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Charleston Wine + Food

Tasting Notes


#WhyIWineandFood: Ann Marshall

#WhyIWineandFood: Ann Marshall

An avid connoisseur of wine + food and a supporter of small + local Lowcountry businesses, Ann Marshall of High Wire Distilling embodies the true essence of a passionate Charlestonian.

Raised in Orangeburg, Ann Marshall was always close to Charleston, letting her love for the city flourish over the years. She describes her familiarity with the city through “vacationing a lot down here.” Ann Marshall + her husband, Scott Blackwell, chose Charleston for everything from weekend visits to anniversary weekends, eventually getting married out at Edisto Island.

With each visit, Ann Marshall + Scott felt a stronger pull to the Holy City. Beyond the beautiful scenery, the couple really “fell in love with the food community + the restaurant scene here,” Ann says. She explains how the “rich and special,” culinary experiences + the communal feel embedded in the city influenced her + Scott’s decision to establish their distillery here.

Courtesy of: Miguel Buencamino

“It felt like the size of Charleston was really attractive because it is very metropolitan with a lot of people flowing throughout it, but the community was really strong and the footprints are really tight,” Ann Marshall explains. “We would always run into somebody we knew every time we came to visit - the sense of community is really what drove us.”

After founding the distillery a few years ago, the business took off. High Wire spirits popped up in local food + beverage establishments around the city. It wasn’t High Wire alone, however, that began to expand + develop. New restaurants, hotels, even new distilleries, started opening all over the peninsula. “We were lucky to land in Charleston when we did,” Marshall explains. “It was right when the real estate market was taking off. We were a little limited to where we could go, to be honest, because we had to have an industrial building but also there were a lot of options around town.”

Courtesy of: Miguel Buencamino

On the hunt for an industrial space to lay roots in the city, Ann + Scott looked to upper King St. and found home near the up-and-coming Cannonborough neighborhood just past the crosstown. “We really loved the edginess of the area and how it felt very entrepreneurial,” Ann explains. “It seemed like a lot of restauranteurs + business were a little scrappier and more in-tune with what this neighborhood could be. I think people who had a great vision for transforming an area that was + still is a fantastic area.”

The couple was spot-on with their predictions. Since opening, the neighborhood expansion continues dramatically. “Now it’s just a booming,” Ann explains. “We continue to get leapfrogged by various businesses, and now we’ve got people like Monarch on Upper King anchoring the end, Rodney's up there as well. For a while, Butcher & Bee was the anchor point on this end, then we moved in and then Leon’s; it’s been a fun process to watch unfold.”

Courtesy of: Miguel Buencamino

The communal aspect of High Wire’s neighborhood reflects the core values of the business + Ann Marshall’s personal convictions. Being an authentic player in the Charleston community is something Ann Marshall takes seriously + also drives her interest in participating in events like the Charleston Wine + Food festival. “The festival is such an incredible vehicle for community,” she explains. “Not just bringing people into Charleston, but also tightening relationships within the city itself. It was really important to us when we first moved here to become a part of food and beverage community in Charleston.”

Ann Marshall describes the camaraderie between the food + beverage community leading up to the festival as a chance for connection, despite all of the chaos. “It’s just a great way to reward the community,” she says. “We pass each other in the street as we’re all so busy with our heads down, but the festival is a great moment to see more of anyone than you do all year long. I love that. It reinforces the feel of the community.”

Courtesy of: Miguel Buencamino

When they aren’t running the distillery + making appearances at local restaurants, bars and festivals, Ann + Scott love to embrace all of the things that make the Holy City the number one travel destination in the world. Setting work life aside, the couple enjoys sailing, sitting by the pool on the weekends and taking long walks around the city, occasionally popping into their favorite restaurants for a bite. “We’re really passionate about beverages, but we’re also really passionate about food,” she says. “A lot of the fun for us is just getting out at restaurants around Charleston and seeing what’s out there - we kind of eat, sleep and breathe it all.”

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#WhyIWineandFood: Caitlyn Mayer

Sustainability, community, and good meals are a few of the things Charleston’s “oyster queen” Caitlyn Mayer holds close to her heart. Caitlyn + her husband, Peter, opened Charleston Oyster Farm in 2016. Today, Caitlyn + Peter run the farm with Peter's brother, Tom. With HQ located just over the bridge on Stono River the trio work hard to provide local, delicious oysters to restaurants across the peninsula, all while minimizing food miles as much as possible. Caitlyn explains “by being as close to our consumer population as possible, we can cut down on the amount of gas that we use. We have a really green footprint, we don’t have to use that much ice for freshwater because we can basically take them out and take them to the restaurant.” Sustainability plays a big role not only in Caitlyn’s job as oyster farmer - also in the courses she teaches as an adjunct geology professor at the College of Charleston. Her inspiration to teach evolved from both her passion for the Lowcountry + her experience attending the College herself. During her time at the College of Charleston, Caitlyn worked in a number of the Holy City’s food + beverage hotspots including Höm + Edmund’s Oast. From there, she developed an understanding + appreciation for quality culinary experiences. Caitlyn explains that through travel and working in food + bev there is an invaluable opportunity to learn “how all of your food has so much more of a story than you think.” This passion for wine + food only deepened during the summer she spent on a vineyard in France. She describes how the labor, authenticity, and knowledge that goes into the food in Europe keeps people from taking a meal for granted. “It’s cool,” she says, “to be around a society that’s so passionate about where their food comes from + how they’re growing it + why it has the flavor it does.” Caitlyn further explains how something as simple as a picnic baguette + charcuterie should be relished. The perspective Caitlyn gained from her time in Charleston restaurants + France inspires her to appreciate her meals and encourage consumers of her oysters to do the same. “It’s all about taking life as is and just enjoying the moment,” Caitlyn says. “That’s something that’s cool about an oyster... the setting you have to be in to eat it is not a fast-paced setting.” While pairing the salty shellfish with the perfect wine can make for a fabulous evening, many consumers, even locals, forget the cultural and historical context of oysters and local oyster farming. Oyster farming is so much more than a key component of the Holy City food + beverage industry. The process stands as a huge part of Charleston’s historical, cultural and economic foundation. Maintaining the rich history surrounding oyster farming was important to Caitlyn and the Charleston Oyster Farm. “That’s how Charleston was founded. Major cities were founded because oysters existed there. So it’s just a really cool part of our history,” Caitlyn says. Consumers can see Caitlyn’s and the Charleston Oyster Farm’s devotion to respecting the culture and history of this business in everything they do. From the historic location of the farm near the old Bachman’s facility on the Stono River to the names of the oysters they harvest. The “Perky Sea Cups,” are a cheeky reference the salty and refreshing flavor of the oysters, while the “Mosquito Fleet Petites” pay homage to the Gullah Geechee culture of the region, a culture that kickstarted local oyster harvesting as an industry. “It was really important to us,” Caitlyn explains, “to try and revitalize that part of our history and work in an area that’s always been in a fishing community and stay true to the indigenous peoples and their ways.” Sharing her passion for oysters and teaching others the nature and sustainability of local oyster farming are just a few reasons Caitlyn enjoys being a part of festivals like Charleston Wine + Food. “We don’t really get to interact with the consumer, we’re just selling to the restaurant,” Caitlyn says. “That’s what’s really cool about getting to participate in events like this because otherwise we don’t know how great it is or how we’re really impacting the public.”
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"Charlotte's Got a Lot" in Store for the Culinary Village

We are officially less than 72 hours out from the opening of the Culinary Village. Annually Charleston Wine + Food turns Marion Square into the most epic foodie experience riddled with food samplings, wine tastings, craft brews, some of the best spirits on the market, and a slew of interactive experiences that are guaranteed to create lasting memories.   Located in the Culinary Village, The Hub is what we consider the mecca of delectable food + beverage exhibitors from around the country. The Hub is a delicious way to experience top restaurants, purveyors, spirits, and culinary creations that you won’t soon forget. One of the most popular Hub exhibitors last year was the Charlotte’s Got a Lot activation and we expect the same to be true this year.  Guests will get a taste of the city’s burgeoning culinary community and partake in bites + sips from some of Charlotte’s most celebrated talent.     Hungry yet? ;)   The schedule for the Charlotte's Got a Lot tent in Charleston Wine + Food’s Culinary Village includes: Friday, March 8 Saturday, March 9 Sunday, March 10   As part of the culinary activation at the Charlotte tent, festival attendees who stop by will have the opportunity to enter for the chance to win the Ultimate Charlotte Culinary Trip giveaway, including accommodations, exclusive dining experiences, and more!     Additional representatives from the Charlotte region will also be in Charleston participating in various events throughout the festival including:   To check out what other experiences the Culinary Village has in store this year, visit our website.
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#WhyIWineandFood: Tim McManus

Upon entering Hed Hi Media, the first thing you’ll notice is the immense collection of street art on the walls. Tim McManus, owner + founder of Hed Hi, says of the pop art collection, “Yeah, it’s kind of an obsession at this point, we’re running out of wall space.” Bold colors + industrial decorations - like the proverbial dart board - jump out as you enter Hed Hi’s hip garage lounge. Located next to eye-catching murals + a chic coffee shop, Hed Hi’s office fully embodies their brand: A media production company inspired by art, rooted in storytelling, and dedicated to growth + modernity.   Inside Tim’s office there is a long, rectangular bulletin board where he pins family photos, travel photography, and action shots of surfing; aqua + navy waves crash idyllically in his photographs. Sitting in his bright, contemporary space, Tim is cool and laid back. He sits back with a relaxed demeanor, laughing as he explains his “rad” and “awesome” experiences with Charleston Wine + Food. It’s not hard to picture Tim in the early nineties as a fun loving College of Charleston student, catching waves and exploring his beloved city with friends for the “best six years of my life.” Tim says of his time at the college, “I never wanted to finish.”   Tim shows an unmasked appreciation for his experiences. He isn't the slightest bit jaded as he explains his ten years spent working with the Charleston Wine + Food estival. “It’s been really neat to rub elbows and produce content for the biggest names in the culinary world, it’s pretty rad,” Tim says. He goes on to explain that since he began working with the festival a decade ago his experience shifted from filming the entire festival alone, working with only a single editor, to working alongside six cameramen, three editors, and his entire Hed Hi team. This growth is not lost on Tim, who founded the company in 2014, just a month shy of his 40th birthday. Tim explains, “I always had a goal to start my own business by the time I turned 40, so about a month before my 40th birthday I went to my boss and basically worked out a deal for me to buy the video department from his company.”     [embed]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zg9hTYXLL0[/embed]   Partnering with the Charleston Wine + Food festival is a great experience for Tim, who is a self-described “foodie.” Tim worked throughout college at the iconic restaurant, Slightly North of Broad as a food runner, bar back, and bartender. Tim is unwavering in his love for S.N.O.B. chef, Frank Lee, referring to him as a legend + mentor. Tim lights up as he speaks of his “full circle” moment, when Charleston Wine + Food afforded him the opportunity to produce a film for Frank in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Slightly North of Broad restaurant. Tim describes playing the video for Frank, wherein a “never-ending list” of people express their appreciation of the chef and his influence on Charleston’s culinary landscape. “Chef was blown away by it,” Tim says. “To present that film to chef on such an iconic occasion, was pretty awesome.”   Hed Hi is an integral part of Charleston Wine + Food. Their way of capturing the cuisine, the people, and the atmosphere is invaluable to the festival’s story. Tim’s appreciation for the festival is evident in both Hed Hi’s content and the way he describes it. Tim says of the festival, “It’s insanely difficult to keep an event like that fresh every year, you have to provide great value, not only to the locals, but to the people who come and visit and I think the festival does a really exceptional job of keeping itself fresh and creating memorable experiences that are a testament to all people involved.”   [embed]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0F07sa_LY8&t=2s[/embed]   For those planning to attend the festival, Tim recommends a Signature Dinner, where local chefs pair with visiting chefs to create a special menu for a small dinner party. Tim says this is one of the “coolest” offerings at the festival and describes past Signature Dinners as “legendary opportunities.”   This year will mark Tim McManus’ 10th anniversary working with Charleston Wine + Food; ten years of tireless work (#Sleepwhenweredead is Hed Hi’s motto), ten years spent accumulating countless hours of footage and ten years of great wine + food.
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Meet the 2019 CHSWFF Street Team

We're days away from kicking off this year's festival, and we wouldn't be able to spread the word about all of the fun that's in store without the help from our 2019 Street Team! We've handpicked the best-of-the-best that Charleston’s has to offer to bring you the inside scoop from the 2019 festival.  

Andrea Serrano

  Andrea Serrano, who is familiarly known as Charleston Shop Curator, has been a key ingredient in the vibrant and dynamic growth of Charleston’s style, dining + nightlife scene for over ten years. Leaving the rush and buzz of NYC in search of a laid-back yet stimulating lifestyle, Andrea has found a true home in Charleston, becoming heavily involved in the community + sharing the joy in her many experiences via her blog, Instagram + Pinterest @charlestonshopcurator.  

Ashley Brown

  On her blog Sweet Southern Prep, Ashley gives readers a taste of the sunny, high-spirited and enchanting life of being just that; a sweet southern prep, right down to her roots. Opening up about balancing life as a mom of four while pursuing her passions of style, cuisine, fitness and more, Ashley is an aspirational shining light for other Charleston moms serving as a reminder that there's always a little extra time to pour yourself a well-deserved glass of rosé.  

Candice Herriott

Food writer and photographer Candice Herriott has graduated from her established food blog and social media handle CHSFoodWriter to her latest venture: podcast “Something Else About Food”. The podcast will introduce listeners to unique and undiscovered culinary communities + their stories, shedding light on Candice’s past experiences throughout her culinary excursions.  

Charlotte Park

Started in 2016, Charlotte founded TastemakersCHS; Charleston’s very first culinary social media club that brings together some of the Holy City's trendsetters that have paved the way for spreading the word on the ultimate Charleston dining experience. Once having founded TastemakersCHS, Charlotte empowered said handpicked influencers to share their local favorites, while also managing her non profit #Crumbs4Charleston.  

Christian Senger

Since 2011, local Christian Singer has shared and celebrated his Holy City favorites with his fellow Charlestonians + beyond under his popular alter ego: Holy City Sinner. On his blog, Senger provides an ever-so-epicurean perspective on how to conquer all the food + beverage, events and entertainment that Charleston has to offer.  

Jai Jones

Being a veteran of #CHSWFF, Jai Jones knows all too well how a good meal and great conversation can bring people of all faces + places together as one. Through his website and Instagram @jaieats, Jai shares his rotating list of places to wine, dine or grab a frosty local brew.  

Johnny Caldwell + Taneka Reeves

Dubbed the curly-haired ladies who talk cocktails daily, Johnny Caldwell and Taneka Reeves live to spill the tea on all of Charleston’s latest trends in craft cocktails and dining from the refreshing, feminine perspective that has proved itself to be on the rise in Charleston’s food + beverage scene. On top of running their Cocktail Bandits brand, the pair are also the authors of Holy Spirits: Charleston Culture Through Cocktails.  

Liz Martin

Widely known across social media as The Charleston Weekender, lifestyle blogger + boutique owner Liz Martin’s blog and Instagram are your one-stop-shop for all things Charleston. Her bright and bubbly guide on all of the Holy City’s must-eats, must-haves + must-see is the perfect dose of pop, fizz, clink to making every day feel like the weekend.  

Michael Stettner + Ian Palacios

A Texas-bred couple now living in Charleston, Michael Stettner + Ian Palacios have decided to shake things up with a less traditional take on exploring the Holy City and all it has to offer on their @ilovethatforyou account. Founded on the philosophy of “figuring it out together” and a passion for design and cocktails, the dynamic duo invites followers on their journey of taking each day in Charleston one at time, optimistic and thrilled about the surprises the future is sure to bring.  

Miguel Buencamino

Writer, photographer, and cocktail aficionado Miguel Buencamino has crafted the perfect blend of original Charleston culinary content that is Holy City Handcraft. On his blog, Miguel raises a glass and combines his take on local dining hotspots and craft cocktail critique with his knowledge rooted in his strong culinary upbringing.  

Natalie Mason

Designer Bags + Dirty Diapers has become Natalie Mason’s outlet for sharing life in the Holy City through the lens of a busy yet energetic and fun-loving Charleston mom of two. On her blog, Natalie channels her fellow readers + moms by sharing not only how to dig up the best style deals in town, but her experience with food both inside her own kitchen and in Charleston's best restaurants.   

Stephanie + Melinda Lee

  Sugar, spice + red beans n’ rice, Stephanie and Melinda Lee are the sweet Southern sisters you never had but always wanted. Head over to Charleston Foodie Babe on Instagram for a visually fresh and candid peek into the life of an original Charleston foodie ‘grammer devouring our city’s sweet, savory and everything in between.    

Sydney Gallimore + Sydney Turnquist

Finding a rightful home in the Holy City, writer and blogger Sydney Gallimore has crowned herself as the Queen of the Food Age. Joining her empire is Sydney Turnquist, aka Princess of the Food Age. As seen on their blog, Sydney + Sydney make the most of Charleston by dipping their feet into as many local dining and cocktail experiences as they can while also using free time to embark on their own personal culinary adventures in the comfort of their own homes.
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#WhyIWineandFood: Austin Hubbard

Passion -   Passion is one of those quintessential elevator speech words. Sprinkled into small talk for emphasis and brushed off just as quickly. That’s because passion has to be seen, it has to be shown and heard. Charleston local Austin Hubbard, wears passion on his sleeve. Austin’s love and pride for Charleston’s bustling wine + food culture shines through each and every action he takes for the Charleston Wine + Food team.     Five years ago, Austin found his passion for the Charleston’s rich culinary history during his rookie year volunteering with Charleston Wine + Food festival. From the beginning of his time as a volunteer, Austin showed a genuine drive to help the organization showcase the remarkable talent of today’s food and beverage industry. Between attending volunteer meetings, assisting with ticket distribution, helping set up for the Culinary Village, Austin took advantage of all of the opportunities available to him as a volunteer.   Now a veteran volunteer for Charleston Wine + Food, Austin is serving his third year as Volunteer Captain for the 2019 festival. In this role, he delegates volunteer responsibilities, ensures that all operations run smoothly, and holds the Charleston Wine + Food brand to the highest standards. Although his role revs up as the festival approaches each year, Austin is involved in Charleston Wine + Food events throughout the year.   “The excitement of the festival has kept me engaged with Charleston Wine + Food over the years,” Austin said. “I believe that it’s something everyone needs to be a part of at least once, despite your level of background or skill.”     Like many of the festival guests, the memory if the Culinary Village sparks a gleam in Austin’s eye. “When it comes down to my favorite event during the festival, it has to be the Culinary Village. It may seem like a cliche answer, but it is truly where you see really [sic] the diversity of the festival - the people that attend, the chefs, the winemakers and the real excitement of how fast pace the festival is.”   The three days in Marion Square expose guests to a variety of food and beverage experts that enrich their knowledge and passion for the culinary and imbibe industries. “Everyone comes together by sharing the same passion,” said Austin. “ Charleston Wine + Food Festival is one of the best events that really shows the true excitement and depth of the food and beverage world of Charleston.”     Austin is most inspired by what CHSWFF shares with the community - an intangible energy that courses through the festival, elevating the experiences of stakeholders at all levels. Each year since his first festival in 2015, Austin witnesses some of the most impressive and innovative creations in the culinary industry. However, for him, the real magic always comes down to one essential ingredient for festival success - the people.   “It’s not really a time to show off how good you are at making something or how knowledgeable you are about things, it boils down to the passion that is shared throughout all those involved that allow this festival to be so unique and monumental to the Charleston culture.”
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Need Assistance?

We totally get it. The 2020 festival has a lot going on. Contact us to guide you through the ticketing process, answer any questions, and help point you in the right direction.


843 727 9998
635 Rutledge Avenue, Suite 101, Charleston, SC 29403