(All these pics are copyright Tandy Sinclair; silly-me forgot to take my camera.)

1. (of air, esp. that at high altitudes) Containing less oxygen than usual.
2. Esoterically distant from the lives and concerns of ordinary people

Unless you’ve driven through the steep, leafy roads and lanes that pass the mansions lining the slopes of Table Mountain, you will not understand the beauty of Constantia in Cape Town. It is a rarefied world, inhabited by Cape Town nobility and so it was appropriate that Jörg Pfutzner held the inaugural South African Big Bottle Wine Festival at the majestic 5 star Cellars-Hohenhort Hotel, which looks down its nose (albeit with a panoramic view) at the rest of the city.
The wine-making, wine-buying and wine-quaffing cognoscenti were there in force; not only the Cape contingent; I bumped into Richard Gunn, from my neck of the woods in Jo’burg, who was assisting his dad Andrew to pour the Iona Syrah. This Jeroboam carried the most beautiful label I saw at the show. Richard says “The idea is to showcase a different artist every year, this year Max Goldin designed them with three labels all depicting the Viking triumphs over the ocean and the creatures of myth doing their utmost to pull the ship under and the crew’s determination to overcome any catastrophe the world threw at them. My dad thought that appropriate considering the world climate and him being the farm captain determined to weather the storm for the sakes of all the people who rely on the farm for their living.”

I have decided that this is an investment I should make to keep for my daughter’s 21st birthday Andrew tells me “We are offering the Jeroboam’s at R1200 each which will include 2 x 750ml bottles which can be opened to check how the wine is developing – nothing worse than opening a Jeroboam too early!”

Tandy and I spent the afternoon guzzling and nibbling; the food was out of this world (pardon the cliché, but I can’t find a more apt descriptor!) and highlights were a fish broth served in a sea urchin shell through a straw from Aubergine at Auslese, and tiny mugs of tzatziki and pomegranate salad from BarBarBlackSheep.

There was one very strange canape that appeared to be sheep eyes, but which – on tasting – was a rather bizarre concoction of pate foie gras encased in a vanilla pod!

Our senses finally went into overload and we took our leave to spend a peaceful and lazy evening recovering at Tandy’s house.



  1. Thanks for sharing your adventures at the Big Bottle Wine Festival with words and Tandy’s photos.
    It was a fun time reading about it so it must have been a doozy living it ☺.

    ☮ ♥ Siggi in Downeast Maine

  2. I spent this weekend in the mountains listening to a variety of musical performances ( although listed as a jazz festival..there was little of that)…and of course having the obigatory glasses of wine and discussing my friend Cindy in SA with othe Foodies…they all were envious of your skills and adventures. 😉

  3. I am in LOVE with those labels ……. WOW!! Personally I could manage a short shrift shot of uber La Croix encrusted Hoititoiti-ness at the moment …. ennui has crept in between Janice and Tripepi! I need bubbles ……. Glad you two had such a great time xxx How did you enjoy the walk?

  4. Sounds like you had an awesome time! Can’t wait to read about the rest of the trip 😉
    A very good morning to you!

  5. Yum but I must say not sure about the sea urchins…………………………..

    Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend Cin!

  6. Hi Cindy!

    I designed the Iona Syrah Magnum bottles, thanks so much for your words , glad they want down so well!
    had fun designing them, Im actually writing to just clarify that my name is in fact Max Goldin( i work at a design studio called Code ), not Max Goldberg 😉 Thanks…

  7. Pingback: Review: Big Bottle Wine Event | Lavender and Lime

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