Photography by What Pete Shot.
Stuart Oldfield, owner of Musque Food and Wine, has done something “crazy.” His Barossa Valley restaurant has just opened an accompanying gin bar, with approximately 300 rare and wonderful varieties on offer.
“We’ve built a gin wall,” says Oldfield. “It’s three and half metres by seven metres, with gin from all over the world.”
There’s a silence in the office when I report back with this news. A wall of gin. A. Wall. Of. Gin. As avid gin fans, this is a quite legitimately a dream come true.
Musque Food and Wine opened in October of last year. Initially, Oldfield says they were stocking four gins. As the months continued, Oldfield and his team became more interested in growing their collection, beginning to import interesting gins from the UK, Spain, France, Iceland, and Israel.
When the opportunity arose to take over the lease of a nearby space, Oldfield jumped at the chance, with the initial intention of opening a takeaway shop. Instead, the space became an ode to gin. It is, according to Oldfield, “different to a distillery or cellardoor.” A unique bar of sorts, with a menu of its own, although punters are also welcome to order from the restaurant menu, which changes every two weeks.
“We wanted to do something no one else is doing,” Oldfield says. “130 of our gins you can’t buy in Australia. When it comes to the really boutique brands, we think we have some of the only known bottles in the Southern Hemisphere.”
Oldfield is more than happy to talk me through these exclusive gins.
“We have bottles from a distillery in Orkney, Scotland, and we’re are the only ones in the world stocking them. We also have an amazing gin from Israel, and a few rare Hendrix releases not available anywhere else in South Australia.”
Oldfield reassures me they also have a solid mix of SA gins, including the Barossa’s Black Cat, Adelaide Hills, and Applewood.
So, how does Musque Food and Wine serve their 300 gins?
“Gin has evolved so much in the last few years,” says Oldfield. “We have gins to sip, gins to pair with tonic, and of course, gin cocktails.”
Oldfield’s pick of the bunch is a mango and passionfruit combo. He also tells me about a pure, raspberry sipping gin from England that tastes like “confectionary raspberry” and a peach, raspberry, and rose gin, ideally served neat.
“We’re all about quirkiness,” says Oldfield. “Quirkiness and good gin.”
You can find Musque Food and Wine (and their 300 gins) at Shop 1, 109-111 Murray St, Tanunda, SA.
For more info, take a look at their website.