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Daring Pairing

Creation, situated in one of the world’s loveliest little valleys- the Hemel en Aarde (Heaven and Earth)- could tempt even the angels to overindulge.

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Since opening their tasting room in the summer of 2008, Creation has built an enviable reputation for wine and food hospitality, which is no mean feat considering they are a good 150 kilometres from Cape Town. But you will discover, as I did, that the drive is well worth it.

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Creation focuses on food and wine pairing, and they offer a wide range of different options. I had never heard of breakfast tapas (nor tapas for breakfast) but Creation offers a 10AM Brunch Pairing – 8 breakfast-themed tapas paired with wines. I don’t think I would like to tackle this so early in the morning but then there is no accounting for tastes. You will find pairings for children, young adults, non-drinkers, a Secret pairing and a Three Course Pairing Menu which changes weekly and for which the chefs use what is locally in season.

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I was fortunate to try the Tapas pairing, eight little dishes full of interesting flavours and textures. Each was paired with a different Creation wine and beautifully and creatively presented. We began with the Sauvignon blanc paired with calamari risotto, pineapple, paw paw, celery, radish, lemongrass, and apple, followed by the Sauvignon blanc and Semillon blend paired with pear, green pepper, buttermilk and passion fruit. The Viognier was matched with pickled tuna, which was quite a surprise as I have always associated this traditional Cape Malay dish with hake. But surprises were plentiful as we worked through each small plate and each new wine. I really liked the utterly delicious Reserve Pinot noir paired with pork fillet, burnt caramel and sage, spinach and king oyster mushroom. And at the end, Carolyn, co-owner and marketing-wizard-woman, added a ninth dish of a traditional farmer’s cheese (Boerenkaas) presented on slate dusted with bee pollen and paired with their Art of Creation Chardonnay. At the end of all this, my palate was in sensory meltdown.

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Tim Hanni MW, who has done a lot of research into how different people perceive different tastes is quoted as saying “There’s no basis for wine and food pairing. Drink what you like with what you eat.” Personally, I think his advice to drink what you like with whatever you like is spot-on, but tasting these Creation pairings is so much fun, and everyone is sure to find a match that seems made in heaven.

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