Nick Stock, the festival’s drinks curator, said they have set a new direction this year, aimed at catering to a broader range of tastes.
“We have broadened the horizon of the festival in terms of the style of drinks. There will be more spirits, mixed drinks, cocktails, beer and wine,” he said.
The new Tasting Table Series events differ from the traditional masterclasses as they are hosted at the bars and restaurants for a more intimate experience.
“They are small, intimate and more playful tastings that replicate the experience of visiting the people in their wineries, distilleries, bars or homes,” Stock said, and there was something on offer for everyone as the programs provide “high quality content in a user friendly and unintimidating way.”
The programs are designed to promote the local businesses around Adelaide by showcasing their venues and to encourage South Australians to visit them year-round.
“We’re aiming to shine a light on the people behind these drinks who are working so hard all year round to make them,” Stock said.
But for those looking for a more “traditional tasting experience” with “expert knowledge”, he said the East End Cellars Masterclasses are the way to go.
The programs are much more than a tasting.
“They are an experience… a fun adventure of taste” that showcase the personality behind the drinks, Stock said.
“It’s not only a delicious experience tasting the drinks, but it’s also about the people that are making these extraordinary drinks.
“We are shining a light on the people who have spent the last 20 years of their life trying to make the drink as delicious as it is today.”
Meeting the maker is an important part of the festival, said Stock, because it gives the events personality and makes it a more memorable experience.
“It’s half about the people and half about the drinks that they make, which adds up to an incredible experience you will never forget,” he said.
One EEC Masterclass features top local bartenders who each make a unique cocktail from scratch using the sprits from the Australian spirit awards.
“Not only do you get to taste the cocktails and learn the genius bartender’s process behind making them, but you can also take the recipe home and re-create them,” Stock said.
According to Stock, there has been an incredible appetite for the programs after last year’s festival was cancelled due to COVID-19, and many have already sold out.
“I think people are ready to get out and indulge themselves again after the year we had last year,” he said.
“Come with an open mind and prepare to have it blown. It’s an experience and adventure of taste you will never forget.”
Discover more about what’s on offer at Tasting Australia.