Classifying an establishment as a “wine bar” is becoming more and more frequent, but what does this title actually entail? For starters, wine is the centerpiece, but it’s so much more than that, as chefs and restaurateurs work together to craft a cohesive experience combining beverage, food, and atmosphere. Some spots double as retail stores, while others serve as the ideal precursor to an evening on the town, and each destination is sure to have a knowledgeable staff that’s willing to debunk the sometimes confusing world of wine. When the right time comes, check out what all the wine bar buzz is about at one of these 10 Charleston spots.Read More
Grab a Glass of Wine at These 10 Charleston Spots
Read between the wines
Stems & Skins
Co-owner and sommelier Matt Tunstall’s Park Circle spot was just recognized by the James Beard Foundation in the Outstanding Wine Program category, an honor he’s earned by offering a variety of carefully selected natural wines from around the globe. Tunstall chooses from producers who utilize a hands-off process, and the food menu mirrors his experiences in Europe, with items like the tinned seafood that he first tried in coastal Portugal and Spain.
Goat Sheep Cow North
30 wines by the glass and artisanal cheese make this European-style cafe a classy yet casual spot for socializing with friends. For a taste of France, check out the bubbly French onion soup or croque provencal.
Graft Wine Shop & Wine Bar
Whether it’s a bottle to go or a glass to stay, Graft offers patrons the chance to experiment with a variety of wines meeting any price range. The crew at Graft looks to make wine approachable for everyone and often has pop ups like Dough Boyz Pizza or Pub Fare visit the shop.
Wine & Company
Part retail store, part wine bar, this newcomer delivers helpful guidance for those who may not be as familiar with wine. Wine & Company offers cheese and charcuterie that pairs with the wine, and guests can also book private tastings for the full experience.
Josephine Wine Bar
This wine bar certainly doesn’t skimp on the food, as chef Shaun Connelly churns out inventive plates like housemade pappardelle and smoked trout dip. Sommelier Melissa Yard’s wine list focuses on Bordeaux, and the two work together to ensure the food and wine pairing is spot on.
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Babas on Cannon
Not technically branded as a wine bar, but this pint-sized European-influenced establishment is the place for a glass of bubbly or European red while munching on shareable plates. The neighborhood cafe offers pastries and sandwiches during the day before transitioning to a night time menu full of snacks like the chickpea panisse, which is a crisply fried fritter with a contrasting, hummus-like interior.
The bar design at Vintage Lounge is highly regarded and promotes the social atmosphere that is a quintessential element to any quality wine bar. The beverage program is full of worldly reds and whites along with wine cocktails like the French 75, which combines gin and cava.
Self-service wine bars aren’t for everyone, but Uncork Charleston does provide a relatively cost-effective way to sample several varieties. The wine bar also just hired Natasha Cline to head up the new small plate program, providing snacks while you sip.
Avondale Wine & Cheese
Everyone is welcome at this local Avondale hang out, where guests can find, well — wine and cheese. The selection is an ever-changing variety from mostly small producers, and the shop often hosts themed wine tastings.
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This under-the-radar King Street wine and cheese bar offers a wide variety of both, as guests can enjoy while surrounded by walls adorned in local art. Cheese is selected weekly and the wine menu is constantly updated, keeping Bin 152 an exciting place to start a night with friends.