For owners Anita and Wayne Tamme, City Scape Winery represents a dream turned hobby turned full-fledged business. The Tammes only sell their own wine, created in small batches to allow for more customization. In the summer, City Scape offers lighter, sweeter varietals; the winter brings classic, more traditional wines. Oenophiles stopping by the winery can typically sample up to eight of City Scape's wines, or peruse the retail store for its extensive inventory of winemaking supplies, including extracts, flavorings, yeast, and wine kits.
For three years running—2011, 2012, and 2013—Columbia Metropolitan magazine has declared Gervais & Vine's wine list the city's best. What earned it the distinction is simple: globe-spanning variety. Its menu hosts everything from California's 2011 J. Lohr pinot noir to South Africa's Spice Route “Chakalaka” and Germany's Dr. L Riesling, which completed medical school during its fermentation. All told, more than 40 wines by the glass fill the list, complementing the Mediterranean-inspired tapas of head chef Jason Holowacz.
When crafting his entrees, Holowacz focuses on pairing. Dishes range from the Spanish flavors of grilled shrimp to Italian favorites such as pizza with goat cheese and herb-infused olive oil, allowing guests to experiment with their white or red selections. For pointers, periodic winemaker dinners and wine tastings cover different varietals and their best edible matches. And while guests sip and sup, inside or on the outdoor patio, Gervais & Vine entertains their ears every Wednesday and Thursday night with live jazz.
Solstice Kitchen owner and executive chef Ricky Mollohan takes pride in crafting creative seasonal menus while working closely with local suppliers to ensure ingredients are as fresh as possible. Start taste buds tingling with a table-side beef tartare served with parsley-caper salad, worcestershire, black pepper, red-wine mustard, and Manchester Farms quail egg ($14), before moving on to indulgent entrees such as olive-oil-seared wild salmon tamed with horseradish-black-pepper cream, wild-mushroom and goat-cheese risotto, port-wine reduction, and a salad made from friendly local herbs ($19). While Solstice boasts an expansive wine and cocktail list, guests who prefer a familiar libation are welcome to tote their own favorite potent to the restaurant's cozy yet modern dining room for a $15 corking fee, or the equivalent value in cubic zirconia. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sundays from 5:30 p.m to 9 p.m.
As the head winemaker at Courson's Winery, Beau Courson puts more than 20 years of experience to good use while he crafts Southern-style muscadine, scuppernong, and fruit wines. Visitors can head to the tasting room to sip samples and purchase bottles of their favorite wine, or browse supplies for making wine at home. Aside from vino, the winery also keeps its shelves stocked with jellies, salsas, hot sauces, and gift baskets.
The wine pours freely and the beer bubbles over frosty pint glasses at Grape and Grains, a family-operated homebrew and wine retailer that couples an appreciation for fine craftsmanship with a DIY approach. Owners Kenny and Janel Anderson—enthusiastic experts in hops and wine, respectively—have combined their passions into an enterprise that is one part supply shop and one part educational hub. As Janel presides over the wine bar and teaches classes in wine making, Kenny leads excursions into the complex world of home brewing, showing off the various hop varieties of IPAs and the tears of ousted MPs that give English ales their signature bitterness. The couple share their zeal for spirits with all comers at least 21 years of age, granting members of Grape and Grains' beer and wine club a 10% discount and military vets a 20% discount on products and classes.