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March 6 - March 10, 2019

Charleston Wine + Food

Tasting Notes

CHSWFF Blog

Meet our Artisan Market Exhibitors

The Culinary Village, taking center stage in Marion Square, is the heartbeat of the five day festival. Welcoming approximately 9,000 guests Friday, Saturday and Sunday the first weekend in March, the village offers a grandiose tasting experience featuring wine, beer, spirits, artisans, musicians, craftsmen, chefs, caterers and more. The Artisan Market, located in the Culinary Village, offers guests the opportunity to taste and sample high quality, artisan goods from local and regional companies. This year our Artisan Market will be located in a larger, open air tent and features a stellar line-up of products and companies. You will want these items in your kitchen and home. We are pleased to introduce the 2017 Artisan Market line-up: For the Foodie + Chef For the Cocktail Connoisseur For the Fashionista      
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And the winner is...

Congrats to Ryan Welliver of The Cocktail Club! His fabulous rumtastic cocktail, "Storm the Beach", was chosen to be our 2017 Official Cocktail. In addition to industry bragging rights, Ryan will receive a trip to NYC to sling drinks alongside Nick Bennett at Porchlight Bar, and a feature on ImbibeMagazine.com. Ryan and his custom rum cocktail will also be featured exclusively at the festival’s kick-off event, Opening Night: Rooted in Charleston, Wednesday, March 1, 2017.  Congratulations is also in order to Allen Lancaster of The Spectator Hotel whose cocktail, "No Bunny's Bizness", won Crowd-Favorite of the evening. Catch all four finalists at What The Pho? during the 2017 festival weekend on Saturday, March 4, 2017.  
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Meet The Finalists: Ryan Welliver

Our fourth and final contestant, Ryan Welliver, was born and raised in South Carolina.  He’s pullin’ out all the stops for the competition and will definitely be a force to be reckoned with during Wednesday's finals.  Good luck Ryan!  You're up: Q: Where's your hometown and where do you currently bartend? A: My hometown is Hilton Head Island, SC and I manage the bar at The Cocktail Club. Q: Name of the cocktail you entered in the competition? A: I originally named my cocktail “Hamiltime,” but am changing the name to, “Storm the Beach”, in honor of the anniversary of D-Day, when the Americans stormed the beaches of Normandy! Q: Best bar for drinks with friends? A: I like to start the night with cocktails at The Belmont or The Rarebit and usually end at either The Recovery Room or The Commodore. I will say, Cocktail Club is a great place for cocktails as well! Q: Favorite drink to make? A: My favorite drink to make would be a split between The Last Word and The Daiquiri. I love introducing The Last Word to guests that have never had one before because the complexity of flavors-- it really makes you think about what you are tasting. The Daiquiri is one of my favorites as well due to its simplicity and its ability to be used as a blueprint to build other cocktails. It is also fun to see how different styles of rums play in the classic daiquiri format. The Last Word: ¾ oz Ford’s Gin ¾ oz Green Chartreuse ¾ oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur ¾ oz fresh lime juice Ryan’s Daiquiri: 2 ½ oz Plantation Pineapple ¾ oz fresh lime juice ½ oz 2:1 demerara syrup Q: Best part about being a bartender in Downtown Charleston? A: The best part of bartending in Downtown Charleston, in my opinion, is being a part of a community and family. Everybody is friendly and looks out for each other, even when competing against each other. It's always fun and I enjoy meeting new people and giving them the best experience possible while they are drinking in my bar. Q: Best-kept bartending secret? A: Open a tab! You will get quicker service that night and most likely in the future.  If you open a tab, it is a lot easier to remember you and what you drink when we know your name as well. If it is busy and you have an open tab, we will most likely take your order before others because we know we might not need to take a trip to the register right away, which slows down service and throws off our rhythm. Q: Anything you want to say about your three competitors? A: They are all outstanding bartenders and I am very humbled to be competing next to them. I think we all consider each other friends and I think we still will no matter the outcome of this competition. I wish all of them luck and hope they do the same for me. BONUS Question: Spirit Cocktail? A: Daiquiri. I wear straw hats and linen well.

Join us Wednesday, December 7th for our Rum Rum Rudolph Cocktail Crawl to meet all four finalists as they present their one-of-a-kind, rum-centric cocktails. No tickets needed! Information can be found here

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Meet The Finalists: Jeremiah Schenzel

Meet our third Cocktail Competition finalist, Jeremiah Schenzel, resident bartender at Scarecrow in downtown Charleston. Jeremiah is sure to bring the heat this holiday season with his own rum-inspired, hand-crafted cocktail.  Catch him behind the bar at Scarecrow slinging drinks + be sure to wish him luck in the finals Wednesday, December 7th.  Q: Where's your hometown and where do you currently bartend? A: Carson City, Nevada.  Currently Bartend at Scarecrow and Feathertop Q: Name of the cocktail you entered in the competition? A: Of Saints & Sailors Q: Best bar for drinks with friends? A: Any place that has good music and bartenders with good attitudes Q: Favorite drink to make? A: That's like picking a favorite child Q: Best part about being a bartender in Downtown Charleston? A: The amount of talent that has emerged in the last few years and the comradery amongst the bartenders in this town. Q: Best-kept bartending secret? A: Secrets don't make friends. Q: Anything you want to say about your three competitors? A: This certainly is a handsome group. BONUS Question: Your spirit cocktail. A: The Last Word.  Perfectly balanced with a touch of weird.  Never expected, but always delicious! Join us Wednesday, December 7th for our Rum Rum Rudolph Cocktail Crawl to meet all four finalists as they present their one-of-a-kind, rum-centric cocktails. No tickets needed! Information can be found here
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Meet The Finalists: Allen Lancaster Jr.

Meet the second of our four 2017 Cocktail Competition finalists, Allen Lancaster of The Bar at The Spectator Hotel.  Allen’s experience and wisdom behind the bar are sure to give him a leg up in the competition.  Check out our exclusive Q&A session with Allen below + be sure to check him out behind the bar at The Spectator on December 7th during our merry, merry Rum Rum Rudolph Cocktail Crawl.  Q: Where's your hometown and where do you currently bartend? A: Born in Cranberry Lake, NJ and bartend at the Spectator Hotel. Q: Name of the cocktail you entered in the competition? A: No Bunny's Bizness. Q: Best bar for drinks with friends? A: Gene's Haufbrau (West Ashley) Q: Favorite drink to make? A: Anything stirred... Q: Best part about being a bartender in Downtown Charleston? A: Our audience, both local and visitor, is inherently thirsty for our craft. Folks come to Charleston to enjoy the pleasure of quality food and drink. Q: Best-kept bartending secret? A: Boomsma Oude Genever - not entirely a "secret" but certainly underutilized. It's like gin and whiskey had a baby. Q: Anything you want to say about your three competitors? A: These cats can ball. Best of luck gentlemen! BONUS Question: Your spirit cocktail? A: Old Fashioned for work; Painkiller for play. Join us Wednesday, December 7th for our Rum Rum Rudolph Cocktail Crawl to meet all four finalists as they present their one-of-a-kind, rum-centric cocktails. No tickets needed! Information can be found here
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Meet The Finalists: Anthony Kearse

Meet our first of four 2017 cocktail competition finalists, Anthony Kearse!  Anthony is the resident bartender at Feathertop in downtown Charleston, but is sure ready to bring some Louisiana flair to the Lowcountry and spice up the competition!  We sat down with Anthony to get the 411 on his background + his cocktail. Without further ado: Q: Where's your hometown and where do you currently bartend? A: I was born in Louisiana, but am an Army Brat and spent the last 20 years off and on in Columbia, SC.  Bartender at Feathertop. Q: What is the name of the cocktail you entered in the competition? A: Havana Turkey Shoot in the Holy City. Q: Best bar for drinks with friends? A: The Whig (Columbia, SC) Q: Favorite drink to make? A: Dealer’s Choice. Q: Best part about being a bartender in Downtown Charleston? A: Meeting other bartenders and people since moving to Charleston. Q: Best-kept bartending secret? A: I have a lab at home with over 400 bottles! Q: Anything you want to say about your three competitors? A: Live, learn, and have fun! BONUS Question: Your spirit cocktail? A: Gin & Tonic!

Join us Wednesday, December 7th for our Rum Rum Rudolph Cocktail Crawl to meet all four finalists as they present their one-of-a-kind, rum-centric cocktails. No tickets needed! Information can be found here

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