South East distilleries are the toast of the region, as singular spirits score Great Taste stars
Three stunning spirits from the South East feature on this year’s list of Great Taste award-winners, which was announced on Tuesday 21 September 2021. Out of the 5,383 products worldwide to receive a Great Taste 1-, 2- or 3-star accolade from the largest and most trusted food and drink awards on the planet, 626 are based in the South East and these include; Newbury-based Lumber Distillers’ Great Taste 3-star 137 Gin Lumbers Bartholomew Berkshire Dry; a Great Taste 3-star Pino Grape Spirit 2019, a spirit handmade in Hove by Spirit of the Downs using Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes; and a Great Taste 3-star award-winning Premium Irsai Oliver Grape Palinka, a traditional fruit brandy made in Surrey by Szicsek Palinka.
Following 86 socially-distanced judging days in London and Dorset, Great Taste, which values taste above all else, has unearthed the very finest food and drink from every nook and corner of the UK and beyond. Regardless of branding or packaging, each product is judged on a level playing field, according to its texture, appearance, composition and of course taste. Food critics, chefs, restaurateurs, retail buyers, cooks, producers and a host of food writers, journalists and social media influencers are among the 355 esteemed palates to have rigorously blind tasted and judged the 14,113 entries from 108 countries, while providing detailed written feedback for the producer.
Every Great Taste award-winning product will now be able to display the unmistakable black and gold logo, a stamp of excellence that is recognised by retailers and consumers alike. A wide range of these winning products are already available to buy in delis, farm shops and independent retail outlets across the country.
All Great Taste 3-star award-winning products will be re-judged to find this year’s regional Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste Supreme Champion 2021. These final results will be announced at the Great Taste Golden Fork Reception on Sunday 17 October, set to be held at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate following the first day of Fine Food Show North, a trade-only exhibition organised by the Guild of Fine Food.
- Established in 1994, Great Taste is organised by the Guild of Fine Food and is the world’s largest, longest standing and most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers
- 14,113 different products were entered in 2021 from 108 countries
- 355 judges blind-tasted this year’s entries, including; Joanna Blythman, investigative journalist and food writer, cook, writer, stylist and voice of modern vegetarian cooking, Anna Jones, author, Olia Hercules, Kenny Tutt, MasterChef 2018 champion and restaurateur, food writer and cook, Xanthe Clay, presenter, author and tutor, Steven Lamb, baker and author, Martha Collison, and Kavi Thakrar from Dishoom, as well as food buyers from Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Partridges
- Socially distanced judging took place over 86 days at four venues, including Guild HQ in Gillingham, Dorset and the Guild of Fine Food’s London home, No. 42 Southwark Street, SE1
- 4,027 awarded a Great Taste 1-star - A food that delivers fantastic flavour. Approximately 30% of entries will achieve this rating each year
- 1,138 awarded a Great Taste 2-star - Above and beyond delicious – less than 10% of entries will achieve this rating
- 218 awarded a Great Taste 3-star - Extraordinarily tasty foods – less than 2% of products are awarded a 3-star each year – don’t leave the shop without buying it!