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June 7, 2019
‘Wine’ You Should Stay in Columbia This Summer
Crushin’ It at the Hotel Trundle Lounge
Hip Columbians already book their stays for guests—and their own staycations—at Main Street’s “unique boutique” Hotel Trundle, but it’s also the buzzy scene for happy hour, pre-dinner, and post-event gatherings. Those in the know seek out their curated wine offerings which reflect proprietors Rita Patel and Marcus Munse’s passion-driven, hand-crafted, hyper-local philosophy for hospitality. Enjoy a glass of Peramo Spumante Rosé in their lobby while admiring creations from local artists and photographers. As the exclusive lodging purveyor of this rich, luscious bubbly, Hotel Trundle is the quintessential locale to absorb and appreciate Columbia’s soul, grit, and energy. (hoteltrundle.com, 1224 Taylor Street).
Meat Your Wine
Tucked away in quiet Forest Hills is an unexpected Columbia neighborhood watering hole with an ambiance more akin to a cozy wine cellar than a specialty meat and fish market. While locals seek out this well-respected Southern chain for gourmet foods, others come just for thoughtfully-selected wines, which general manager Jay Anneaux is happy to present and open on premise if customers desire. It’s a relaxed and intimate wine experience with soft lighting and wine barrel tables and décor. Tapas and charcuterie small plates are offered to customers to complement the mostly New World-focused wine selection. Familiar varietals and styles will delight, but with regular wine tastings and a members-only wine club, there are plenty of opportunities to explore new wines. (nybutchercolumbia.com, 1500 Woodrow Street).
Reinvention of the Vino Garage
Columbia wine lovers who have been patiently awaiting the evolution of the Vino Garage will be greatly rewarded when it reopens in its new Elmwood location early this summer. The move to this locale will anchor the historic neighborhood and serve as the gathering spot for Columbians from all parts of the city. Owner Doug Aylard plans to reinvent this local fixture as a wine bar complete with small plate offerings and retail. The new concept will introduce guests to a three-tier wine-by-the-glass format that will educate and satisfy all tastes and budgets. With space behind the new building for food trucks and pop-up catering, he envisions melding his wines with the culinary creations of local chefs. Stay tuned and stay local as you won’t want to miss the Vino Garage’s summer debut. (thevinogarage.com, 2501 Main Street).
Gourmet Shop 2.0
New ownership of the beloved Gourmet Shop has only stoked the excitement of locals and visitors to this market, café, and wine shop in the bustling Five Points neighborhood. What has been a legacy of international and domestic specialty food and wine is being reinvigorated by owner Amy Beth Franks and wine manager Bryan Della Volpe. While the shop is revered for its diverse selection of Old World and New World wines, Bryan this summer hopes to introduce wine enthusiasts of all palate profiles to “new” California styles of wine. More restrained with a terroir-driven philosophy, explore the Time and Place Wine Co. offerings which reflect the essence of California’s vineyard sites through single varietals. A Cali-Palmetto State mash-up of sorts, the winemaker originally hails from South Carolina. And with wine labels that are impressionistic renditions of Low-Country sunsets, there is no need to leave Columbia for your beach bottle fix. (thegourmetshop.net, 724 Saluda Avenue).
Local oenophiles held their collective breath in anticipation of the opening of the Columbia outpost of Charleston’s Halls Chophouse and exhaled into their wine goblets last winter when the steakhouse officially opened. It’s a fantastic place to enjoy what has become the new standard for wine programs in Columbia. Under the scrutiny of wine director Bryan Hogue, the wine list is at once approachable yet aspirational. Wines reflect the great wine regions of the world with a particular focus on structured reds to pair with the gourmet steak-driven menu. But as Columbia has proven more global-minded than originally anticipated, the wine list has evolved to meet guests’ worldly demands. If your wallet allows, don’t pass up the chance for conspicuous wine consumption, Halls is the only establishment in town to offer a 2014 Domaine de Romanée-Conti Marey-Monge. No need to visit Burgundy when a wine of this legendary stature is available right here. (hallschophouse.com, 1221 Main Street).
Written by Fig Contributor, Erlinda Doherty.