
- Sauvignon Blanc 2019: Aromatic kaleidoscope, rich with perfumed peach and blossom, white pear, passionfruit and lime. Palate with added guava, pineapple, potpourri and a hint of nettle.
- Babiana 2017: 64% Chenin Blanc, 19% Viognier, 8.5% Roussanne and 8.5% Grenache Blanc – wild fynbos honey, peach blossoms, pineapple and toasted cashew nuts. Palate wonderfully dense with a taut mineral freshness.
- Baldrick Shiraz 2017: Medium-bodied, ripe plum and mulberry aromas with cherry blossoms and violets, infused with subtle cinnamon and white pepper. Follows through to palate with added blueberry, a hint of roasted black olives and soft-spoken sweet spice.
- Monsonia 2016: 67% Shiraz, 21% Mourvédre, 8% Carignan and 4% Grenache – Juicy plums and sweet blackcurrents with hints of nutmeg, black pepper. Elegant and balanced on palate with fine tannins on finish.
A unique pairing I never thought I would have the pleasure of tasting, this delicious feast was nothing short of delicious.
Of course, cheese and cured meats are two of the go-to pairings when it comes to wine, so combining the two could only produce magic, right? And that’s exactly what this pairing is.
The saltiness of the salmon went swimmingly with the creamy mouthfeel of the Sauvignon Blanc, while the creaminess and spiciness of the chicken and peppadew went so well with the more complex Babaiana.
The salami cheesecake, on the other hand, was paired with Vondeling’s Baldrick Shiraz and this medium bodied beauty (Jean’s favourite by far) really accentuate the spiciness of the salami.
Last, but not least, the biltong cheesecake was paired with Vondeling’s Monsonia, which is big and bold, has notes of cloves and black pepper and has no acidic shock to the palate, complimenting the rich meatiness of the biltong to perfection.
Each cheesecake was delicious in its own right, with the chicken and peppadew being my favourite simply because the combination is lip-smacking and it paired perfectly with the Babiana. Jeanne agreed with me, saying she enjoyed the sweeter and more complex Baiana with the creamy and spicy chicken cheesecake but had nothing but good things to say about each selection.
Other than the scrumptious food and wine experience, I was bowled over by the country views and friendly faces that occupy Vondeling. Overall, the entire experience is one I would repeat myself and recommend to those who love cheesecake and wine as much as we do!
Due to popular demand, there will be another savoury cheesecake and Vondeling wine tasting on 27 July. If you want to attend, please make a booking using the details below.
VENUE: Vondeling Wines Tasting Room, Voor-Paardeberg, Paarl
COST: R200 per person, bookings essential
BOOKINGS: Essential and can be made with Mariaan Harris on 021 869 8339 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Pre-payment secures your booking.
In addition, they have lots of other events and tastings happening, so keep an eye out on their Facebook Events page.
Note: Although I was invited and hosted by Vondeling, all opinions are my own.