Graft Wine Shop: https://www.graftchs.com/
700B King Street, Charleston SC 29403 (843) 718-3359
Once upon a time, I was terrified to start getting into wine.
Don’t get me wrong, I thought wine was so fascinating. The science and history alone was enough to get me hooked. The one thing though, that made me apprehensive about wine was wine people. I’m not talking about the woo-woo girls who drink $5 dollar bottles of sweet Riesling or the wine moms who down Pinot Grigio out of their monogrammed Tervis cups. I’m talking about the super serious, know-it-all, too-good-for-everything, I-only-drink-X wine people. They scared the sh*t out of me. I think there’s this idea that a lot of people have in their head that good quality, thoughtfully made, interesting and delicious wine is 1. too expensive and 2. reserved for more sophisticated folks. I know I did. In my head, serious wine drinkers were super rich, refined and classy with a stick the size of a pool cue stuck straight up their ass. Wine People would judge you for drinking anything less than the finest French burgundy and would rip your soul apart if you dared ask what the difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio was.
Refined and classy are the last words I would use to describe myself and I will fully admit I was also a complete and total moron when it came to wine. So, the idea of getting involved with a community that I saw as humorless and stuck-up snits was a bit daunting.
In reality, It took less than a month of being around people who really know and love wine to realize the majority of serious wine drinkers are just normal human beings who nerd out on good wine. They’ll talk your ear off for hours about the terroir of Loire Valley wines but immediately switch over to debating which cheap domestic beer is the best for shotgunning. I know this because I’ve had that exact conversation. That being said, actually going into a shop to buy a bottle of wine can be a somewhat stressful experience. There is a lot of aspects to take into consideration when choosing wine: varietals, price range, regions, subregions, viticulture, pairing, and scores; it’s all a bit overwhelming.
Graft is what a wine shop should be. It’s in a central and hip location, right off of upper King Street near Pancito and Lefty and Leon’s Oyster Shop. It’s well-stocked with a variety of delicious and thoughtful wines at an affordable price range. Most importantly though, it’s unpretentious and inviting. A cooler to the left of the door is well-stocked with grower champagne, crisp rose, and vibrant whites and wall-length displays are filled with a variety of unique and fun wines. Usher, Biggie, Etta James and multiple other LP’s and books act as decor while a playlist of 90’s rap, soul, and today’s top hits play softly over the speakers. Three small tables and an L-shaped bar invite you to sit down, sip, and stay for a while. The best part about Graft though is the actual people that work there. Owners Femi Oyediran and Miles White are, by all means, people who know their sh*t when it comes to wine. Both certified sommeliers, Femi being an advanced level III, they’ve literally got the credentials to be know-it-all wine people and yet they’re the most down to earth and relaxed people I’ve ever talked about Garnacha with. Graft was opened with the intention of being a wine shop for wine drinkers, it’s a safe space to enjoy a glass whether you know the difference between A.O.C and A.O.P or just want a good glass of white, everyone can find a little something at Graft.
Keep an eye out for their pop-up schedules too. They rotate through some new and up-and-coming restaurants and chefs here in Charleston. Sit, sip, and have a great meal.