Sip and Snack Your Way Through the 2023 Charleston Wine + Food Festival

Updated: 6 days ago

At most food and beverage festivals, the drinks play second fiddle. Not so at Charleston Wine + Food where, explains the festival’s head of beverage Cha McCoy, “the wine comes first; it’s wine and food, not the other way around.” That’s readily apparent in the event name, and the fest, happening March 1-5, 2023 (tickets are on sale Oct. 20), features a broad range of programming that puts all manner of drinks — wine, cocktails, beer, even kombucha — squarely in the spotlight.

While many details of the 2023 festival are still in the works, the non-profit organization’s mission of educating visitors about the culinary scene of Charleston and the Lowcountry at large is always at the forefront. McCoy gave VinePair a glimpse of several events to whet attendees’ collective appetites (or, rather, sate their thirsts).


“Our main event is always the Culinary Village, or CV, where you have samples of drinks and food plus activities,” McCoy says. But similarities to other festivals stop there. “At a lot of festivals, that’s it — that is the festival. But for Charleston Wine + Food, the CV is one of 105 total events that we program throughout the city and throughout the municipalities surrounding Charleston.” High-energy, high-stakes cocktail, and cooking competitions can be expected, as can events like Bubbles + Buckets, a bubbles-forward activation pairing sparkling wine with brunch: think Proseccos, cavas, and Champagnes amid an atmosphere.

To borrow a line from Charleston Wine + Food’s own mission statement, contrast creates flavor. In a city with marquee restaurants and brand-new startups alike, and with culinary influences spanning continents and centuries, diversity leads to an enriching, palate-opening experience. It’s one that’s best tasted in March.


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