Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dining and Wining in Charleston, South Carolina, at Cypress, McCrady’s and Bin 152 with #winelover and Blogger Keith Edwards and Parlo Edwards

Picture: Christian Schiller, Annette Schiller, Keith Edwards and Parlo Edwardsat Cypress in Charleston. South Carolina

Charleston in South Carolina is one of the culinary powerhouses of the USA. It is not without reason that Tom Sietma’s series in the Washington Post about the culinary hotspots in the USA included Charleston, South Carolina, in addition to: San Francisco, Chicago, Portland, Oregon, Philadelphia, New Orleans, New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Washington DC.

Annette Schiller and I spent 3 weeks in Charleston in June 2015, to welcome the newest addition to our family, Ernest Beowolf Charles Tremann, our 7th grandchild. During that time, Florida-based #winelover and accomplished wine blogger Keith Edwards and his charming wife Parlo Edwards passed through Charleston (coming from a family reunion in North Carolina and going back home to Florida) and we were able to spend an evening together.

Keith Edwards is well known in the American wine scene. He introduces himself on his blog Wine -- Mise en abyme as "Wine enthusiast, UCDavis Winemaking Certificate, WSET Level 3 Advanced Certificate with distinction, certified Spanish wine educator, economist, archaeologist, wine buyer for a sizeable personal collection that is populated with stellar vintages and labels from the world's premier wine growing regions."

Pictures: Christian Schiller and Keith Edwards in Ticino, Switzerland, see: Exploring the Wines of Ticino in Ticino, the Italian Speaking Part of Switzerland

We had dinner at the renowned Restaurant McCrady’s, preceded by Champagne at Cypress, also a top restaurant with a great wine bar, and followed by a bottle of top Bordeaux at Bin 152, one of the Charleston wine bars that offer and outstanding wine selection and stay open until 2 am in the morning.


Charleston in South Carolina is a coastal town rich in history and tradition that also has plenty to offer for food and wine aficionados. Built 3 centuries ago, the city of Charleston is one of the best preserved architectural treasures in the USA. The meticulously restored colonial homes lining its charming streets are a reminder of the city’s long and colorful history. The birthplace of the Charleston dance – made famous by Josephine Baker – the city still has all the charm that it owes to its multi-ethnic European origins.

Tom Sietsma in the Washington Post: Eating well is almost a birthright here in the low country, where I recently spent several days eating, drinking and shopping to gauge where this city of about 125,000 residents fits on the country’s food scale. Charleston is my first stop on a tour of American cities that I believe are the best places to eat right now, an assessment defined by many factors: creativity, variety, tradition, access to prime ingredients and more. … Charleston as a serious restaurant destination is a fairly recent phenomenon. … Having sampled most of the city’s all-stars over the years — Fig, I’m pleased to report, remains as luscious as ever, and if there’s a single dish you have to try, it’s shrimp ’n’ grits at the cozy Hominy Grill — I zeroed in on Charleston’s young crop of restaurants on my most recent visits. The best and brightest, I found, have come up with creative ways of serving tradition, sometimes in casual environments in parts of the city unaccustomed to hipster restaurants.

Keith Edwards About the Evening 

Keith Edwards on facebook: Great evening with Christian and Annette Schiller and Parlo Edwards in Charleston. We started out with bubbles at Cypress where the top-floor bar provides an excellent vantage point for viewing the streets outside as well as the two-level wine cellar and the first-floor kitchen inside. We had a excellent bottle of Ruppert-Leroy Chardonnay Brut Nature at this stop.

We next walked over to McCrady's our dinner stop. Great food accompanied by a Riesling, a Chateau Musar, and a German Pinot Noir. The Pinot was unfocused and disappointing. Not so the Somm. Bubbly and informative and preparing for her Advanced in a couple of weeks.Looking forward to catching up with her at the upcoming Texsom.

This being Charleston, and this particular group being a bunch of night owls. We made a third wine-related stop: Bin 152 at 152 King Street. Annette was craving Bordeaux so we got a bottle of '05 Prieure- Lichine. Twas good. We rolled out of the bar and went to see if the Thoroughbred Lounge was still open. It was not. We had put Charleston to bed. Oh well, I guess we will have to start out earlier the next time around.

First Stop: Champagne at Cypress

If you want to treat yourself to an upscale culinary experience, put Cypress on your list. The cuisine is eclectic American with a subtle blend of French and Asian. But if you want just a glass of wines, Cypress also has a swanky mezzanine bar upstairs. Both the dining area and the mezzanine bar have a modern, chic vibe. See also: Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Pictures: At Cypress with Cypress Sommelier Bill Netherland

The Ruppert-Leroy Brut Nature was outstanding. Ruppert-Leroy is a small producer in Essoyes in the South of the Champagne. Essoyes is the village of Renoir. August Renoir married Aline Victorine Charigot, who grew up in Essoyes. The Renoir family spent every summer there and many more months during the year. This village became so important to them that they wanted to get buried here. We were there 3 weeks ago on the "Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History Burgundy (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History" and had a Ruppert-Leroy Champagne for lunch.

Pictures: Lunch in Essoyes - the City of Renoir in the Southern Part of the Champagne during the Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour, see:  Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History
Annette Schiller on facebook: Yes, the Champagne was to die for! Absolutely perfect, a no dosage, simply devine and the winery is in one of my favorite places in the Champagne region: in Essoyes in the Côte de Bars, the village where Auguste Renoir spent half his life time and where the family grave of the Renoirs is.

Picture: Pre-dinner Champagne at Cypress

Dinner at McCrady’s

Tom Sietsma: The dowager on the dining scene, McCrady's can trace its roots back more than 200 years. Such dishes as ember-grilled sunchokes with creamed lettuces and mint -- and a $115 tasting menu spanning three snacks and seven courses -- plant diners firmly in 2015.

Pictures: With McCrady's Manager/ Sommelier Garth Herr, Sommelier Jodi Bronchtein, Bartender Bethany Kocak at McCrady's and at Bin 192

Pictures: Dinner at McCrady's with Sommelier Jodi Bronchtein

The Food

The first thing we learnt at McCrady’s was that as of the day before, the restaurant was in a transition period which would eventually lead to 2 separate restaurants, one being a more basic kind of tavern restaurant and the other being a kind of Chef’s table high end place. For the time being, the tasting menu, which we had planned to take, was not longer available. So, we ordered a la carte and were not at all disappointed.

First Courses

Picture: First Course

Picture: Foie Gras

Picture: Scallops

Picture: Mushroom and Pine Nut Stew

Main Courses

Picture: Main Course

Picture: Beef Flat Iron

Picture: Rack of Lamb

Picture: Redfish

The Wines

Pictures: The Wines at McCrady's

2012 Weingut Dreissigacker, Hasensprung, Riesling Dry

We started with a dry German Riesling from Jochen Dreissigacker in Rheinhessen. Chancellor Angela Merkel served his wines when President Obama was in Berlin 2 years ago. See: Tasting the Wines President Obama was Served: At Weingut Dreissigacker in Bechtheim, Rheinhessen, with Ute Dreissigacker – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), Germany

2007 Château Musar

We then moved to a 2007 Château.

2012 Heger, Pinot Noir, Baden

And finished with a German Pinot Noir. Annette Schiller on facebook: Unfortunately the German Pinot Noir from Joachim Heger we had at the end of the meal was just an entry level wine - and the old wisdom: you get for you pay for- applied here, just a very basic wine with no harmony, it fell apart while sipping it. Joachim Heger makes stunning Pinot Noirs, on par with the best of Burgundy, but at McGrady's they only had this very, very basic one on the list. Come along in 2017 on the Germany South tour and you will experience the true, gorgeous German Pinot Noirs from Joachim Heger: Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

After Dinner Bordeaux at Bin 152

For the after-dinner wine, we went to Bin 152 and had a bottle of 2007  Château Prieuré-Lichine, a 4th Growth in Margaux. 

2007 Château Prieuré-Lichine, Bordeaux, 4ème Cru Classé

Pictures: After-dinner Wine


From Bin 152, Annette and I had to walk just a few blocks to get home to the townhouse in Queen Street, which Cornelia and Chris Tremann with Viatrix and Ernest had rented for their temporary stay in Charleston. 

Picture: Queen Street in Charleston

schiller-wine: Related Postings

Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History

Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Exploring the Wines of Ticino in Ticino, the Italian Speaking Part of Switzerland

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Tasting the Wines President Obama was Served: At Weingut Dreissigacker in Bechtheim, Rheinhessen, with Ute Dreissigacker – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), Germany

Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

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