Taj Cape Town Food & Wine Pairing Dinners

La Motte Wine & Food Pairing in the Vault at Taj Cape Town

Taj Cape Town

I recently attended an event pairing La Motte wines with the genius of renowned French Chef David Tilly’s food. This delightful evening was made all the more special as it took place inside a 100-year-old former bank vault underground the Taj Hotel! This is a series of events that will be happening once a month, bringing together local wine producers and customised 4-course menus.

MCC, Candles and Canapés

After being led down a rabbit-hole-like maze, we entered the candle lit and cosy cavern underground. We were welcomed with a glass of refreshing 2015 La Motte Methode Cap Classique and some of the most divine canapés I’ve ever had. Their MCC is 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, a very drinkable and enjoyable bubbly. I adored the skewered morsels of freshly seared tuna coated in sesame seeds, followed by puff pastry bites topped with pesto, black olive, and salty goat’s cheese. This was just the taster of the equally excellent food that was to follow.

Taj Cape Town la motte

Taj Cape Town bread

Cured Salmon & Sauvignon Blanc

Our first course was Cured Salmon accompanied by a Thai emulsion, earthy baby beets, and extravagant black caviar. The salmon was exceptionally fresh and everything worked beautifully together on both the plate and the palate with a hint of lemongrass in the Thai emulsion. This went down a treat with a glass of the La Motte premium range Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc. The 2018 vintage was very sharp on the nose and had distinct hints of asparagus but matched the fish starter nicely.

Taj Cape Town salmon

Venison Carpaccio & Syrah Viognier

Our entrée was an exquisite Venison Carpaccio, sliced fairly thick and beautifully presented. The turnip purée got slightly lost amongst the other stronger flavours, but alongside the cheesy crunch of Grana Padano there was a great mix of textures. This was paired with my favourite wine of the evening, La Motte 2016 Pierneef Syrah Viognier. This is a rich spicy red with an amazing bouquet.

After gobbling so many canapés earlier on, I was starting to feel quite full and was very grateful for the break in courses. Next up was a surprise sorbet, an unusual combination of beetroot and raspberry that served as a palate cleanser.

Taj Cape Town carpaccio

Taj Cape Town palate cleanser

Beef Bourguignon & Cabernet Sauvignon

The main course was a hearty winter warmer that I had been seriously looking forward to after hearing the words ‘buttered mash’. The Braised Beef Rib Bourguignon with creamy mash and shimeji mushroom fricassee was just the meal I needed on that cold winter’s night. Although the mushrooms were a little watery and I could have had even more butter in my mash, the deep red wine sauce was amazing and the meat was cooked perfectly. This was paired with the La Motte 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon. This is quite a heavy red wine but ideal for drinking with a meaty main course.

Taj Cape Town food

Tarte Tatin & Straw Wine

The final course of the evening was an Apple and Cardamom Tarte Tatin with Naartjie and Ginger sorbet. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m more of a chocolate dessert fan. But I did thoroughly enjoy the fruity sorbet. This was served with the syrup-like La Motte Straw Wine. To be honest, I think I would have enjoyed the sugary dessert wine a bit more if it was served with cheese, but for me the final course was all a bit too sweet.

Taj Cape Town dessert


My highlights for the evening were the seared tuna canapés with La Motte MCC and the Venison Carpaccio with 2016 Pierneef Syrah Viognier. The venue itself made the whole evening even more spectacular, steeped in history and surrounded by a wrap-around wine cellar with over 10,000 bottles. Pretty awesome.

The Food & Wine Pairing Dinners

The Taj Cape Town Food & Wine Pairing Dinners will be running until the end of the year. At R495 per person, each pairing event includes drinks and canapés, followed by a four-course dinner. Upcoming dinner pairings include:

  • 26 July: Creation
  • 30 August: Paul Cluver
  • 13 September: Anthonij Rupert
  • 4 October: Tokara
  • 25 October: Klein Constantia
  • 15 November: Simonsig

For more information on Taj Cape Town and The Vault, please see below.

The Vault at Taj Cape Town 

Address: 1 Wale Street, Cape Town CBD

Website: www.tajohotel.com/en-in/taj/taj-cape-town

Call: +27 21 819 2000

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*Photos courtesy of Taj Cape Town by The Works Brothers.

Written by Claire Horn

Article Date: July 2019


All information correct at time of publication. We do not accept any liability caused by errors, including, but not limited to, changes in price, menu, opening times, address, or other contact details.