Food & Wine Review South Africa

Subscribe to industry newsletters

Search jobs

Next-level pairings with Stellenbosch Hills' popcorn-and-Polkadraai

Wine pairings are a fun way to taste a new range and discover flavours that mingle well together - here's why the popcorn-and-Polkadraai pairing at Stellenbosch Hills is the latest flavour of the month.
Stellenbosch Hills' Polkadraai and popcorn pairing. Image supplied.
Stellenbosch Hills' Polkadraai and popcorn pairing. Image supplied.

On offer again until end-April, this flavour-focused experience takes place in the indoor cellar-style tasting room at Stellenbosch Hills winery, with a fireplace promising winter warmth and long tables already set with sparkling glasses and mini-packs of Guzzle & Wolf gourmet popcorn awaiting your arrival.

But let's set to context before popping in: While their pioneering biltong pairing is on offer year-round, twice a year you can also sample something different, like last year’s ‘fudge-and-fizz’ pairing.

Food-pairing pioneers

In fact, Stellenbosch Hills’ ‘Biltong & Droëwors Adventure’ pairing started as far back as 2005, a first for South Africa and a win in these wine-with-everything times, where wine is matched with everything from cheese to chocolate.

Little wonder the ‘popcorn and Polkadraai’ option has now made its sunny seasonal return, as the Polkadraai range is an easy-drinking, everyday range of wines, so named for the winding ‘Polkadraai’ road connecting the diverse vineyards used in these wines.

This is a fun design element for the brand as they pay tribute to all things polka; from the lively dance to the playful polka-dot pattern, most clearly seen on the bottle labels and tops.
Of course these wines also go extremely well with top-class popcorn. No salty dregs or unpopped kernels in sight, the Guzzle & Wolf range is a local favourite.

The family-owned Guzzle & Wolf company manufactures premium quality nougats, popcorn and caramels in nearby Somerset-West, also served in eye-catching packaging.

Premium popcorn perfection

We love that the mini-packs of popcorn are resealable, so you can have a tasty taste with the pairing, and go on to either guzzle down the whole pack there or pop it in your bag to finish off from home – especially if you also purchase a bottle or two of your favourite bottle of Polkadraai, of course!

No judgement here, as these are extremely light on the pocket…

As one of the biggest wine co-op sellers in South Africa, Stellenbosch Hills is less a destination estate and more a cellar to pop in and purchase the tipple that tickles your fancy.

That’s why twice a year, they offer something different, like last year’s ‘Fizz and Fudge’ pairing.

Popcorn-and-Polkadraai is a similarly fun pairing that even the non-wine lovers will enjoy, as you don’t need to be a fizz fundi or a serious 'glasses-perched-on-nosebridge' oenologist who can differentiate between a light floral hint on the nose and a heavy berry taste.

Fittingly, you’re given a brief intro to the range and then left to explore the pairing at your own pace – half-an-hour is ample time to set aside.

Pop in for Polkadraai

You’ll have a taste of it all, from a bubbly to a white, rose and red – the full Polkadraai range, barring their Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir Sparkling Rosé.

Start by pairing the crisp and dry Polkadraai Sauvignon Blanc Brut with Guzzle & Wolf's Coconut & Chia Seeds Popcorn. Move on to the zesty, perfect-when-chilled Polkadraai Chenin Blanc/Sauvignon Blanc with Guzzle & Wolf's Salted Caramel.

Followed this with the beautiful salmon-pink Polkadraai Rosé with Guzzle & Wolf's Cinnamon & Pretzel Popcorn, and end with the flavourful Polkadraai Pinotage/Merlot, with the Guzzle & Wolf Dark Chocolate Popcorn.

View this post on Instagram

POPCORN POLKA | ���� If you're looking for a wine-pairing with a difference, try @stellenbosch_hills' #limitededition popcorn-pairing with their Polkadraai range until April - a glass of bubbly, white, rose and red, each paired with a mini-pack of @guzzleandwolf #gourmetpopcorn - the #coconutchiaseed, #saltedcaramel, #cinnamonpretzel and #darkchocolate respectively - all this for R55! All the words on @Bizcommunity's #bizlounge soon ���� #winereview #drinktothat #winetasting #winepairing #stellenboschhills #stellenbosch #guzzleandwolf #polkadraai #popcornpairing #saturdayexcursion #stellenboschwine #wineandpopcorn #supportlocal #supportstellenbosch #winesouthafrica #stellenboschwineroute #wineglass #bubblyglass #tastingglass

A post shared by Leigh Andrews (@ramblinglitchi123) on

All the pairings are extremely pleasant on the palate but we found the final ‘dark’ pairing really topped the flavour chart, leaving us with a delicious mouthfeel. In a surprising twist on the usual pairing, we found the wine brought out the flavour of the popcorn more than the expected reverse.

An utterly playful way to spend an afternoon!

Stellenbosch Hills is located at the corner of the R310 and Vlottenburg Road, and while the tastings take place every Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 3pm, reservations are highly recommended. Make your booking via email or phone 021 881 3828, and share your Polkadraai experience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.

Let's do Biz