List curated by Mike van Beyrer
Lioco Chardonnay 2014: $19.99This Sonoma County pick is brilliant, focused and nuanced, with plenty of citrus, lemon peel, white pepper and orchard fruit nuances. Vinification and aging in steel keeps the flavors fresh throughout. One of the very best values in California Chardonnay you’ll come across.
Lioco “Sativa” Carignane 2014: $29.99, 92 points VinousThe 2014 Sativa, 100% old-vine Carignan from Mendocino County, is one of the most striking wines in this price range. A host of inky blue and purplish-hued fruits, mint, spices and leather make a strong impression.
Felino Malbec 2015: $20.99This Malbec is always a terrific value, showcasing Mendoza fruit with a California style, and at a great price. Paul Hobbs and Nicolas Catena are behind this gem.
Vina Sastre Ribera del Duero 2014: $19.99Lots of flowers on the nose, particularly violets and lavender, and also some roasted coffee notes. Smooth with mellow tannins, this wine is savory and lightly smoky. The finish is long and mineral with an iron quality. A perfect pair for grilled lamb chops, sausages, and chickpea stew.
Patton Pinot Noir 2014: $22.99, 90 Points VinousA pale red. Lively, sharply focused aromas of redcurrant and strawberry accented by white pepper and orange zest. Refreshingly brisk and racy on the palate, with weightless bitter cherry and red berry flavors taking a sweeter turn on the back half. This distinctly graceful Pinot finishes with very good lift and spicy cut, leaving berry skin and allspice notes behind.
Omero Pinot Noir 2014: $23.99This sublime Oregon Pinot comes from a tiny family owned winery in Carlton, OR. Everything is organic, hand harvested and hand crafted at Omero and this is their largest production offering at just 2100 cases. Cinnamon, vanilla and sandalwood complement the opulent cherry fruit along with notes of rhubarb and sassafras.
Adelaida Zinfandel 2013: $21.99Aromas of dried cherries, anise, and Christmas spice. Flavors of crushed raspberries, cranberries, grated nutmeg, chocolate shavings. Pairs well with barbecued tri-tip with caramelized onions, grilled lamb chops with pistachio salsa verde, carnitas tacos with tomatillo salsa.
Patricia Green Reserve Pinot Noir 2015: $27.99A deep red. Expansive red berry and floral pastille scents and flavors show impressive energy and pick up a hint of smokiness as the wine opens up. Smooth and fleshy but lively as well; a late jolt of white pepper adds spicy bite. Generous but vibrant in character, finishing very long and sweet, with gentle tannins lending shape and subtle grip. This wine delivers exceptional bang for the buck.
Kivelstadt Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc 2015: $19.99Expressive scents and flavors of Meyer lemon, quince and pungent herbs, along with notes of ginger and chalky minerals. Silky and expansive in the mouth, with a floral quality adding complexity. Finishes focused and dry, with dusty citrus pith and mint nuances clinging.
Kivelstadt Red Blend 2013: $23.99Rhone style blend made from 50% Syrah from our estate vineyard, 25% Grenache, and 25% Carignane from Venturi Vineyard. The Carignane and Grenache bring high tone fruit, approachability and energy to balance out the earthier Syrah in the blend. The wine sees 10% new French oak for 16 months and is our bistro style red wine - versatile with an array of cuisine.
- The Spazmatics rocked the house with 80’s jams that kept the crowd on their feet. Dressed in their signature “geeky” attire, the band played a lively performance with choreographed dance moves and non-stop energy.
- Greg Garrison, Prohibition chef, and girlfriend, who came to the steamy Charleston restaurant scene from New York, were looking forward to sharing their vegetable dishes. “It’s easy to make a delicious meat dish; it’s more of a challenge to make great veggies,” he told us. But, make sure you get ‘em while they're hot! Garrison is always experimenting with new recipes and changing his menu.
- Beer lovers rejoice! Bartenders spoke about 2017’s completely upgraded Beer Garden, which will be in the culinary village. Here is where you can get tickets to the event. Kelcie Keith of Unknown Brewing Company will be one of the many beer experts filling mugs with refreshing new tastes. Last night guests enjoyed Blueberry Lo-Fi Lagers and Sweet Tea Pale Ales.
- Caroline Woodruff, of Crooked Crown, delivered handmade poptails, fresh cocktails with a boozy yet fruity popsicle twist. It was the perfect drink for the baseball-themed event.
- Returning guests reminisced on some of last year’s favorite events. “You can’t miss the Culinary Village on the last day,” a couple from Greenville told us. They were accompanied by new guests who were looking forward to their first taste of the festival.
- Paul Yellin, from the five-week old restaurant, Cane Rhum Bar was serving a little taste of Barbados. If you haven’t yet, experience Charleston’s first rum bar - stocked with a selection of over 75 rum brands! Paul is most excited about bringing more rum knowledge to the festival scene.
- There’s always room for dessert! Brandon Belk from Wich Cream? was serving their farm to freezer fresh ice cream sandwiches. When asked what his favorite part of CW+FF was, he said “Everything! It’s like Christmas to us!” Now that’s pretty awesome.
UPDATED 2.23.16We are officially just one month away from the 2016 installment of Charleston Wine + Food, and we couldn't be more thrilled about all the tremendous flavor in store: amazing talent, amazing events, amazing partners, the list goes on! There's a healthy helping of wonderful events with tickets still available, and we wanted to offer up an easy-to-peruse list for you to explore. Fill your plate with everything from interactive classes to beverage workshops to signature dinners. We've also listed out all those events with tickets under $100. Trust us - there's something for everyone at the 11th annual serving of Charleston Wine + Food. (Be sure to look for the * that denotes all our new experiences.) For easy searching + shopping, just click on the event that interests you and it will take you directly to the event page where you can get all the info and purchase your ticket. CLASSES/WORKSHOPS: The Natural Vine $95 Uncommon In The Commonwealth $65 Heirloom Whiskey Revival With High Wire Distilling Co. $125 Outstanding Women of Wine $100 Vega Sicilia Undiscovered $250 Wine Spectator Workshop: Tasting In The Dark With Virginia Dare Winery $65 ZiNG! $65 Cloudy Bay Reserve Tasting $125 How To Speak Mixologist $65 Higher Marques: Grande Marnier + Cheese $95 Bringing The Chef’s Garden To The Bar $65 Darioush Back Vintage Tasting $250 Expressions of Jura $95 No Filter With Jim Clendenen $150 Heitz Cellar “Martha’s Vineyard” Vertical Tasting $300 My Sherry Amore $65 Maison Ruinart: Still Bubbly After All These Years $75 Wines On The Edge: How Climate Change Is Altering European Viticulture $125 Krug Virtuoso $350 You Are What You Drink $65 California Varietals: A New Generation of Winemaking $95 By Invitiation Only: Dining With Darioush $500 Iron Mixologist $55 Masting Pinot With Ken Wright $200 Wine of Kings $250 Noble Roots: Tasting With Robert Foley $250 Meet Mezcal: Tequila’s Smokin’ Cousin $65 Brewers, Brewskies + Bowling $50 SIGNATURE EVENTS: Opening Night $150 Baked @ Bowen’s $125 Soiree A La Belle Etoile: Dinner Under The Stars $350 The Roasted Goat $85 A Bourbon Affair: Brown Water + Smoke $100 Of Garden + Grape $125 Pecha Kucha + Wine + Food $40 Coastal Cuvee $100 North + South + East + West: Le Tour Des Femmes $750 On The Rocks (N’ Roll) $95 Toasted: Up In Smoke $85 UNDER $100: The Natural Vine $95 The Roasted Goat $85 Uncommon in The Commonwealth $65 Wine Spectator: Tasting in The Dark With Virginia Dare Winery $65 ZiNG! $65 How To Speak Mixologist $65 Higher Marque: Grand Marnier + Cheese $95 Bringing The Chef’s Garden To The Bar $65 Expressions of Jura $95 Pecha Kucha + Wine + Food $40 My Sherry Amore $65 Maison Ruinart: Still Bubbly After All These Years $75 You Are What You Drink $65 California Varietals: A New Generation Of Winemaking $95 Iron Mixologist $55 Meet Mezcal: Tequila’s Smokin’ Cousin $65 On The Rocks (‘N Roll) $95 Beer For Breakfast @ Chick’s Fry House $85 Brewers, Brewskies + Bowling $50 Toasted: Up in Smoke $85 CULINARY VILLAGE: Culinary Village Friday $100 Culinary Village Saturday $100 Culinary Village Sunday $100 Culinary Village Sunday - Locals Save $30! Cheers! We'll see you at the festival.
Circa 1886 is a beautifully restored carriage house set behind the grounds of the Wentworth Mansion, a luxurious 21-room inn. Circa 1886 means “of the year 1886” which happens to be the year the Mansion was finished. We are a small, 50 seat white tablecloth restaurant that specializes in creating dishes rooted in the south but with different parts of the world woven through it, just as Charleston was 200 years ago when it was the largest port city on the east coast, even larger than New York City.How would you describe your cooking style?
I am very grounded in French Classical cuisine and you will see that but I have adapted the great cooking styles of the southern U.S. to go right along side of it. I’ll add a dash of the islands and of course Africa plus a bit of creole. My goal is to push you to the culinary edge but not over it.Who/what are your influences as a chef?
I’m influenced by creativity itself. I am the son of an artist and that seems to have had an impact on me. I get excited writing new menus. To me it’s a lot like walking down a trail and looking for unique things you might not see if you didn't take the time to look. I also love browsing cookbooks and looking at how chefs compose plates and bring flavors together.You were one of the founders of Charleston Wine + Food. What are your thoughts on how the festival has grown and evolved?
You really can’t help but get a kick out of watching something so small, like an idea, grow into a nationally recognized Wine and Food festival! Each year it gets more amazing. The lineup of chefs, events, winemakers, and the list goes on and on. The Festival has had a great team each and every year that put a lot of thought and creativity into it. That’s no easy task, too. Trying to top what came last year is always a challenge but the team is very engaged in the Food & Beverage community both here and across the U.S., and they try to think outside the box when coming up with events. I truly feel that Charleston has solidified itself as a food town and will continue to play off of that reputation showcasing itself in the years to come. We have so much talent here in all aspects of the dining experience from the farm to the table that I can envision guests from all over coming to see why this city is so special and what it’s history has to do with it.What would you go back and tell your younger self (just starting your career as a chef)?
Don’t change a thing. Life is truly a journey and in such it is full of so many ups and downs and I have learned from both of them. Besides, I don’t think I would have listened to myself anyway!
We're curious: what do you snack on, Chef?
Good question! I love pita chips and that Carrot Hummus with dried apricots. Chobani yogurt flips are addictive, too, and then there is peanut butter and jelly which reminds me of being a kid. I miss being a kid.Just for fun: what would your theme song be?
The Best is Yet to Come by Frank Sinatra.Want more? You can catch Collins in action during Charleston Wine + Food at Opening Night: Cheers to Charleston!, Life of the Party: All Things Entertaining with Tara Guérard, Circa 1886 Signature Dinner, and Bubbles + Truffles Dinner @ Circa 1886. Collins' legacy is strong and we are beyond thankful for the contribution he's made to the festival and Charleston's ever-growing culinary community. Recently, Circa 1886 was named #13 Best Fine Dining Restaurant in the U.S. by TripAdvisor's 2015 Traveler's Choice Awards. We can only imagine what's next for this accomplished chef.
SUPPORTED BYP.S. - Ignore the rules of post-Labor Day fashion and keep your summer-kissed silhouettes all dressed in white just one more weekend. Add a bowtie and/or pearls and you'll be ready to party, boozy picnic style. GET YOUR TICKETS RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW! We'll see you (and all your fabulous, flavor-seeking friends) there.