HOBNOBBING WITH THE GENTRY

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

rar•e•fiedAdjective/ˈre(ə)rəˌfīd/
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.

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56 Comments Add yours

  1. dearrosie says:

    Sounds like my idea of a holiday! Enjoy.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It was fabulous, Rosie, I am back in Johannesburg and trying to get back in the saddle 🙂

  2. siggiofmaine says:

    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

    1. theonlycin says:

      That is sure was Siggi 🙂

  3. slpmartin says:

    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. 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Aw shucks, Charlie, you just made me go all warm and fuzzy *blush*

  4. souldipper says:

    Sounds like a perfect holiday for you Cin – thanks to Tandy for our visual feast.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I have so much to tell about the rest of the weekend Amy!!!

  5. 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?

    1. theonlycin says:

      I changed my mind and decided to make today’s a sunset one around Zoo Lake with my hubby 🙂

      1. Ah ….. a spot of romance …. fab!

      2. theonlycin says:

        Well, it is spring, after all 😉

  6. Sparkle says:

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

  7. Tandy says:

    thank you for making my photo’s look so stunning, for spending such a great time with me and for all you are xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      You rock, I am bubbling over with posts to write 🙂 xxx

  8. SidevieW says:

    that sounds just wonderful! so glad you had a good weekend there

    1. theonlycin says:

      It was good beyond words 🙂

  9. libraryscene says:

    Those labels look fabulous…I just bought a bottle of Cab for the look of the label…sometimes you win and sometimes you just wait for the bottle to be empty ~

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, that is a great way of putting it!

    1. theonlycin says:

      That it was, Madmom, that it was! 🙂

  10. Now that is inventive food.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Isn’t it, Kate? Makes me quite ashamed of my down home efforts!

  11. Tilly Bud says:

    Glad to see you back! What…interesting…food 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hehe, more pics will follow over the next few days 😉

  12. nursemyra says:

    that food all looks amazing. especially the sea urchins…. yum

    1. theonlycin says:

      I can’t begin to explain how divine it tasted!

  13. MissChris says:

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

    Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend Cin!

    1. theonlycin says:

      It was just what the doctor ordered, Chrissie 🙂

  14. Fan-tab-u-lous! (Fantastic/Fabulous)!
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy

  15. SuziCate says:

    Wow, that’s some cool food! And those wine bottles are incredible! Glad you’re back, missed you!

    1. theonlycin says:

      The bottles are incredible, some were almost as big as me 🙂

  16. granny1947 says:

    They looked like sheep’s eyes and you still tried them!
    What if they HAD been sheep’s eyes?
    You are one brave lady.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I made Tandy try them first 😉

  17. earlybird says:

    That sea urchin broth sounds amazing. Sea urchins are pure ozone, aren’t they. yum.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It was a creamy froth of pure ozone 🙂

  18. nrhatch says:

    So glad you had a good time . . . I want a bottle of the Hedonist! 😉

  19. Linda says:

    You forgot the most important thing, what were you wearing? Where’s the pic? Looks like it was a fantastic time.

    1. theonlycin says:

      There is one pic at a distance, but I was very casual in a long sleeved purple Tshirt, black trousers and a green coat 🙂

  20. Simply delightful! Oh, how I love Cape Town. I very much like the idea of promoting artists on a wine label. How creative.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s been done before, but I was most impressed with these labels 🙂

  21. croxley10 says:

    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…

    1. theonlycin says:

      My most humble apologies, I have corrected the error.

  22. bluebee says:

    What did you do for hair?!

    1. theonlycin says:

      My hair is already about a cm long, I went marine-style 😉

  23. Naomi says:

    Fascinating stuff, Cindy…especially the broth in sea urchin shells! Good for you going marine-style 😀

    1. theonlycin says:

      That broth still has me drooling Naomi 🙂

  24. Tokeloshe says:

    Great post!

    I love those labels.

    Glad you enjoyed yourselves.

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