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.
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.
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 grape gurus at Gas Light Art and Wine Gallery pour glasses of flavorful ambrosias in a gallery adorned with several pieces of art showcasing humankind’s furry four-legged best friends. For the flight of Lost Dog wine, guests can treat their taste buds to a sampling of four classic varietals—chardonnay, white zinfandel, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon. After each glass has been lapped up, crack open a full bottle of your choice of Lost Dog wine, each one graced with an oil painting of a canine that barks with every uncorking (a $19.95 value).
O' Hara & Flynn's wine selection contains a menu of more than 25 wines by the glass and many more by the bottle, each of which is hand picked by the shop's owners. Enjoy light, elegant snacks—like artisan cheeses, meats, breads and olives—at one of the shop's rustic wood tables or comfortable bar area, or bring the party outside the shop's walls with a variety of wines and specialty foods available for purchase. Try a glass of South Australian Darby and Joan chardonnay or South African Passages merlot ($8 for a glass). Most glasses of wine run about $8, while bottles range from $28–$60. Sample a few new wines in one sitting with a wine tasting flight (any two or more are available at glass price, consult in-store for more info), in order to fully stimulate each of your tongue's tastes zones, including sweet, bitter, zing, and kapow. Alongside the lineup of hard-to-find wines are a variety of craft beers from around the world, like the Belgian Cherish Lambic ($7). Alternatively, you can stay domestic with the locally brewed East Bay IPA ($5).