I have a very short list of wine festivals I actually enjoy. Very very short. I like Constantia Fresh, Big Bottle Festival and Moreson’s New School Grand Cru Chardonnay festival. I hate most wine festivals because I always feel leaving ripped of and that I’ve been nickled and dimed. If I have to pay for entrance to a wine festival which grants me a few tasting coupons and then I have to buy more coupons then I will not go to that festival. I hate coupons and I hate having to buy more coupons. They just make my already expensive day out even more expensive!

So these are my requirements for an amazing wine festival – once up front fee that covers all the wine tasting, a large variety of wine farms and preferable some food available. It is even better if the food is included in the price of the ticket.

This is why the Big Bottle Festival is one of my favourite festivals. You pay one upfront fee which covers more wine than you could possibly taste and incredible gourmet food! Granted this type of event draws a higher fee but once you realise that everything is included it is a little easier to stomach. And the very best part – the smallest bottle they pour from is a magnum! Which means they will be bringing out the good stuff!

The festival brings together 40 of South Africa’s wine farms and five incredible chefs. And goodness does the food and wine keep flowing! Here’s a look at some of the amazing food we dined on last year:

The celebrity chef lineup this year includes names such as: Rudi Liebenberg from Mount Nelson, Gregory Czarnecki from Waterkloof Restaurant, Brad Ball from Steenberg’s Bistro 1682, Shyam Longani from Taj – Bombay Brasserie and Roland Gorgosilich from Bosman’s Restaurant at the Grand Roche Hotel in Paarl.

If my memory serves me right Gregory Czarnecki of Waterkloof served the gorgeous cured salmon fillets on puff pastry. They were amazing!

You will not struggle to find a wine you love at Big Bottles! There are options for everyones taste! This year the wine is presented as four themes: ‘Modern Classics, ‘Champagne & Sparkling Wines’, ‘Wines of Elegance’ and ‘Wild Ferment’. There are way too many farms to type out!!

Last year we finished off with an unusual kind of cake! It was a giant wheel of brie baked in a gorgeous light pastry with raspberry coulis. The event is one of surprises and decadence and I have no doubt 2014’s Big Bottle Festival will be just as fabulous.

The Big Bottle Festival will be held at The Reserve at The Taj Hotel in town on the 30th of August.

Tickets are R450 and can be bought via Webtickets.

Here’s the link: https://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=806465503

I hope to see you there 🙂

I’ll be walking around with a smile on my face and a glass of something delicious on hand!

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