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The undiscovered taste of south-eastern Europe: an interview with Hiddentastes

by Anastasia Hartleib
Der unentdeckte Geschmack Südosteuropas: Hiddentastes im Interview

Alexey and Viktoria Sinelnikov have turned their passion into a profession. They love traveling and are real jetsetters. They live in Germany and the Netherlands, but are regularly on the road in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. And there they do one thing above all: enjoy. After regularly coming across incredibly good wines, whiskies, gins and the like from even better people, they thought to themselves: we have to show the world these products. Hiddentastes was born. In this interview, they explain what drives them and what makes the winemakers and distillers who represent Hiddentastes so special.

Want to discover pearls right away? You can access the Hiddentastes range here

What is the goal of Hiddentastes?

On our travels, we are constantly discovering new flavors, rare grape varieties, undiscovered regions, passionate craft manufacturers or crazy individual spirits who are dedicated to their craft with heart and soul. This is what we want to show the connoisseurs in Europe - mainly Germany and the Netherlands: unique businesses, sustainable production off the beaten track. We want to make drinks made by people accessible to people.

With our own warehouse, fast delivery and advice. Events where guests can learn more about the production and the regions, even if it's the first time they've heard the word autochthonous. In our local tasting room in Germany, we want everyone to feel at ease and taste wines that are not available anywhere else. Wines and spirits from the Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania, Turkey, Georgia and Armenia.

Our second goal is to strengthen local entrepreneurs and fellow citizens. We are going through a difficult time worldwide - isolation, business closures, fears for our health. It's time to get together more, to work together more, whether it's with the great musician from Frankfurt, the caterer around the corner, or the flower store in the neighboring village. We want to be part of this network by bringing together the small winemaker from Croatia and the small innkeeper in Berlin.

At some point, we also hope to open our own small regional distillery.

Buy high quality wines & spirits from Hiddentastes:

What do you use to choose which products end up in your range?

We taste - standing and big words don't count. The drinks have to come from our own manufactory, be original and sustainably produced. But above all, we listen to the stories - it doesn't have to be the greatest wine in the world, but behind every drink there is a person, a family, a life, the employees.

What makes the distilleries & wineries at Hiddentastes different from all the other distilleries and wineries?

Where should we start! There are great wineries in France and the like, and we're sure that the winemakers and distilleries there are doing great jobs. But we are in love with ours. For the winegrowers, the soil and the grapes always come first, because that's what the wineries live from. Sometimes we get the feeling that they have laid every stone personally. Instead of large advertising budgets, the winegrowers simply have an irrepressible will to work with a deep passion for the development and preservation of their land and product.

The people behind the distilleries and wineries are our friends. They only use regional products and do a lot of the work by hand. There is so much creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, combined with many, many stories - whether it's a traditionally run family business or two, three, four crazy friends who scrape together their money and get something new off the ground.

Die Garage22 ist eine winzige Craft Destilliere mitten in Prag. Vorne wird probiert, hinten wird gebrannt..

"The Czech Republic has so much more to offer than Slivovic & beer"

Let's take a look at two examples from your product range. How did you come up with Garage22 & Trebitsch Distillery?

We have four children and live between two countries - so we need some time out. We actually only wanted to spend one night alone in Prague and then visit friends on the Polish border. But the whole thing turned into a business trip when we found out that the Czech Republic has much more to offer than slivovic and beer. We had to try it out while we were there! We'll take a break when the children are 18 (we only have 16 years left). Although - there are worse jobs!

Do you visit the local distilleries and winemakers?

It's important to us to get to know the producers - the people behind the products - and to visit the vineyards. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to do this these days, so we're currently making a lot of video calls in the hope that we can catch up as soon as possible.

Hiddentastes ist es enorm wichtig, die Menschen hinter den Produkten kennen zu lernen - so wie hier, beim Besuch der Garage22 in Prag.

Garage22 - Craft gin distillery in the middle of Prague

What makes Garage22 gin so special? Are there any special features in the production of the gin?

Garage 22 has a cool concept. The first craft distillery in the middle of Prague, in a former factory building with a really great atmosphere. Using the "Maybach" of Arnold Holstein's distillery equipment, the distillation process is particularly gentle in order to preserve every single one of the different aromas.

The doors are open and the guys are always ready to show you their processes or let you taste the gin. They cooperate with many stores and restaurateurs and sometimes create quite crazy variations, such as the gin with garlic, the smoked habanero gin or with bacon. Then there are seasonal gins, the summer edition or winter style.

What makes Garage22 Gin different from other gins?

When you walk into Garage 22, you sometimes get the impression that you're standing in a laboratory. They are always experimenting on the hunt for new flavor sensations. In addition to the classic London dry gin, you focus on your customers by listening to them and trying to meet their tastes. Sometimes it just remains an experiment, but it's the will that counts! Minimalist label, limited editions, each bottle numbered - small batch. That's what excites us.

Neben dem Habanero Gin stellt die Craft Destillerie Garage22 auch noch weitere Gin-Sorten her.

What's the best way to drink Garage22 Habanero Gin?

We think neat. Whether as an aperitif or as a refreshment on a warm summer evening - the gin is always perfect. If you like cocktails, you can also mix the gin. Everyone can let their imagination run wild.

Trebitsch distillery - small batch single malt whiskies from Moravia

What makes the Trebitsch distillery special?

The history of Trebitsch is a relatively recent one. Tomáš Dyntar, the owner of the distillery, was already thinking about making his own whisky in 2007. He then put the idea into practice in 2014 in Trebitsch - a town with UNESCO World Heritage status. He opened his whisky distillery there. He only uses regional ingredients for his unique whiskies. He recently opened his own whisky bar in Trebitsch and another distillery in Prague. Hopefully there will soon be another whisky bar in Prague. The special thing about this young team at the Trebitsch distillery is that they are a family. From the master distiller to the barmaid behind the whisky bar.

Are there any special features in the production of the whisky?

Only the best ingredients are used: the world-famous Moravian malt, which is lightly smoked with Czech peat. Water from the regional Heraltice spring and various barrels for maturing, ranging from virgin oak barrels, to heavily smoked oak barrels, to port, cognac or rum barrels. In addition, the Trebitsch distillery does not use any artificial ingredients, preservatives or colorants.

Die tschechische Trebitsch Destillerie hat sich auf Whisky in kleinen Auflagen spezialisiert

How does the Single Malt 6 YO differ from other whiskies, for example?

The single malt whisky is produced in kosher quality and gets its honey-golden color from six years of maturation in handmade oak barrels. Only a limited number of bottles are available.

At first, the whisky's intense vanilla aroma gives it the appearance of a young American whisky, but the high-quality Czech malt and the long maturation process give the single malt a great aroma at the end - caramel, sweet fruit, dark chocolate - everything a good whisky needs.

What makes the whisky kosher?

The storage in fresh oak barrels and the high-quality, natural ingredients. The kosher quality certificate from the Jewish Community of Prague therefore only confirms the outstanding quality of the whisky.

Den sechsjährigen Single Malt aus der Trebitsch Destillerie trinkt man am besten pur - oder im Godfather Cocktail!

What is the best way to enjoy the whisky?

Pure, of course, to really enjoy all the flavors. But since our favorite cocktail is the Godfather, we also recommend it.

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About the autor:

Anastasia Hartleib

Anastasia Hartleib

Katalog & Marketing Managerin

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Für mich geht nichts über das Entdecken kleiner Manufakturen. Ob das der Micro Craft Brauer aus Bayern oder die sächsische Brennerei ist, die es bereits seit Jahrzehnten gibt - hauptsache klein, regional verwurzelt und mit Sinn für's Handwerk!

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