Rather than cheering on their alma mater’s team, Chucktown Alumni recreational sports leagues let school-proud players get into the game. Graduates form teams of up to 23 players, showing their school spirit by playing in their shared college or high school’s colors. During the 10-week flag-football season—composed of an eight-week regular season and a two-week tournament—teams vie for weekly supremacy in games strategically scheduled not to conflict with college football games. At the season’s close, officials dole out prizes to the winning clubs and players who sewed their jerseys into the most stylish patchwork capes.
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.
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.
Thursday nights from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., West End hosts its weekly wine tasting, encouraging oenophilic exploration amid the shop’s mahogany-shelved, bottle-lined walls. Palates pining for fermented flavors revel in four pours of generally smaller international labels from Australia, South America, and Middle Earth. Pairs brush up libation knowledge with info sheets for each wine while enjoying bite-size hors d’oeuvres served throughout the three-hour affair. Most couples tend to schmooze for an hour and a half, testing the quartet of flavors on tap and enjoying lively discussions about a varietal's vanilla notes and black-currant arpeggios.
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.
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