February 28 - March 4, 2018

Charleston Wine + Food

Tasting Notes


Cocktail Competition Finalist: Dan Williams of The Darling Oyster Bar

The Midnight hour shines a little brighter with Dan Williams Midnight Sun Cocktail. Bursting with local ingredients, 2018 Cocktail Competition finalist takes his favorite tequila drink and spices it up with Southern Twist Ginger & Jalapeno Syrup. After spending time at Stars and then Cypress, Dan is now the bar Manager at The Darling Oyster Bar. Heating up the competition with his Midnight Sun cocktail containing a mix of lime, local Southern Twist Ginger & Jalapeno Syrup, and Chile liqueur this spicy drink will keep you going long past sunset. We had a chance to sit down with him and ask where his inspiration for this sizzling masterpiece comes from. Keeping with Charleston's tradition of using local ingredients is what inspired his twist on a classic tequila cocktail. Dan says staying “true to food and true to drinks” is something he has learned throughout his time behind the bars of Charleston.   A regular attendee to the Culinary Village, Dan is excited to participate this year in a Charleston Wine + Food event. Although the crowds are larger than the average bar allows, Dan is confident he can shake things up. Catch Dan Williams and our three other contestants at the Charleston Wine + Food's Souls + Saints: Día de los Muertos event on November 1st. Buy your tickets and be sure to vote for Dan as your crowd favorite! SaveSave SaveSave
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Find the Truck

Limehouse Produce, a proud annual supporter of Charleston Wine + Food, has wrapped a delivery truck again with a special festival design to celebrate and promote the 2017 festival. The wrapped truck features images from Charleston Wine + Food's 2017 ad campaign. This year's truck showcases a female eating a watermelon sourced by Limehouse Produce, and can be seen driving around town making deliveries. Steps to get involved are: 1.    People that “Find the Truck” can snap a photograph 2.    Post the photo to Facebook and tag: Limehouse Produce and Charleston Wine + Food 3.    OR tag on Instagram: @limehouselocal and @chswineandfood 4.    Include the hashtag #CHSWFFLimehouseTruck One lucky person who submits an image will be selected randomly to win four tickets to Sinister Siesta presented by The National Pork Board on Sunday, March 5 located at The Royal American. The deadline to submit photos is Monday, February 27 at 4:00 p.m. for consideration. Anyone can submit photos and there is also no limit to the amount that one posts to the sites. Limehouse Produce does ask that all photos are done parked and not while driving a vehicle.
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Local Love: CWF Excellence Scholarship Recipient 2016-2017

On a sunny southern January day, we sat across from an eager and animated college freshman who exclaimed, “I knew Charleston was where I was meant to be. I even wrote myself a letter, four years before attending, affirming, College of Charleston was my dream school.” Jane Muller, the 2016-2017 Charleston Wine + Food scholarship recipient continued, “I wouldn’t be here without my scholarship award, and I am so grateful for that.”   Since starting school in August, the young freshman has settled into southern city life + adores everything about Charleston’s historic charm. She also enthusiastically embraces the lowcountry food scene, which boasts plenty of restaurant options to satisfy her love of chicken. “My favorite restaurant has to be Magnolia’s, they have the best fried chicken,” shared Jane.   Hailing from Long Island, New York, Jane has a passion for traveling, eating great food + helping people. Naturally, Jane fell in love with the hospitality industry and knew Charleston was the place to explore that passion. After applying for many scholarships offered through the School of Business at the College of Charleston, Jane stumbled upon the Charleston Wine + Food scholarship opportunity.   Charleston Wine + Food has been awarding the Excellence Scholarship to a College of Charleston freshman each year since 2008. In 2016 Charleston Wine + Food had a $9.1 million impact on the Charleston economy and the Excellence Scholarship is just one of the ways Charleston Wine + Food stimulates the Charleston economy. In addition to the scholarship, each recipient is also offered internship and mentorship opportunities with Charleston Wine + Food, which allowed many of the past recipients to obtain great jobs in the Charleston community.   Required to apply, the application is a simple essay describing a hospitality event the applicant has been a part of + what it means to them. Charleston Wine + Food will continue to #PourIntoCharleston by awarding scholarships to students at the College of Charleston throughout the upcoming years.   *This blog post was written by our 2016-2017 Charleston Wine + Food CofC Fellows. Charleston Wine + Food has partnered with the College of Charleston to offer a communications senior capstone class the opportunity to work with the festival. 
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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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Top Chef Bingo

This is not your Grandma's game of BINGO. To celebrate the season premier of Top Chef Charleston we decided to throw a little shindig with the help of our friends at Bay Street Biergarten and although we aren't crowning a Top Chef master chef, there will be winnings + swag. The name of the game is Top Chef Twitter BINGO and as you expected BINGO rules apply. Our BINGO boards will be filled with potential happenings from the season premiere. Follow along and cover spaces as they happen on the big screen. (If you can't join us in person, play along virtually and download your BINGO board here). The Rules / How to Play  1.) Join us at Bay Street Biergarten on December 1st, 9:30pm EST to watch the season premiere live or play along virtually from home (download your BINGO board here). 2.) Make sure to follow @chswineandfood on Twitter and use the hashtags #CHSWFF + #TOPCHEFBINGO 3.) Tweet each time you cover a space. Remember to use the hashtags #CHSWFF + #TOPCHEFBINGO 4.)Take photo of Bingo board and send a Twitpic to @chswineandfood with hashtags when you cover 5 spaces in a row (horizontal, vertical + diagonal). 5.) Win cool stuff + repeat Join us as we tune into Bravo to watch Tom Colicchio taste something and hate it, or feel the heat in the kitchen rise as a chef says those dreaded six words “I could be going home tonight.” Follow along as you watch the chefs battle for those coveted Top Chef bragging rights right here in the Holy City.  As we tweet it, you mark it. Insider’s tip: don’t go about this alone. Invite your friends to join you at Bay Street Biergarten or host a gathering at home. We can’t wait to see you on Twitter as you score BINGO and win awesome CHSWFF prizes.  
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RUM, don't walk to this cocktail crawl!

On the 12th year of CHSWFF my true love gave to me: RUM. Our annual cocktail competition is in full force, and this year we’ll be rumming our way through downtown Charleston in celebration of the city’s rich cocktail history + culture. Join us Wednesday, December 7th from 5:00pm - 9:00pm to meet our four finalists as they present their one-of-a-kind, rum-centric cocktails. Tout your tackiest Christmas sweater and/or antlers and embark on a very merry cocktail crawl as you jingle bell rock your way to each finalist’s home bar. The holiday hoopla gets underway at The Bar at The Spectator Hotel at 5:00 pm. Be sure to snag your Rum, Rum Rewards Coaster to be stamped at all four locations. As you move to each bar, delight in each unique libation, which can be purchased for just $3. We will reside at each bar for 45 minutes to ensure your tidings are handled with care as we mix + jingle our way to a holly jolly, good time. The winner of the evening’s reindeer games will be announced just after 9p.m. at our final stop, Scarecrow. Upon arrival, turn in your completed Rum, Rum Rewards Coaster to win cool CHSWFF swag. All participants will receive a current issue of Imbibe and one lucky, random entry will receive a one-year subscription to Imbibe, as well as two tickets to What the Pho?, supported by Food Republic, where all four finalists will be featured. No ticket is needed to participate.  Let’s refresh: 5p.m. - Start at The Bar at The Spectator to sip on Allen Lancaster's "No Bunny's Bizness". 6p.m. - Pull up a stool at The Cocktail Club for a Ryan Welliver's "Storm the Beach". 7p.m. - No time to slow down. Land at Feathertop and throw back Anthony Kearse's "Havana Turkey Shoot in the Holy City". 8p.m. - You’ve made it to the finish line. Get comfy cozy at Scarecrow and enjoy Jeremiah Schenzel's "Of Saints and Sailors". 9p.m. or a few minutes after - 2017 Official Cocktail and "Crowd Favorite" announced + prizes awarded. Hop on over to our Facebook event page for updates + let us know you plan to mix + mingle with us!
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Cocktail Competition Semi-final: Get the Rum Down

On Monday, November 7th, a panel of esteemed judges representing Charleston’s vibrant cocktail community gathered for a private tasting at Le Creuset Atelier to select finalists for Charleston Wine + Food’s annual Cocktail Competition. Four local bar pros were selected from nearly 30 preliminary participants to compete for the chance to win bragging rights as the creator of the Official 2017 Charleston Wine + Food Cocktail. Supported by IMBIBE, this year’s competition challenged the mixologists to create an original cocktail inspired by rum. Our  contestants delivered fabulous renditions, but four bar bros truly popped the top off our expectations! Introducing the 2017 CHSWFF Cocktail Competition Finalists + Cocktails (in no particular order): Allen Lancaster, The Spectator Hotel : "No Bunny's Bizness"     no-bunnys-bizness Jeremiah Schenzel, Scarecrow: "Of Saints and Sailors" of-saints-and-sailors Anthony Kearse, Feathertop: "Havana Turkey Shoot in the Holy City" havana-turkey-shoot Ryan Welliver, The Cocktail Club: "Hamil-time" hamil-time Save the Date for our finalist round on December 7th in the form of a festive, rum-tastic event: Rum, Rum Rudolph! Final judging and our 2017 Cocktail Competition Winner will be announced at this event. Come rum, come all!
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Grab Your Shakers + Rum, Chucktown: It’s Cocktail -O-Clock!

We’re calling all cocktail connoisseurs currently working in Charleston's bar, restaurant, and spirits industry to join us Monday, November 7th, for Round 1 of our annual Cocktail Competition, presented by Imbibe. All participants will prepare a rum-inspired cocktail to be presented in a blind tasting at Le Creuset Atelier. Four cocktails will then be chosen by a panel of esteemed judges to move to the final round on December 7th during a signature event. The winning mixologist will be announced that night as the 2017 Cocktail Competition winner, and the best part? This title doesn’t only come with bragging rights... The 2017 Cocktail Competition Finalists:
  • Will be featured at the Round 2 Signature Cocktail Event on December 7, 2016
  • Will be featured at Charleston Wine + Food Signature Event, What the Pho?, Saturday, March 4th 
  •  Will have the opportunity to be featured in the 2017 CHSWFF Culinary Village 
The 2017 Cocktail Competition Winner:
  • Will be featured at Opening Night as the 2017 CHSWFF Official Cocktail, Wednesday, March 1, 2017 
  • Will be featured at Charleston Wine + Food Signature Event, What the Pho?, Saturday, March 4th 
  • Will be featured in an intimate demonstration at the SieMatic VIP Lounge, Saturday, March 4th 
  • Will be featured on ImbibeMagazine.com 
  • Will be the featured guest at a Bar Takeover at Porchlight in New York, NY (includes one night stay + $300 JetBlue gift card toward roundtrip airfare)
How to enter? Simply follow this link, sign up, and get your shaker ready to rock. Official rules + more info can be found here.
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Clicquot Journey

Spring is in full swing, y’all, and we think it’s high-time to forget busy and say hello to bubbly. Charleston Wine + Food is thrilled to welcome back Veuve Clicquot when they make a stop in the Lowcountry as part of their 21-city 2016 #ClicquotJourney Spring Tour. To celebrate their much-anticipated return, we’re popping up a street party in the heart of the historic Old Village on Pitt Street Bridge. The all-inclusive ticket includes unlimited pours of Veuve Clicquot Champagne + Rosé, a commemorative Veuve Clicquot glass, festive games, live DJ, and bites by acclaimed local chefs. Featured chefs include:
  • Brannon Florie, The Granary
  • Kelly + Tony Chu, Aya
  • Jonathan Banta, The Atlantic Room
  • Katie Lorenzen-Smith, Tavern & Table
  • Marc Collins, Circa 1886
  • Jacob Schor, Rue de Jean
  • Kevin Getzewich, Indaco
Event festivities will begin at 5:00 p.m.  In addition, we are excited to announce that one lucky ticket holder will win the ultimate Grand Cayman Island vacation package for two. The package, provided by Grand Cayman Department of Tourism, includes a four-night stay for two guests at the Mariott Grand Cayman Resort and Spa, air transportation for two on Cayman Airways from any US gateway to Grand Cayman, round-trip airport ground transportation, and a local attraction experience package. All ticket holders will be entered to win. (Charleston Wine + Food will notify the winner via email in the event of their absence.) Let’s get bubbly!
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A chance to WIN!

Channel your inner #FestivalForager for a chance to WIN! That's right, we're sending you on a culinary adventure! Starting Wednesday, February 17, we will post a riddle each day to reveal the location of one of our #Foodcabulary words. (Need a little help? All of the riddles are about our festival partners. Use this page to help you.) Each location will have 50 #Foodcabulary cards. You will collect one card per location. So, how is this going to work? Here’s the skinny on how to participate: 1. Solve the riddle. 2. Head to the location of the riddle and pick up the #Foodcabulary word card. 3. Take a photo of the #Foodcabulary card and post to Instagram. Tag @chswineandfood and use the hashtags #chswff #festivalforager. 4. Find 4 out of the 5 words and post your photos by Sunday evening at 11:59pm to be entered to win! We will choose three entries at random and announce the winner on Monday, February 22nd by 5pm. Nitty Gritty Details:
  • You must be at least 21 years of age to enter the contest.
  • You must not work for Charleston Wine + Food.
  • The contest will begin Wednesday, February 17th and end Sunday, February 21st.
  • A riddle will post daily to our Instagram account. (1 per day for 5 days)
  • You must collect all 4 out of 5 #Foodcabulary words from the 5 separate locations, post your photos to Instagram, tag @chswineandfood and use the hashtags #chswff #festivalforager.
  • Although this is a contest, this isn’t a race...it’s more like a marathon. As long as you collect all 4 out of 5 foodcabulary words and post before 11:59pm on Sunday, February 21st, you will be eligible to win. You can collect your cards daily or all in one day. We don’t care when/how you collect them, as long as you do!
  • We will choose 3 lucky winners at random. Each selectee will win 2 tickets to a Charleston Wine + Food event. Events available: Culinary Village, Roasted Goat and Toasted: Up in Smoke.
  • Please make sure your posts are public. We will not be able to see posts from a private Instagram account even if you use the appropriate hashtags and tagging.
On Wednesday, February 17th we will post our first riddle to Instagram and Twitter. Follow us on this culinary adventure, and best of luck to all you #festivalforagers! Stay tuned to this blog post throughout the contest. We will post each riddle here. (*Send any questions to: connect@cwf.obviouslee.com.) Wednesday's Riddle  After 5’oclock my consumption is increased. You could say I’m crafty although I’m not much of a decorator. You won't find any flowers in my garten. Where am I? #chswff #festivalforagers Thursday's Riddle Containers of liquid line my shelves. To get to me, you must pass over cables where thousands of feet have tread. My street name is known for its famous outdoor and camping gear. Where am I? Friday's Riddle You could say I don’t mix well with others. You may find me in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, or soaps.  I hang out in tall skinny bottles at this location on Archdale. Where am I? Saturday's Riddle You could say that I have an eye for design. You eat and cook in what I create. I’m at home all over the world. Where am I? Sunday's Riddle You count sheep in my chambers and shop in my halls. It could be argued that I have the largest Christmas train in town. My grill boasts 4 stars. Where am I?
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Need Assistance?

We totally get it. The 2018 festival has a lot going on. Let us guide you through the ticketing process, answer any questions, and help point you in the right direction.

Here's how to reach us:

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

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