On Saturday we were invited for lunch at Vondeling Wines to celebrate their first soup and wine pairing event. Although the sun was out, the air was still chilly enough for us to look forward to and appreciate promised fireplace and hot, delicious soups. So, very excitedly, we made our way out to the Paarl Wine Route, further than we had gone before.
There are some hidden gems in the area, and Vondeling certainly is one of them. It was the first time we were visiting, and as we arrived at the testing room we were in awe of the beautiful timeless, rustic charm of the room, with its high timber ceiling and modern décor.
When we arrived, we were greeted by out host, Mariaan, who poured us a glass of the Vondeling Rosé to start – a delightful, fruity and floral wine that’s perfect for sipping in the sunshine – which we did outside on the shaded veranda, the perfect place to relax and and admire the vines from.
After exploring a bit (there is a gorgeous little chapel, as they’re primarily booked on the weekends for weddings), we all retired to the long, farm style table, headed by a roaring fireplace. Mariaan gave us a quick talk about the dishes being presented that afternoon, and also about Vondeling itself. She promised a relaxed, informal lunch that we could enjoy at our leisure, which is exactly what we did.
It was a very intimate affair (the event was capped at 30 people) and the tables were laden with freshly baked bread, butter and cheeses, all to accompany our soups. We chatted with our neighbours seated across from us as though we had been friends for a while, rather than had just met.
The pairing itself was incredible – each soup was made by Mariann herself and absolutely delicious. The wines are extraordinary, and we left completed stuffed and beyond satisfied.
We started with the Spanish-style Spicy Fish & Chorizo soup, paired with the Vondeling Chardonnay.
Next, we moved on to (my personal favourite) Creamy Roasted Mushroom soup with Vondeling Monsonia, their flagship wine.
Finally, we ended off with the Wholesome Beef a& Lentil soup with Vondeling Cabernet Sauvigon (which I actually ended up buying a bottle of because it was so delicious!)
Vondeling have a few other events coming up, like on 15 September, where they will be hosting a Turkish braai by the chef and author of Anatolis for braai month, and a Pinotage festival on 12 October. You can visit their website here (https://www.vondelingwines.co.za/) to sign up for their newsletter and/or the wine club to be the first in the know (if you join the wine club, you get 20% off your first 12 bottles of wine, thereafter 15%, and there’s no charge to join!).
Disclaimer: the blogger was invited to attend the event as part of a trade exchange.