Team DECO goes to Creation Wines in The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley

There’s a tickbox approach to living well. On the list (which could and should change periodically) there are a few mandatories.

For instance, we need to all have cake once a week. And haircuts and pedicures and cupboard tidy-outs, from time to time. And make the time to smell the eucalyptus and the grasses and the mountain air occasionally, when the spirit cocks its finger. What I’m saying is, I think everyone should do what Team DECO did last Friday: the food and wine pairing thing at Creation Wines in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. If you live in the Cape, you really should do it as often as possible. Really really.

Firstly, there’s the drive. You get to drive through – what is this place? – a valley in ‘hemel’ and Babyonstoren towering dizzyingly over it.  (Babylonstoren is higher than Table Mountain. Get that, random facts zealots.)

Your pulse would have slowed to a canter by the time you arrive in this chilled valley.

You will barely have hung up your coat, and things like this will begin to arrive. Olives and olive tapenades, washed down with Creation Sauv Blanc.  The best I have tasted in a very long time.

Wine-maker Werner will then take you down to his cellars at Creation Wines and show you how it all happens. You might want to blend your own bottle of Creation, with your name on it. Cool party trick.

As you emerge from Werner’s sub-zero underworld, it’s back to the fire and the table – with more food and an interminable number of great wines to try.

In all, we tried nine different wines with nine different kinds of food. I thought I knew a bit about food and wine, but that was before I stepped into Creation Wines territory. I’m seriously impressed by how the acidity of tomato or the taste of fennel can shift a Pinot Noir into top gear. And how a simple little prawn is transformed into a symphony of flavours by Creation’s spectacular Chardonnay. (I tasted these things. It’s all true.)

Pass me some more of that… the Antipasti platter was big.

Note to self:  I must go back for the Cauliflower and Blue Cheese soup, and for the chocolate and wine pairing. I promise I will do this once a season. And if I forget, somebody please hit me over the head with a small French oak wine casket.

P.S. Messrs Incredible, Alfonso and Colin from Hertz dropped and collected the Elle Deco team. Don’t leave home without them.

Copy Editor Karen Doyle and Marketing Assistant Kyllie Hogg - at Creation Wines

AND THE WINNER IS … The man who won the R3000 food and wine pairing at Creation Wines (advertised here on 7 June) is Neil Basson, from the Cape.