The City Magazine Since 1975

Sip & See

November 2018
Sip & See
WRITER: 

Charleston is having a wine bar boom, with spots from Kiawah to Daniel Island. While great vino is the through line, each bar has its own unique appeal

1. FortyEight
Freshfields Village en route to Kiawah Island has a wine bar that keeps patrons guessing with 48 wines—and craft beers—offered daily alongside a food menu that rotates monthly. Sit on the patio and enjoy marinated olives, a charcuterie plate, or crab dip along with wines from a global array of producers. 547 Freshfields Dr., John’s Island; fortyeightwinebar.com

2. Rudi’s Café at Drayton Hall
At 18th-century plantation Drayton Hall, the focus is on preservation, not restoration. But that doesn’t rule out restorative drinks after a tour. New addition Rudi’s Café, an offshoot of Rudi’s in the Old Village, offers coffee, pastries, cheese, and, of course, wine inside or out in the courtyard. 3380 Ashley River Rd., West Ashley; draytonhall.org

3. Stems & Skins
Bon Appétit called it “The best natural wine-drinking experience in Charleston ... not in Charleston.” And now Stems & Skins owner Justin Croxall has even more to offer with the addition of new chef Greg Marks to the team. Visit this candlelit space for expert recommendations, a great playlist, and dishes like shrimp campanelle with Iberico ham broth. 1070 E. Montague Ave., North Charleston; stemsandskins.com

4. Graft Wine Shop & Bar
Femi Oyediran and Miles White are breaking the mold of what a wine shop should be. At Graft, King Street’s hip-hop-blasting hot spot, the two lifelong friends invite guests to grab a glass and snacks—say egg rolls from pop-up Little Miss Ha—before perusing the shelves for a restaurant-caliber bottle to go. 700-B King St., graftchs.com

5. Josephine
Tony Spring Street newcomer Josephine is one of the few Charleston wine bars with an advanced sommelier, Ashley Broshious, in house, and the Bordeaux-focused wine list reflects that. At the marble-topped bar, chef Shaun Connelly plays off the wine, offering palate-testing small plates like foie gras mousse and hand-cut pappardelle with duck carnitas. 64 Spring St., josephinewinebar.com

6. Vintage Lounge
This sleek Upper King Street lounge just might have one of the most dynamic wine lists in town—it’s stacked with seasonally selected new- and old-world varieties. For the more ambitious vino connoisseur, the bar offers “The Blind” taste test challenge. If you correctly name a wine’s vintage, you get a free glass. 545 King St., vintagechs.com

7. Uncork Charleston
Want to indulge in an expensive or rare wine, but don’t want to pay for an entire bottle? Head to Uncork Charleston. Using an Italian corking system the bar can pour one-, three-, and six-ounce samples while preserving the open bottle for up to four weeks. And while tasting something unique, you can enjoy small bites like Stilton cheese or duck prosciutto, as well as classic French desserts (think macaroons and almond sponge cake from Mount Pleasant café Saveurs Du Monde). 476 King St., uncorkcharleston.com

8. Bistro A Vin
Nestled on a quiet corner near the heart of the city, this establishment comes from Florence and Dominique Chantepie, the owners of neighboring patisserie Cafe Framboise. The French duo serve creamy Camembert and bold Bleu d’Auvergne cheese plates along with more than 100 bottles. 40 Archdale St., bistroavin.com

9. Bin 152
If you love watching passersby while sipping a great Vouvray and nibbling on an elaborate charcuterie board, Fanny and Patrick Panella’s Bin 152 is the place. This King Street spot makes a perfect outing after a show at the nearby Dock Street Theatre or lecture at the Charleston Library Society. 152 King St., bin152.com

10. Bin 526
Looking to expand your understanding of wine? Mike and Alice White can help. The couple provides Daniel Island residents the chance to learn all about regions and vintages in a casual setting. This restaurant and wine shop opened last December and often hosts events such as Wine 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Wine. Hearty flatbreads keep customers well fed while they sample a vast array of bottles inside or on the spacious front patio. 20 Fairchild St., Daniel Island; bin526.com

Resources: 

Photographs By (Bin 526, Uncork, & Rudi’s) Sarah Alsati, (graft) Stuart White,(bin 152 & Stems & Skins) Paul Cheney, & (Vintage Lounge) Andrew Cebulka & Courtesy of (josephine) Byrdhouse PR & (FortyEight) FortyEight