So after my big chow down at High Tea last Sat, instead of going home for a much needed afternoon nap (you know that saying magies vol ogies toe), I went to go check out the Big Bottle Festival which was taking place at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in the picturesque Constantia Valley. It was a tough one though, not gonna lie, my eyelids were soooo heavy and my stomach was soooo full… but I’m very glad I sucked it up and pushed through, cause this festival was pretty damn awesome.
This is only the 2nd year that the Big Bottle festival has taken place. I didn’t attend last year’s, but heard a lof of good things about it. So when my friend Darryn won some tickets and asked me to tag along, I was a happy chappy. The session we attended would have cost R400 pp, so that was a pretty sweet saving. Thanks again Darryn! Now I can spend that money on my first love… shoes…
Now the Cellars-Hohenort hotel is seriously stunning, let me show you what I mean:
It is also the home of The Greenhouse, Eat Out’s top restaurant in SA and a dining spot I’ve been dying to try out. I just need to save up a little. So maybe that R400 I saved should rather go towards my savings for this… hmmmm… nah, that’s just crazy talk.
So the name of the festival should give away the fact that there were BIG bottles of wine on show. But how big you ask? Well…
The smallest bottle on show was a Magnum which is 1.5 litres (compared to your standard bottle which is 750ml) and the sizes went up to a Nebuchadnezzar which is 15 liters or about 20 bottles of wine!
For more info on bottle sizes – hop on over here, Wikipedia explains it quite well. Here’s also a really good visual of all the different bottle sizes:
I also did a cork comparison – this is a standard cork vs a big ass bottle:
Anyways, being at a 5 star hotel with the top restaurant in SA obviously meant that everything was top notch daaahlings. There were 40 top SA wineries on show who all brought out the “big guns” in not only the big bottles but also some seriously impressive vintages. I had a few 1999 vintages which blew my hair back. That was clearly a really great wine year. Then they served canapés & sample plates from SA foodie legends like Peter Templehoff from The Greenhouse, Luke Dale-Roberts from The Test Kitchen, Rudi Liebenberg from Planet at the Mount Nelson, Roland Gorgosilich from Bosman’s at The Grande Roche Hotel and Reuben Riffel from Reuben’s restaurant. Now that’s a pretty intimidating list of chefs right there… would love to see these guys on a pro Masterchef showdown…
I’d say definitely keep an eye out for this one next year. Just FYI – There were 3 sessions you could attend. The one we attended was called the “Walk Around” and as I mentioned above cost R400 pp. Then they had two sessions the day before:
- One was a Champagne Tasting session at R1250pp:
- Hendrik Snyman, an expert champagne importer & Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) producer took folks through a tasting involving some very rare bubbly.
- Then there was a fine dining experience at R1850 pp:
- Executive chef at The Greenhouse, Peter Templehoff, designed a 5 star, 5 course dinner accompanied by perfectly paired fine wines.
That’s quite a lot of money to fork out, I know, but from what I heard it was well worth it. So maybe a good idea to start putting some monies away for next year if you want to splash out.
Right, have a great weekend everyone!