From the 26th to the 28th of August this year, the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in Constantia hosted South Africaâs first annual Big Bottle Festival. The three-day event celebrated everything that was bigger and better, from top wineries to top Master Chefs to top bubbles, nothing was spared in the wake of its merriment. Organiser, JÃ¶rg PfÃ¼tzner, who was the brainchild of the event, attended Germanyâs first Big Bottle Party which was held at one of Hamburgâs crowning restaurants, the Louis C. Jacob. In its fifth year now, the German event has been a rip-roaring success and shaped the festival in the same vein.
Idiom was proud to be included in the impressive local and international selection of grand reserves and fine champagnes. The Idiom magnums are 1.5litre collector’s items. Named Idiom Sommelier Series, the rare magnum bottles showcase the expressions of various sensory specialists including perfumers, chocolatiers and wine sommeliers. The exclusive range was launched to connoisseurs and collectors alike at The Big Bottle Festival for the first time.
Silvana Bottega, who represents the Bottega Family Wine Portfolio that Idiom falls part of, noted “Bottling wine in large formats should be a rarity and generally done to showcase an outstanding vintage or mark a wineryâs anniversary. As such, sixty bottles of each of our master blends have been bottled, bringing the total to one hundred and eighty magnum sized formats containing the 2007 vintage. 9 has always been a special number for our family and as such we have tended to keep some division of that number.”
Whilst the Idiom magnums were on show during the Walk Around tasting, the festival also included an extraordinary Blanc de Blanc Champagne tasting, aimed at devoted lovers of bubbly. The tasting gave the love-stricken admirers of the large format an opportunity to taste ten rare Blanc de Blanc Champagnes including Salon Le Mesnil, Larmandier Bernier and Ruinart, naming but a few. In keeping with the theme of the festival, the staggering collection of MCâs were served from bottles ranging from Magnum to JÃ©roboamâs, the latter being widely regarded as the paramount sized Champagne bottle.
Executive Chef, Peter Templehoff hosted a unique Fine Wine Tasting at his Greenhouse Restaurant, where his menu was aimed at complimenting esteemed wines from influential areas the world over. From Burgundy to Bordeaux and the Swartland to Barossa, wines were served from an assortment of large bottle formats.
Ending the festival on the highest note, the Gourmet Champagne Breakfast, yet again, allowed Chef Peter Templehoff to tantalize guestâs taste buds. A supply of scarce Champagnes, including Pol Roger, Drappier and Billecart-Salmon, renowned names from small houses that are rarely found in South Africa, were paired with Templehoffâs gourmet breakfast.