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By India• 15 Jan 2019 • 1 Comments
This weekend, a tidal wave of glorious, fragrant, delicious craft gin is set to wash over the Wellington waterfront. The two-day Gindulgence festival is a celebration of all things juniper – here’s why you should come down to Frank Kitts Park and join the party.
As you’ve probably heard (including on this very blog), gin is the height of fashion at the moment. Michelle Quin, part of the Gindulgence organising team, says the trend started in England four or five years ago and hit New Zealand within the last two years.
“Every week, there are new distilleries opening. Most of the distilleries at the festival are less than three years old.”
The inaugural Gindulgence was held last year in Christchurch, as a one-day event, and it sold out four weeks in advance. “We probably could have sold it three times over.”
It was a no-brainer, then, to expand the festival for 2019 by stretching it to two days and holding it in Wellington as well as Christchurch. At this rate, who knows what 2020 could bring?
Due to the aforementioned gin boom, lots of Welly bars now have an impressive selection of gins on hand – but you’d still be hard-pressed to try varieties from 10 different Kiwi distilleries in one place.
Gindulgence boasts a carefully chosen roster of gin-makers from all over New Zealand, including Wellington (Bureaucrats Gin, Denzien Urban Distillery) and the Wairarapa (Lighthouse Gin). Each of the distilleries will have their own stall set up, where you can indulge in free samples before picking your favourite and ordering a cocktail and/or buying a bottle to take home.
As well as free samples and a festival glass, your ticket price includes access to six “masterclasses”: “Gin, Glorious Gin!” by Curiosity Gin, “Gin is the New IPA” by Hidden World, “How to Run a Distillation” by Dancing Sands, “How a Town Raised a Distillery” by Little Biddy, “The Art of the Bramble” by Hi I.Q. Liquor Merchants and “The Urban Gin Story” by Denzien Urban Distillery.
These masterclasses are very much designed for gin-lovers, not industry experts, Quin says, so there’s no need to be intimidated if the extent of your current knowledge is “um, gin tastes good?”.
If, like me, you usually plan your weekend activities around the location of various food trucks, you’re in luck. Lots of your favourites will be on hand at Gindulgence, and the festival runs from 12pm to 6pm both days, so you can settle in and have both lunch and dinner (and afternoon tea and dessert).
You could even have a play with some cocktail-and-food matching. Gin and dumplings? Gin and waffles? Gin and bao? Who knows, you might discover the next big culinary trend.
Looking to impress someone this weekend? Imagine this: lounging around on the grass with a G&T in one hand and a churro in the other, gazing out over the harbour, clinking glasses and trading booze-related trivia.
Welly musician Paul Saker-Norrish will be there to provide the romantic soundtrack to your afternoon, accompanied by Tyson Smith on Saturday and Mark Hanify on Sunday. And you won’t be elbow-to-elbow with other punters – Quin says they’ve kept the ticket numbers relatively low to make sure the day stays pleasant and relaxed.
Go on, buy a couple of tickets and text that special someone. You can thank me later.
Gindulgence is New Zealand's first and only single site Gin Festival featuring a line up of New Zealand's leading gins. Join us at Gindulgence and be part of the current gin surge that is sweeping New Zealand.
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