Must Drink: A Round-up of Charleston's Wine Bars

A round-up of the best and most original wine bars in Charleston

With new wine bars popping up on seemingly every street corner in Charleston, it is easy to be overwhelmed. How can you discern the ho-hum from new classics? Which ones are following a formula and which ones are breaking the mold? Here are four wine bars in Charleston that are worth waiting at the bar and the price of a drink. ID not included.

Social Wine Bar – Owner Brad Ball sure knows his wines. A certified master sommelier—he’s in the process of earning his advanced sommelier degree—he worked in New York’s famed Momofuku and Jean Georges just as they were on the brink of success. Stop by for the rosé, the German Riesling and the “bubbles of the world”—a selection of international effervescent drinks. Can’t make it to Charleston? Ball has just opened up a website, Wine Awesomeness, that sells the bottles you can find at Social.

Bin 152 – Charleston’s French-style, neighborhood wine bar. Come here for the extensive wine menu—130 bottles, 30 of which you can buy by the glass—and for the simple, high-quality, cheese and charcuterie platters with fresh baked baguette. It’s also an antique store and gallery so you can buy the antique table you’re sitting at, even if it might set you back $1300.

Proof Cocktail – The newest wine bar of the bunch, Proof just opened its doors last May to glowing reviews. It’s small, there are only 42 seats, and offers a range of wine, cocktails and beer. While food isn’t their focus—they want you to put all your attention on the drinks—they do offer small seasonal plates to satiate hungry customers.  Come here to linger over your drink in a sophisticated, high-class setting.  Bonus?  Like their facebook page to see a photo of their daily special.

The Belmont – More than just another wine bar, The Belmont does it all, serving small bites, hand-selected wine and a variety of classic cocktails. It has a vintage feel that helps to make this newly established bar feel like an old neighborhood spot, perhaps even a throwback to prohibition-era speakeasys. Popular with the locals, you’ll want to get here early to avoid the rush.