Charleston’s culinary scene is booming, attracting a whopping 7.28 million visitors to the city in 2019 alone, Fortune reports. The city’s wine culture, in particular, is experiencing an exciting revival. Pioneering distilled-spirit and wine bars are making waves across the city for their extensive and diverse selections and refreshing, non-pretentious approach. In particular, vegan wine, Australian wine, and all-natural wine are some of the current major trends.
As veganism grows in popularity, vegan wine is also becoming a priority for many. Animal products, such as, beeswax, egg whites and casein are commonly used during wine production, making some varieties unsuitable for vegans. Alternatively, vegan wine is made with vegetable-based products, and gives consumers the option to enjoy a drink without harming animals. In Charleston, diners can head to Mellow Mushroom to enjoy a vegan-friendly menu, along with a great selection of vegan wines — including luscious reds, crisp whites, and vibrant handcrafted sangrias.
From Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon to Pinot Noir and Mourvèdre, Australia produces a quality, diverse, and abundant wine selection — and these delicious varieties can increasingly be found and enjoyed in Charleston bars. For example, Qantas Shiraz wines offer some of the world’s darkest and fullest-bodied red wines. Shiraz has a deep and complex flavor profile involving chocolate, tobacco, plum, red berries, cloves and liquorice. It’s a dry wine with sweetness provided by the red berries. Alternatively, Australian Grenache is becoming increasingly popular — a delicate and aromatic wine with floral and peppery notes.
Fresh and wholesome, natural wine is made from organic grapes and little to no additives. Several places in Charleston are offering customers a chance to sample this latest trend. Renzo is a casual wood-fired pizza joint offering a unique natural wine list put together by the co-owner, Nayda Freire — you can get a large square slice of pizza and a glass for $10. It’s also worth asking about sampling one of the several off-menu speciality wines the restaurant often stocks in small quantities. Additionally, Stems & Skins is a wine and cocktail bar with a focus on natural wine — their bottle lists includes almost 200 labels. Orange wine is a popular order here — it has a unique taste with a rich, spicy tang.
Whatever your tastes, there’s never a shortage of fresh, interesting, and delicious wines in Charleston. Be sure to sample some of these latest wine trends the next time you’re out in the city.