I attended the experience of a lifetime at Nederburg Wines last month for the first-ever “sensory experience”.
We arrived at The Manor as the sun was slowly setting over the mountains. Here, we were greeted with a glass of Nederburg Cap Classique and shown to the stoep where we were given the opportunity to sample some of Nederburg’s new-look wines in the company of the winemaking team, headed up by cellar-master Lizelle Gerber.
After tasting the Nederburg wines on offer, served with delicious canapés, Nederburg’s managing director, Niël Groenewald, formally opened the event with a brief explanation of how the night would unfold.
As night fell over The Manor, guests were escorted to individual rooms set up for a sensorial wine and food experience involving blindfolds and wireless earphones…and a challenge to guess the wines served per course.
First up was a mini red onion marmalade tartlet with gorgonzola candied walnut and pickled pear, paired with Nederburg Carignan Grenache Rosé 2020. This was tasted while guests had only their blindfolds on.
The second course included lamb belly fritters with minted cranberry mustard, matched with Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, whilst participants were blindfolded and listening to Toto’s Africa via headphones.
The final “experiment”, with guests relaxing to the sweet sounds of Billie Eilish’s Ocean Eyes via headphones, featured citrus-cured seabass with a pistachio blini and confit smoked tomato, paired with Nederburg Chardonnay 2019.
“It was so interesting to witness our guests experience the food and wine on offer without visual cues and with music added. When one sense is taken away, the other senses work harder to help you identify what you’re eating and/or drinking. For example, without sight, your senses of taste and small are heightened while your imagination is enhanced. We eat and drink with our eyes much more than we realise! Meanwhile, with sound added, it becomes even more of a perspective-shifting exercise,” explains Nederburg MD, Niël Groenewald.
Guests who correctly identified the wines matched with the three food courses each won a set of Nederburg’s new-look wines.
After savouring some of Nederburg’s award-winning Noble Late Harvest of the 2018 vintage together with a selection of desserts and cheeses, the evening was concluded with guests dancing the night away to popular music by talented songstress Babalwa Makwetu and her band.
To read more about Nederburg’s wines and packaging upgrade, click here.
Nederburg will be offering a similar wine and food sensory experience to the public, starting in December 2020. Keep a lookout for updates regarding costs, booking details and more.