This prestigious accolade, one of only four national trophies, recognises venues that push the boundaries of possibility and embrace a maverick approach to the wine and hospitality experience.
Nick Stock and Mark Kamleh, the creative minds behind Silver Sands Beach Club, travelled across to Melbourne for the awards ceremony and returned home triumphant with the Maverick Award. Their victory is not just theirs alone but a testament to the entire team and, importantly, the customers who have supported their unique venture.
The judges aptly described Silver Sands Beach Club as a “wine bar/restaurant in a surf club,” highlighting its distinctive fusion of casual beach vibes and an extensive wine selection that ranges from chicken nuggets to $1,000 bottles. This dynamic combination encapsulates the essence of the Maverick award, which celebrates venues that challenge norms and create memorable experiences for their patrons.
Mark Kamleh, responsible for the music, and Nick Stock, overseeing the wine alongside sommelier Lachlan George, have collaborated seamlessly to bring Silver Sands Beach Club to life. Head chef Stefano Longhi, with roots in Lombardy, adds a culinary dimension that complements the laid-back beach atmosphere.
Nick Stock emphasised, “Great wines can be researched, sourced, and bought by anyone, just about anywhere. But we saw the opportunity to do something unique around the enjoyment of great wines.” The mantra of “board shorts, bikinis, and Burgundy” captures the essence of their approach, where the juxtaposition of high-quality wines and a relaxed setting creates an unforgettable experience.
Silver Sands Beach Club isn’t just a wine destination; it’s a reflection of a lifestyle. It celebrates the golden sandy beaches, the rich food and wine culture of the McLaren Vale region, and the vibrant community along the Fleurieu Peninsula. The venue embodies a philosophy of embracing life’s pleasures in a beautiful setting, offering patrons the chance to savor the finest wines against the backdrop of the stunning coastline.
The 2023 Wineslinger Awards, hosted at Melbourne’s Gerald’s Bar, saw Silver Sands Beach Club join the ranks of the country’s top wine and hospitality establishments. The Maverick Award, alongside other prestigious trophies like Wineslinger, Best New Haunt, and People’s Choice, acknowledges the diverse and exciting landscape of Australia’s wine scene.
Wineslinger founder Rory Kent, said he commended each winner for bringing a unique concept to the wine experience. The awards showcase the depth and vibrancy of the industry, with 19 new venues making their mark in the Top 50 in 2023. Kent emphasised that these venues contribute to making Australia’s wine-drinking scene world-class, offering joy, thrill, and a sense of discovery to patrons seeking something new.
Silver Sands Beach Club’s Maverick Award is a testament to the success of their unorthodox approach, creating a haven where wine enthusiasts, beachgoers, and those seeking a novel dining experience can come together. As they continue to celebrate the best in food, wine, and lifestyle, Silver Sands Beach Club invites everyone to join in the revelry and experience the magic of a maverick venue on the shores of McLaren Vale.
Image credit: Casey Horsefield