Check out our latest cocktailin’ assignment for TALK Greenville – in the February issue on stands now…
Check out our latest cocktailin’ experience for TALK Greenville…currently in the September edition…
There’s a new kid coming to one particular Main Street block, and he’s creating quite a buzz! Reid’s for Fine Foods will soon be completing its overhaul of the former Caviar & Bananas space on Laurens Street (just off of Main) in downtown Greenville for its first South Carolina location! Our friends up the highway in Charlotte have long sung its praises…and now we can get in on the action!!
It’s Five O’Clock somewhere…and other goodies
Over the years, we have been the recipients of many a container of Reid’s now-iconic “Five O’Clock Crunch”…much to our delight (and obsession)! While they offer this delectable snack mix and many other private-label offerings, Reid’s is a fully-stocked specialty food market and restaurant with all the bells & whistles. With a full-selection meat counter, deli, cheeses and wines galore, you’re gonna need a bigger basket!
And they not only stock some of the hottest wines out there, they go to great lengths to create their own private-label wines that have become major crowd-pleasers! We sipped a few…read on…
Smooth, refreshing, and easy-going, this is a white wine that even the most staunch red drinker can embrace. The grapes for Reid’s Chardonnay are selected when ripe and bursting with flavors to fashion a rich, bold, luscious wine that then rests in used French oak barrels. Marci’s Reserve has a unique creaminess that flourishes with stone fruits kissed by delicate lemony notes. Its long, lovely, vanilla finish makes it irresistible.
Reid’s Pinot Noir…
This is a crowd-pleasin’ red! While the Chardonnay is the white wine for red-drinkers, this is the red that the die-hard white-wine-drinker could fall for. Fruit flavors, structure and minerality are the key components in this Pinot Noir. Layered in flavors driven by Bing to black cherry, rhubarb, and Reid’s signature spice component, it has incredible dimension and depth. The subtle minerality enhances its structure providing its exceptional ability to pair with almost any food.
Leyla Rutherford Bench Cabernet Sauvignon…
This is a beautiful wine, folks…from start to finish! Made from vines grown in the complex soils of the famous “Rutherford Bench” in Napa Valley, it bursts with the aromas and flavors of dark cherry and plum. These generous flavors take center stage on the palate, while cinnamon, clove, and dark chocolate gracefully add a layer of complexity. The integration of French oak and fine-grained tannins complete the taste of this incredibly elegant creation. We want to keep this one flowing…beggin’ darling please, Leyla!
Burger Tuesday and more…
“Burger Tuesday” has become a cult-favorite in Charlotte, so we know where we will want to be on Tuesdays from now on! And there will be something to draw fans throughout the day, every day. From coffee and breakfast offerings to “hand-built” sandwiches & salads for lunch to the seventy-five seat wine bar (and the potential for live-music at times), we might just need to move in!
If you drop by for dinner, you can grab a wine off of the shelf and enjoy it with no corkage. (Beer & liquor drinkers, take note…they have you covered in that area as well!) And as they have done in previous stores, they will be offering fully-prepared holiday meals for your home-dining pleasure. Just plan to order early!!
Opening is currently scheduled for mid-October, but check out the website (reids.com) for all the latest news (and sign up for their daily updates while you are at it). The Greenville location will be similar to the Myers Park store in Charlotte, so take a look at their menus and other offerings if you want a preview of things to come. Hours are currently slated for 7 am – 10 pm, so once they cut the ribbons and open the doors, you have no excuses!
Reids for Fine Foods . 1 North Laurens Street . Greenville . reids.com
While we are always up for a good cocktail (duh), we took a step away from the hard stuff again this month for our drinkin’adventure, spending a leisurely afternoon with Richard DeBondtat Northampton Wine and Dine. Tucked away under the Church Street bridge near downtown, it’s one of our favorite haunts!
History and experience…a winning combo
The original Northampton opened in 1975 (same year disco arrived on the scene for a bit of trivia) and has been going strong ever since – with a couple of location changes. Richard and Robert Warth were working at Sonny’s Steak House out on Wade Hampton way back then. Sonny’s had an incredible wine list which sparked their interest. They opened their own shop, and the rest is history. Richard and David E. Williams own and run the current version with a few more bells and whistles thanprevious iterations. Still stocking that impressive array of wines, they have been serving up fine food and even selling liquor for nearly 20 years now. Obviously, they know a thing or two about this biz.
As for the drinkin’ part of this assignment, instead of highlighting three different wines – because personal preference is the name of the wine game – we thought we would give you three different reasons to visit this old-school gem…
By the glass…
Need to take a quick afternoon break – or occupy yourself for a couple of hours when “consumption” is an option? There’s a seat at the bar with your name on it. On any given day, Northampton will have 20+ bottles lined up for your by-the-glass choosing. And these are not just any old wines – or their attempt at cost-cutting. Their pour-on-demand bottles are chosen based on their merits and highlight some of the very best of each variety. It’s like all your favorite candies in a row, just waiting to be savored!
You do you…
One thing that David and Richard like to focus on in the wine-purchasing area is finding and offering the best of what each distinct wine region has to offer. They choose to purchase from vineyards who do what they do really well, producing the latest, greatest wines that represent and highlight the nuances of theirarea. Not everyone needs to attempt to produce a Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or any other variety, just because it might sell…kind of the “you do you” of the wine world!
20,000 and counting…
Walk in and take a gander. Those cubbies are stocked to the gills with over 1600 different wines…that’s around 20,000 bottles on hand and ready to be enjoyed! Stop in and give them an idea of what you might be cravin’ – they’ll have it. Purchase by the bottle to enjoy with dinner on-site or take it home – or stock up on a couple of cases! And if you need some coaching, they offer 50-80 wine tastings each year (almost every Friday). We can all stand to learn a thing or two!
Dine with your wine…
Whether you’re just popping in for a quick bite on the more casual “bar side” or you’re looking for some fine dining on the more “formal” side, you will not be disappointed with their from-scratch, first class menu. And if you want to bring a real crowd, their private room seats up to 40! Regardless of the size of your party, the wine makes it more intimate. The sharing of a bottle – and the chatter surrounding it – just brings folks together.
Open every day except Sunday, Northampton definitely has its “regulars”, but they are always happy to make new friends! And one special note for this month in particular…it’s a great spot to consider when planning that romantic evening with yoursweetheart come the fourteenth – hint, hint.
Our most recent cocktailin’ experience for TALKGreenville magazine…
Twinkling lights really tickle our fancy…and there is no shortage of twinklin’ at this month’s cocktailin’ locale. Stellar Restaurant and Wine Bar is a shining star perched in an oh-so-perfect spot overlooking Main Street in Greenville. From the sparkling lights in the trees below to the fiber-optic constellations on the bar (you MUST check this out), this place really sets the mood for a festive yet laid-back evening.
Farm to table…
The menu at Stellar is an ever-changing mix of fresh, farm-to-table finds with something to satisfy even the most discriminating diner. From seafood to select meat cuts, fondue to fritters, there is something for everyone! Just be prepared to switch it up a bit with each visit…no two experiences are the same!
Underneath the Stars
This moody, magical elixir is a delightful combination of Van Gogh blueberry vodka, PAMA liqueur, pomegranate and pineapple juices and a float of sour mix to balance the sweet. This frosty and fresh libation may be cool and crisp on the tongue but will warm you right up. Shoot for the stars with this beauty.
Your Customized Wine Flavor profile…
With over sixty bottles of wine on the “by the glass” list, it is understandable that one might have a bit of trouble choosing just one…or two. Why not sit back and let the pros guide you? Stellar is always happy to offer a taste of any wine that sparks your interest, but your best bet might be to have a conversation about your fave characteristics in a wine and let them design a “flight” suited to your tastes. Talk about customer service!
Wine and dine…
While one might walk in off the street and challenge the staff to a quick tutorial on a few select wines, Stellar offers monthly wine dinners for a more in-depth experience. With a guest speaker, an occasional guest chef, and plenty of good food and wine to discuss (and sample), you will leave with a noggin full of knowledge. Don’t miss out…add yourself to their email list (check their Facebook page) and you will be notified of upcoming dinners.
Make new friends but keep the old…
The Stellar staff prides itself on its friendly atmosphere and loves to welcome newcomers into the fold. They live by the motto “good service, good product, good time”…and they do not disappoint! And while the vibe is friendly and casual, you might want to spiff up a bit…especially this time of year. “Tis the season, after all!
Stellar Restaurant & Wine Bar . 20 N Main Street . Greenville, SC . 864.438.4954
We found this sangria recipe, did some tweaking, and served to rave reviews for a recent shindig. Thought we would share (as all good belles do)…
The key elements to a good, traditional sangria…fruit (apples & oranges), a liquor (we went with Grand Marnier), orange juice, and a fruity, dry Spanish red wine (a Tempranillo or Rioja)
The process is quick and easy. Cut your fruit…
take a moment to muddle the oranges with your liqueur…
1/2 apple, cored and chopped
1 orange, sliced into small pieces
2 T sugar
1/4 c Grand Marnier
3/4 c orange juice
1 bottle dry Spanish red wine (Tempranillo or Rioja)
1 orange, sliced, for garnish
Place apple and orange pieces in pitcher and add sugar. Muddle well. Add Grand Marnier and orange juice and muddle again. Add red wine and stir well. Add ice and stir to chill. Serve in wine glasses garnished with orange segments.
Our TALKGreenville cocktailin’ adventure this month took us in a slightly different direction. This time it involved less mixin’ and more easy, laid-back sippin’…perfect for this long, hot summer! We headed just outside of the confines of “downtown” to visit Mike Okupinski and Ed Buffington at The Community Tap where the beer gets its deserved attention, but the wine refuses to play second fiddle. We were pleasantly surprised!
Magnum, Jereboam, Methuselah…go big or go home…
While you can always grab your ho-hum-regular-sized bottle of vino for your everyday enjoyment, we get a little giddy at the idea of a super-sized bottle to share while entertainin’! We are thinking a giant Jeroboam (equal to 7 bottles of wine) would make an excellent bar center/conversation piece! TCT has you covered on all fronts.
Leave the corkscrew at home..:
Imagine our surprise when the most talked-about wine in the place was in a…wait for it…can!! Koozie-friendly and “pinkies-down” casual, all three varieties (Rosé, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir) from Union Wine Company’s “Underwood” label are spot-on delicious! And with the loss of glass recycling in the city, it is practically our duty to promote these winning wines!
How could we mention The Community Tap without shining a big spotlight on the TAP!? The first retailer in the Upstate to offer “growlers”, TCT keeps twenty ever-changing taps of beer steadily flowing for their patrons’ enjoyment. Because many of the best craft brewers only produce small batches in kegs, the tap is the only way to sample those wares. Sit-n-sip or take a growler for your sippin’ pleasure at home.
While TCT keeps a few, select nibbles on-hand (don’t miss the to-die-for Swamp Rabbit Cafe baguette – delivered fresh daily), Mike and Ed made the conscious decision to skip the food prep headaches in order to focus on what they do best…beer and wine. But never fear. Patrons have no excuse to leave hungry! These fellas schedule food trucks on the property every day except Sunday. Brilliant!
The Community Tap now has the two of us to count in their ever-growing fan base. We plan to return again and again for the super-cool-casual atmosphere (all of the wood in the place if from an old fertilizer plant in Pickens), a low-brow wine-tasting, or to simply relax on the deck. And when it comes to planning the perfect Fourth of July picnic off-site, how can you beat a delicious hunk of bread, some good cheese, a growler of cold beer, and a six-pack of wine? Easy. Convenient. Done!
Alex Ryan and Angi Einstein – http://www.therarebelle.com
We are at it again!! Belles are ringin’ all over the place!
An Ice cream that answers all our prayers!!
What does the wine you choose to drink say about you??
Because we are grown ups and it’s hot as blazes out there!
This because we love making a statement…
We think we all need to get in touch with our inner mermaid.
A great idea for a hostess gift.
Let’s kick up our heels !