Started by a professional winemaker, the Island Winery crafts fine fermented red, white, and Lowcountry specialty wines from the fruits of the South Carolina coast. The wine and cheese happy hour kicks off in the early evening and includes a glass of wine and light appetizers for all guests. Attendees taste 10 of Island Winery's wines, including the barrel-reserve chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and southern passion sangria. Those opting for the wine flight, held 12:30 p.m.–2:20 p.m., will enjoy an olfactory overload with samples of many of the available imbibing delicacies, and complimentary cheeses cleanse palates and act as rubbery tooth napkins.
In 2012, Park Plaza Cinema made the conversion from reel to digital projectors, which WTOC chronicled locally. "It's a sad day. It's a historical day," Lucie Mann, who owns the theater with her husband, Larry, told WTOC. The digital conversion has not been the only upgrade at Park Plaza. The new Parlez-Vous Lounge and Ciné-Café invites guests to relax on its cushy benches or barstools for housemade ice cream or gourmet pizza or wings. Select beers and wines are also available. Along with its regular rotation of Hollywood blockbusters, family films, and arthouse cinema, the theater also organizes movie clubs and hosts a weekly movie-discussion group with a film critic.
Beneath the shade of oak trees bearing Spanish moss, Irvin~House Vineyards' owners Jim and Ann Irvin concoct five award-winning wines from four varieties of muscadine grape grown and harvested on their 48-acre property. Each batch fills bottles adorned with labels crafted by local Charleston artists before visitors sample their muscadine-rich flavors during tastings and tours. In addition to weekly winery sessions, the Irvins enthrall community members and wine connoisseurs alike with varied events, such as bluegrass and grape-stomping festivals, held on land that shelters a renovated party barn, flower and vegetable garden, chicken coop, and outdoor picnic area. The Irvins' acreage also accommodates Firefly Distillery, which supplies tastings of its Firefly vodka and Sea Island rum to curious visitors and marooned pirates bemoaning their empty flasks.
Try as they might, home brewers cannot transform barley and hops into bubbly craft brews with the flick of a switch or a hearty whistle. For tools, equipment, and advice, brewers congregate at the Savannah Home Brew Shop, where they can sniff and sample specialty grains, yeast, and malts from Crosby & Baker. Students stock up on shiny new brewing equipment from Foxx while scouring available brewing books and magazines for the up-to-date trends and tips. The staff at Savannah Home Brew Shop can guide novices through their first fermented steps with home-brewing kits, as well as starter kits and supplies for wine makers. Seasoned brewers load up on brand-name liquid or dry yeasts, and hoist bulk bags of dry grain on their shoulders as they try to outrun the sprightly Saint Paulie girl that just stole their stein.
The faculty of local artists at Wine and Design in West Ashley and Mt. Pleasant helps students create works of art in a social, supportive setting with lessons designed for people with no artistic experience. After uncorking bottles of wine and kegs of paint, budding artists spend two hours imitating pros stroke for stroke as they transform canvases into paintings of colorful landscapes and vibrant still lifes. Guests of any experience level are welcome and Wine and Design provides all necessary materials, including paint, brushes, and corkscrews.
In addition to regular classes, Wine and Design offers private parties and Art Buzz summer camp for kids at both Mt. Pleasant and West Ashley. In an effort to paint it forward (Mt. Pleasant and West Ashley), they also donate funds to causes, such as Relay For Life and the MUSC Children's Hospital.