Patrick Emerson, founder of Communion Wine Club LLC. and outgoing Board member at the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food, has joined the Festival as wine and beverage director in a consultant capacity. In his new role, Emerson will nominate and recruit top wineries, winemakers, distillers and brewers to participate in the Festival.  He will also develop innovative seminars and tastings for the beverage program hosted during the four-day Festival at The Culinary Institute of Charleston. In addition, Emerson will partner wineries with participating restaurants for the Festival’s much loved intimate dinner series.  “I have been involved with the Festival since its inception and I’m thrilled to step into an expanded role to help create an awesome 10th anniversary celebration,” says Emerson.

Executive Director Gillian Zettler adds, “Patrick is committed to enhancing the wine and beverage experience throughout our Festival, and I’m delighted to have someone with his beverage expertise working to bring the very best beverage offerings to the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival.”

Since 2004, Emerson has been a leading sommelier and wine director in the restaurant wine community in Charleston. His restaurant wine lists have been awarded 28 Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence.” In November 2012, he was voted as the top sommelier in Charleston and was honored at the Festival’s highly acclaimed Ultimate Critics Dinner. As a founding member of the Charleston chapter of the US Bartenders’ Guild, Emerson is also a celebrated mixologist, garnering praise in GQ Magazine(winner of the Bombay Sapphire Challenge), Southern LivingFood and Wine Magazine (best cocktails), LocalPalateCharleston MagazineCity Paper and The Post and Courier.