If you’re tired of pouring over Instagram photos of your smug Capetonian friends having the best time in the winelands it’s time to celebrate because Franschhoek’s Haute Cabrière wine estate is bringing the winelands to you this winter! Following on last year’s successful debut venture, the much loved wine estate, together with chefs Nic van Wyk and Westley Muller, is setting out on a second season of Haute Cabrière Pop-Up restaurants in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and the Garden Route. So, if you missed out last year it’s time to get off your behind and book your spot now before they sell out (again). Still not convinced? Here’s a little taster of the 6-course food and wine pairing menu that will be offered at the pop-ups this July and August.
While Haute Cabrière wishes that all South African wine lovers could visit their winery with just a quick drive, the pop-up dinners offer those a little further afield the chance to enjoy the highlights of a typical wine farm experience. During this tour, diners can look forward to a six-course tasting menu, each course paired with a different wine to create a unique and unforgettable taste experience. This sensational food and wine pairing experience from Haute Cabrière personifies harmony and balance and you can taste the care and consideration that went into the menu with every bite and sip you take. Chefs Nic van Wyk and Westley Muller of the Haute Cabrière restaurant have poured over every detail of the food menu, to bring you a culinary journey that manages to be uncomplicated, unpretentious, and unbelievably impressive all at the same time. Perfectly paired with each of the six courses is a glass of Haute Cabrière or Pierre Jourdan wine that in the moment tastes like it was created specifically with that dish in mind.
It’s true, Haute Cabrière makes great food wines. Second generation cellar master, Takuan von Arnim, aspires to produce well-balanced wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while still honouring the unique characteristics of these noble grape varietals and it’s this attention to detail and balance that makes Haute Cabrière’s wines a chef’s dream come true. One of the best examples of this for me is the the winery’s iconic Chardonnay Pinot Noir served alongside Pea Soup with chorizo and pork puffs. Elegantly fruity and zesty, with a firm acidity, Haute Cabrière’s Chardonnay Pinot Noir does an incredible job of balancing out the sweet, fattiness of the chorizo and pork puffs in the soup dish.
Another highlight on the menu is the butter and thyme basted Line Fish with cauliflower purée, red wine braised lentils and crispy kale paired, with Pierre Jourdan Tranquille. The braised lentils in this dish add a little bit of sweetness and the crispy kale adds a pop of texture that round out the dish beautifully. What’s more, the dry, gentle fruity finish of the Pierre Jourdan Tranquille helps to balance out the sweetness of the lentils and create a truly balanced taste sensation.
If you’re a dessert person you’re going to love the big finish of the food and wine pairing – a Chocolate Torte with amaretti crumbs, candied pecan nuts and salted caramel popcorn, accompanied by a glass of Pierre Jourdan Ratafia. The candied pecan nuts and salted caramel popcorn in this dark chocolate dessert help to elevate the dish to ‘wow’ factor with a pop of texture and a hint of sweet and saltiness that work to perfectly balance out the bitter flavours from the dark chocolate. Add a sip of Ratafia, with its tropical fruit with vanilla overtones, and you’ve got a match made in culinary heaven.
At just R595 per person (which include a six course menu paired with wine), the Haute Cabrière Pop-Up restaurant experience is a real bargain for those who appreciate fine food and wine. The portion sizes throughout the meal are generous and even your big burly husband will feel satisfied after this 6-course feast. The same menu will be served at each venue with the exception of Osa Restaurant, which will have an Indian inspired menu. Reservations for each dinner should be made directly with the venue you’d like to book at. Dates and venue contact details can be found below.
7 & 13 July: Osa Restaurant at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, Ballito (Indian Inspired Menu) | Bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org or 032 538 5000.
10-12 July: Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, Ballito | Bookings: email@example.com or 032 538 5000.
20-21 July: Oubaai Hotel Golf and Spa, Herolds Bay, George | Bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org or 044 851 1234.
23-27 July: Randpark Golf Club, Randburg, Johannesburg | Bookings: email@example.com or 011 215 8600.
31 July – 4 August: The Peech Boutique Hotel, Melrose, Johannesburg | Bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org or 011 537 9797.
17-18 August: Bryanston Country Club, Sandton, Johannesburg | Bookings: email@example.com or 011 706 1361.
21-24 August: Moonshot, Menlyn, Pretoria | Bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org or 072 349 9569.
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After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.