No matter what your drink of choice, or how much time you spend each week getting better acquainted with it, we’d bet there’s still a whole lot more you don’t know. Drinking’s one thing, but learn the techniques and history behind your favourite tipple, and you’ll find yourself tapping into a whole new world of discovery. Luckily, a booze-loving city like Melbourne has plenty of options to help shoot you towards expert status in just a couple of hours. Get knowledgeable with these Melbourne booze masterclasses.
Cheese And Wine Workshops At Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder, Richmond – $70
It’s common knowledge that wine and cheese is a match made in gastronomic heaven, but there’s a bit more to it than simply throwing together some brie and your favourite shiraz and hoping for the best. Luckily, the cheese aficionados over at Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder are pretty well-practiced in the art of wine matching, and they’re more than happy to share their knowledge. Each of the venue’s regular workshops is different to the next, usually co-hosted with a winery and often honing in on a specific region or style. You’ll sample six carefully chosen cheeses, along with their ideal booze matches, while an expert cheesemonger explains the ins and outs of why they work.
Cocktail Making Classes At Polly, Fitzroy – $80
With almost two decades under its belt and still going strong, Brunswick Street cocktail bar Polly sure knows a thing or two about shaking up memorable liquid creations. And, if you’re keen to learn the tricks of the trade, you’ll find yourself in excellent hands at one of the bar’s interactive cocktail-making masterclasses. Over two hours, discover the techniques, recipes and secrets behind three seasonal cocktails, in a hands-on session guided by one of Polly’s own legendary mixologists. Of course, you’ll get to enjoy the fruits of your labour as you go, matched to a selection of tapas-style nibbles.
Wine Masterclasses, Via The Humble Tumbler – $115
This Melbourne-based start-up is out to demystify the big, wide world of booze, one drop at a time, with a curated selection of classes exploring wine, spirits and even sake. Vino, however, is The Humble Tumbler’s main jam, so expect a healthy array of wine-related masterclasses to tempt your palate and broaden your knowledge, with about three or four classes run each month. Favourites include La Dolce Vita, which delves into the world of Italian wine, exploring everything from the country’s main regions and grape varieties, through to traditional food pairings and tasting tips. Of course, they’ll have you putting those skills to good use, as you sample a selection of wines, cheese and charcuterie throughout.
Gin Masterclass At Bass & Flinders Distillery, Red Hill – $140
With springtime waiting just around the corner, what better time to reignite your love affair with gin? And what better gin to dally with, than a home-grown hero like Bass & Flinders? From its distillery and cellar door in the heart of Mornington Peninsula wine country, this artisan producer hosts small, two-hour gin masterclasses, where visitors can create their own personalised gin. You’ll dive deep into an exploration of gin, learning about its long and colourful history, understanding the distilling process, discovering the different botanicals that lend it its flavour, and then using them to create your own 500mL bottle of bespoke gin.
Whisky Masterclass At Eau De Vie, CBD
Though it’s best known for its world-class signature cocktails, the CBD’s Eau De Vie also has a serious soft spot for whisky. And it’s more than happy to spread the love, offering a tidy selection of one-hour tasting classes, that can be booked whichever night you please. Each one’s guided by the bar’s own whisky experts, and includes tastings, nibbles, and a wealth of knowledge. Get back to basics with the Whisky 101 masterclass, or go high-end, sampling Eau De Vie’s rarest and most acclaimed bottles during a Best of The Best class.
Image sources: True Local, Where To Tonight, Gourmet Chick, Broadsheet, Eau De Vie.