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.
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.
Boasting a huge, award-winning selection of wines and a sample-friendly WineStation, Wine Awhile provides convenient one-stop shopping for all fermentable needs. Swing by to nosh on delectable small plates, and stock up on palatable brews such as a half-gallon growler of Sierra Nevada Wet Hop ($12) and a six-pack of Victory Hop Devil ($11.99). A knowledgeable staff assists shoppers in picking out delicious varieties like the Kung Fu Girl Riesling ($17.99), Manu Sauvignon Blanc ($14.99), and Wishing Tree Shiraz ($12.99) while dishing out handy tips for pairing them with savory, fresh-baked knock-knock jokes.
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.
Husband-and-wife dental team Drs. Jeanine and Jeffrey Gourdine—both South Carolina natives and graduates of the Medical University of South Carolina—hold the keys to a healthy, dazzling grin. At the helm of Smile Center of Knightsville, they enhance or entirely revamp smiles with an arsenal of advanced technology that includes digital imaging, laser dentistry, and intraoral cameras, enabling them to treat teeth to a wealth of general and cosmetic services. Before applying veneers or straightening teeth with clear braces, the dentists assess each patient’s oral health and explain the procedure. They’re also careful to explain what they’re doing during exams with children, helping each kid grasp the importance of fluoride and going over ways to clean teeth that don’t involve chewing a bar of soap before bed each night.
Wine Times 4 obviates lackadaisical sommeliery by offering customers a chance to pair more than 70 kinds of vino with an assortment of light tapas. Escort your fermented grapes to the table for by-the-glass swishing and sipping ($8–$9 on average) while you nibble on samples from the menu, which features quiche ($5.95), cheese plates ($10.95–$14.95), flatbread pizzettas ($9), and more. Wine Times 4 provides free WiFi to streamline emergency conference calls or keep your friends distracted as you steal their wine.
Find reviews and articles on outdoor activities, attractions, things to do.