Franschhoek Valley, South Africa: A dinner to remember but what the heck is blatjang again?
If you want a fancy-schmancy wine-growing chateau, head to Bordeaux. You won't have much fun there and there's not much to see there without a personal invitation but you can't argue with a patch of earth that gave the world Margaux, Lafite, Petrus, and Latour.
Or, head south, way south, to the Cape Winelands in South Africa. In the village of Franschhoek, at the Solms-Delta Winery, you can have dinner at their Fyndraai restaurant—outside if the weather's fine—and ask your waiter all about paaperbites, fruit blatjang, and malva pudding. Cape cuisine mixes cooking from three continents (Europe, Asia, and Africa) with seasoning from Malay slaves brought to the country.
Among the pleasures here is, naturally, the wines, made up of Rhône varietals, to superb effect. Tasting those wines outdoors under the oaks of the 325-year-old estate, surrounded by mountains, will stay with you.
Unfamiliar but lovely food, beautiful surroundings, good wine—what's not to like?