While wine tasting opportunities in the Western Cape seem to be a dime-a-dozen, the chocolate and wine pairing at Groot Constantia is definitely something you don't want to miss.
See the winery, taste the products and indulge in chocolate - these are the things you get to do on the Cellar Tour with Wine and Chocolate pairing at the wine estate.
For wine lovers and wine beginners alike
Whether you're an avid fan of wine or consider yourself a newbie to the wine world, the cellar tour with the wine and chocolate tasting proves to be a great experience.
Sometimes those like me, who enjoy the sweeter spectrum of wines, are put off by the idea of wine tasting as tastings tend to favour drier wines. However, with the chocolate pairings you get to experience the sweeter side of life while also tasting quality wines.
Pairing wines with chocolate takes the bite out of some of the stronger wines, rather accentuating the tastes of the wine over the bitterness of the alcohol. Groot Constantia has done a great job pairing their chocolates with the wines, with them perfectly complementing each other.
With this tasting you won't be getting run-of-the-mill chocolate either - these chocolates are specially made to pair with certain wines.
You're treated to five different wines - the Groot Constantia Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinotage, Shiraz and Gouverneurs Reserve. Trust me, this is plenty.
With them you try the Tropical Guava White Chocolate, the White Lime and Apricot White Chocolate, the Blackberry Milk Chocolate, the Secret Spices and Vanilla Chocolate and the Morello Cherry Tobacco Dark Chocolate.
I was highly impressed with the quality of the items for tasting - and the pairing made me appreciate wine in a new way.
Spending the afternoon
This experience proves to be a perfect activity to do with your partner or friends, making a great weekend outing for Capetonians and a must-do for tourists.
The estate itself in beautiful - you'll be able to see a variety of exquisite views and charming buildings. Even the damage to the surroundings by the Cape fire couldn't dampen my feeling of awe at the stunning scenery.
The tour and tasting itself don't take very long - maybe an hour and a half to two hours if you savour the wines - so you may want to opt for a meal afterwards at one of the estate's restaurants.
We enjoyed a picnic for two from Simon's Restaurant, which really rounded off the experience.
The meal you get with the picnic isn't too heavy so the richness won't overwhelm you. However, you do get plenty of food with the basket so you might find yourself taking some home.
We enjoyed a huge baguette with a series of dips and pates such a hummus and guacamole (as we opted for the vegetarian option), a green salad, a potato salad, crackers and cheese, a bottle of Groot Constantia wine and two delicious brownies.
Make the trip to the estate a tour in itself
Of course you can drive to the wine estate yourself, but you should really consider taking City Sightseeing's Blue Mini Peninsula Tour bus.
The bus schedule seems a little intimidating at first, but it's really very simple. All you do is catch the Blue Mini Peninsula Tour bus to Constantia where you hop off for the Wine Tour bus. The tour narration, which you listen to through a pair of earphones, will let you know exactly when to hop off.
It definitely takes longer to get to Groot Constantia via bus than by car, but along the way you get to see various sights around Cape Town and learn about the city, with running narrative as you drive along.
For the journey to Groot Constantia, you pass through the city centre, past Woodstock, UCT and Kirstenbosch Gardens.
When you reach Constantia, you simply hop off and grab the Wine Tour bus.
The Wine Tour bus also takes you past Eagle's Nest Wine Estate, so you can pop over there for another tasting.
Returning on the Blue Mini Peninsula Tour bus, you go through Hout Bay, stop at World of Birds and drive past the beautiful scenery of the Twelve Apostles, eventually reaching the V&A Waterfront.
You won't spend too long waiting either. Buses depart every 20 minutes from Constantia and the wine estates. On my tour, I didn't wait longer than five minutes for a bus.
The benefits of taking the bus?
Not only is it a great learning experience, but you also get to relax for the entire journey, appreciating the sights in a way that you wouldn't be able to if you were driving a car.
You also won't have to worry if you get a bit light-headed from the wine tasting as you will have a forty-minute return drive on the bus, during which the feeling should wear off.
The cellar tour with a chocolate and wine tasting at Groot Constantia is definitely a must for those staying in or visiting Cape Town. This is one of my favourite experiences during the year in which I've lived in the city.
It is a great idea for a date or an outing with friends.
Not only will you be able to experience the wine at the estate, but you can also grab a meal at one of the estate's restaurants. My meal at Simon's Restaurant was impressive.
I would definitely recommend taking the City Sightseeing Blue Mini Peninsula Tour bus to get there - it gives you an enjoyable experience of Cape Town which is both interesting and relaxing.
You can book a ticket for the cellar tour via telephone (021-794 5128) or book online with Webtickets.
You can book a day ticket for the bus on the City Sightseeing website.
If you're interested in a picnic, you can call or email Simon's Restaurant to make a booking.