Annual Event Not Just For Wine Lovers, Event Offers Something For Everyone
By: Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer
While ‘wine & dine’ is the overall theme at the annual Charleston Wine & Food Festival, there are a plethora of things happening for the casual diner and the non-fruit of the vine lover. You don’t have to a socialite, an aristocrat, or skilled on epicurean delights to enjoy time at the festival.
Aside from some evening soirees and parties happening at event halls and restaurants throughout the downtown area, the core of the CWFF takes place at Marion Square. It’s more of a laid back gathering than it is a salute to pomp and circumstance. No matter where you find yourself on the social ladder, there is something for everyone at the festival. Aside from specific vendors, it’s more pay one price and ‘sip & sample’ at CWFF.
Not a lover of wine, then perhaps the distilleries and breweries have more to offer. Craft beer and liquor makers from around the world, the country, and right here from the greater Charleston, have assembled inside Marion Square to make festival-goers aware of the products. Excited owners, brewers, and marketing personnel are all more than happy to share their passion and product with those willing to listen. The Hub near the hotels is where you’ll find most of the distilling companies.
The Beer Garden near King & Calhoun Streets is home to 15 craft breweries from around the country, some well known and others from right here in the Holy City. Snafu out of North Charleston and Dockery’s from Daniel Island, with master brewers Scott Koon aka ‘Skoon’ and Gresyon Cato represents the Lowcountry. Fans of ‘Southern Charm’ might already be familiar with Trop Hop a citrus-flavored IPA from Austen Kroll and his King’s Calling Brewing Co.
From Asheville, you have the unique guys from French Broad River Brewery. Brad Davis will get you super pumped about his Moody Tongue culinary brews out of Chicago. Diehard beer lovers will have plenty to talk about at the Guinness counter. The centuries-old brewery have brought their Irish draught to the festival with several renditions of their iconic brands. Don’t leave there without trying their mini chocolate covered cream. Like Lay’s Potato Chips, you can’t eat just one.
In the Artisan Village, you’ll discover dozens of vendors skilled in various arts and crafts. Maybe pick up some ceramics from MM Clay who made the trek from San Francisco to show off their wares. Local hand-crafted jewelry maker Christina Jervey is happy to showcase her artistry. Wake up your taste buds with southern crafted hot sauces and hot honey from Red Clay. Just a couple of the unique vendors in Artisan Village, located near the King Street side of Marion Square.
Step outside the village tent, and feast on some of the best edibles you’ll wrap your tastebuds around. Carnivores and vegans have equal options at Marion Square. Cheese spreads & vegetable dips, rice & pasta dishes, and a cornucopia of tidbits from local and regional restaurants, including Cherrywood BBQ & Ale House from the Sanctuary on Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
The Main Events section of the culinary village is where many of the exhibitions take place as well as live music. In need of cutlery or a few distinct cookbooks, then you’ll want to drop in Main Events during your visit to the Charleston Wine & Food Festival.
With all the buzz happening at the Culinary Village, the lifeblood of the festival takes place at the Cork Yard. Under the massive tents, you’ll come upon wineries and distributors from across the United States and the globe. From Napa Valley and the Golden State be certain to drop by O’Neill Vinters, Silverado Vineyards, Justin Winery, and Quintessential. All more than happy to serve up your favorite vinos. Just a few of the many vintners on site.
Be sure to visit with Sara Brewer (great name) who’s representing the French winemaker Boisset. Out of the Windy City, Gonzalez Byass distributes some of the finest wines created out of Spain, with Miami based Santa Margaherita showcasing some of the best Italy and Europe have to offer. With so many wineries represented your wine glass will never be empty at the festival.
There are a few vendors cooking up tasty treats inside the Cork Yard and The Hub. Keep an eye out or maybe be drawn to the aroma of Ginger Bug, a popular pop up from local chef Jamey Fairchild whose love for Asian creations will excite your palate. You’ll be equally satiated should you drop by the table occupied by Relish Distinctive Catering from right here in Mount Pleasant. Their small bites ideally complement any of the wines you have in your glass.
As your leaving the Culinary Village maybe visit the marketplace tent near Meeting & Calhoun where you can purchase many of the wines offered at the festival, as well as other items. Whether you love full-bodied, light-hearted or dessert wines, chardonnays, cabernets, roses, merlots or pinot noirs, you’ll be in vineyard heaven at the Charleston Wine & Food Festival.
Charleston is a hospitality city, with food & drink among its best offerings. The Charleston Wine & Food Festival has grown to become one of the premier events proudly showcasing the Holy City. You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy all the festival has to offer.
With craft beer, distilleries, shopping, food, live music, and exhibitions daily there is something for everyone to enjoy. Come with your spouse, your significant other, or make it a girls’ day out. However you plan to attend, remember to have fun and ‘sip, sample and repeat! For complete info, visit https://charlestonwineandfood.com/
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