Groucho Marx once said: “I shall drink no wine before its time. OK, it’s time!”
If the old comedian were alive and kicking around the Holy City today, he’d find his way to Uncork Charleston.
Enjoying wine is always timely at this fantastic Upper King Street restaurant that specializes in whites, reds and rosés from around the world. Uncork Charleston uses a wine preservation system that allows customers to sample any available varietal with the press of a button.
There are always 40 bottles connected to the Enomatic preservation system, which keeps wine fresh for more than a month. That means you can select one-, three- or six-ounce pours of that Napa Pinot Noir you love or sample an exotic Xinomavro from Greece. The choices are yours, and operating partner Mark Rosenberg wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Enomatic system is a technology created in the Italian region of Tuscany. It uses argon gas to create a vapor barrier that seals an uncorked bottle of wine for over four weeks. This allows Rosenberg and his staff to serve wine as fresh as the day it was opened at prices any customer can appreciate.
“We want our wine to take you somewhere,” says Rosenberg. “There are so many wines to choose from. You can try varietals or regions new to you. The Enomatic system makes it possible to sample something as classic as a Château Margaux or as surprising as a Turkish red without having to buy the bottle.”
Uncork Charleston is one of a handful of establishments in the Lowcountry that serve wine this way. And if you ever have any questions about a selection, the restaurant’s amiable sommelier and the rest of the staff are always ready to help.
Uncork Charleston also offers a wide selection of cheeses and charcuterie to complement any glass of wine you choose. In fact, the cheese and meat boards are spectacular. The boards themselves have a hidden slide compartment that holds a variety of utensils to slice and dice servings of drycured duck salami, manchego, montboissie or a pungent Stilton. The portions are enormous and satisfying, especially with candied walnuts, vinegar pickles and fresh strawberries.
You can order a board with meats and cheeses priced à la carte, or you can choose a prix fixe board with two meats and two cheeses, or three of each. Uncork Charleston has nine distinctive cheese selections and eight savory charcuterie options, including four nitrate-free choices. So you’re bound to find the perfect wine and food pairing.
And what goes better with wine than something salty or sweet? Uncork offers two olive selections—a smooth tapenade or an assortment of whole fruits— as well as Black Capelin Iceland caviar, all for reasonable prices.
As for the sweet options … well, there are enough of those to satisfy any tooth. The restaurant has partnered with Saveurs Du Monde Café in Mount Pleasant to create a macaron and bonbon menu to delight and inspire any palate. Try a vanilla, passion fruit, raspberry or caramel macaron for a crunchy moment between sips, or go for the creamy finish of a butter truffle, amaretto or champagne bonbon as a finale.
In addition to the selection of wines, cured meats, cheeses and sweets, Uncork Charleston offers a great atmosphere. With its old brick interior, the place reflects the classic architectural style of the city. Additionally, the staff is helpful and attentive. And the music, classic jazz and old standards, is timeless.
Be sure to check out the happy hour specials Monday through Friday from 5 to 6 p.m.
M. Luke Yoder is a writer in Charleston. Find out more at mlukeyoder.com.