Xanet Scheepers

By Xanet Scheepers

Digital Lifestyle Editor

PICS: A blindfolded date with Nederburg’s Dinner of Discovery

An unforgettable experience that will spice up date night – and your tastebuds.

When you can’t see your food or the wine you are drinking, your tastebuds are plunged into darkness, unsure of the flavours dancing on your tongue.

Blindfolds have been used for many things, but hiding your food from you (unless you are on a strict diet) is unusual.

Nederburg might have recently celebrated Nederburg Baronne’s 50th birthday, their most successful red blend to date, but despite its rich history, the wine farm is set on ensuring that their product remains relevant to modern times and to draw young consumers in.

The wine farm recently hosted a series of ‘Dinners of Discovery’ in Tshwane to celebrate Nederburg Baronne’s special milestone, and The Citizen was invited to join the dark dining experience.

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Setting the tone for the evening

The invitation explained the Dinners of Discovery as a series of epicurean escapades designed to involve all your senses.

The dinners took place over five evenings with three restaurants taking part in this unique experience.

The Citizen attended the Nederburg Dinner of Discovery at The Social Grill in Pretoriuspark, Tshwane.

The Social Grill Interior
Picture: Supplied

I was pleasantly surprised by the venue, not expecting the vast beautifully laid out venue where the event took place.

The Social Grill
Pictures: Supplied

Although we were there at night, The Social Grill has several ‘pockets’ both inside and outside where guests can enjoy their delicious meals, watch the rugby, listen to live music on weekends or just have a good time with friends.

The Social Grill exterior
Picture: Supplied

Pre-dinner is served

Have you ever wondered what eating must be like for someone who is blind? You don’t know what colour your food is, whether it’s fresh or even what shape it is.

According to a paper by Michigan State University, our mind thinks that the look of something tells us how something is going to taste.

In the article, Michigan State University professor Sungeun Cho and graduate student Ed Szczygiel explain that over the years, scientists have found that even the colour of food can change our perception about it, again using the sense of sight to determine how that food might taste.

So, this brings us to the first step of our dark dining adventure with Nederburg. We each had a blindfold on our table, which we had to put on before the first course was served.

Nederburg Dinner of Discovery
Picture: Xanet Scheepers

It didn’t end there though. To make the experience a little more interesting, guests were also provided with headphones that played music during the blindfolded meals.

After our host for the evening, Arie Bolt, explained the sequence of events to us, it was time to put on our blindfolds and headphones, placing both our hands on the table in front of us as music started playing in our ears.

Nederburg blindfolded tasting
Pictures: Xanet Scheepers & Timothy Hills

There was something thrilling about sitting there, having no sight or hearing, waiting for someone to guide your hands to your food and glass of wine.

It’s difficult to explain what something tastes like when you can’t see what it looks like, but one thing is for certain – the flavours are enhanced when you are stripped of your sight and hearing.

We did two blindfolded tastings, and after each one guests had to guess what food they ate and what wine it was paired with.

Nederburg Dinner of Discovery menu
Picture: Xanet Scheepers

After the two mini-tasting courses, we did the same wine and meal pairings again, but this time in full portions and sighted.

For starters we had Springbok Cigarillos which were paired with Nederburg Winemasters Rosé. The cream cheese filling inside the rolled-up Springbok carpaccio complemented the crisp Rosé perfectly.

For mains we had a perfectly cooked 200g rump served with cherry port, camembert cheese and bacon bits. This was paired with the Nederburg Double Barrel Reserve and the Nederburg Winemasters Cabertnet Sauvignon.

The Social Grill mains and dessert
Pictures: Xanet Scheepers

To end off the evening, we had a sticky toffee brownie that was paired with Nederburg Winemasters Noble Late Harvest. If you love brownies, this sticky toffee brownie will rock your world.

Sticky toffee brownie
Picture: Xanet Scheepers

If you ever find yourself in Tshwane, look up the Social Grill in Pretoriuspark. Their food is out of this world and the wines it was paired with were right on par.

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Where to experience Nederburg Dinner of Discovery

The Dinners of Discovery take place at The Manor restaurant at the Nederburg wine estate in Paarl. The tasting experiences take place at 1am and 3pm every day except Tuesdays.

Pre-booking is essential and a minimum of four guests are required per booking.

Visit www.nederburg.com for more info.

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