Art, Wine & Beer

Silver Coast Winery Tasting & Tap Room and Art Gallery – The Perfect Gathering Place.

STORY & PHOTOS BY: KASS FINCHER

When you step into the Silver Coast Winery Tasting and Tap Room just minutes from Southport’s waterfront, you’re walking into a neighborhood gathering place that doubles as an art gallery. Colorful paintings adorn the walls; festively-labeled bottles of wine line the shelves.
Local artists provide the paintings and local artists design the wine bottle labels. This month, artist Leslie Scalzo’s vibrant coastal oil paintings fill the walls. Shore birds, sunsets and teeming fish are subjects of splashing color and movement. Scalzo is a Raleigh resident, mostly selftaught but also a student over the years of recognized artists in the Carolinas and California. The wonderful dog portraits of artist Steve Schuman will also bring a smile to your lips. Folds of color create puppy personas that delight the viewer. You can browse all the art while you sip; originals and prints are available for purchase. Some may think a “tasting room” is a stuffy venue for wine snobs to convene and swirl a glassful with pinky finger extended. Nothing could be farther from the truth at the Silver Coast Winery Tasting and Tap Room. The vibe is casual and friendly – music fills the air, locals mix with tourists. Man
ager Brian Hastings smiles a lot and will tell you all about the wine you’re tasting. Or, if you’re not a wine drinker he’ll offer you one of a variety of craft beers on tap. And to top it off, he often cooks up some tasty crock pot dishes that will keep you hanging around for awhile. Hastings has managed this spot for three years. He describes two of their more popular European-style wines. The Viognier is a white French varietal of lush and soft character that produces peach and melon aromas and pairs well with rich foods like veal, chicken and cream sauces. The Touriga is a red wine, with hints of cherries, vanilla and leather. It complements lamb, steaks and game meats. For those who like their wine on the sweet side, the Tasting Room also offers Calabash Moscato. Honeysuckle aromas and peach flavors make this medium sweet wine a wonderful complement to cheeses, fruits or even desserts. The Tasting Room offers a Wine Club
that converges there on Wednesdays. All day, the members get a complimentary glass of wine and special discounts on full and half cases of wine. Every three months, they also have the opportunity to purchase one premium and one non-premium wine, usually new varietals that have not yet been released to the public. The Tasting Room’s wines are produced at Silver Coast Winery, located just outside of Ocean Isle Beach. The original building was formerly the Sims Barbecue restaurant, offering a sumptuous buffet and clogging entertainment. It was somewhat off the beaten path, but well-known to locals and visitors to the area. After the restaurant closed, Southport residents Maryann and John Azzato bought the property in 2002. They shared quite the vision for the first European-style winery in our region – a welcoming, eclectic, art-loving environment with excellent, complex wines. Because we’re in a warm climate, they had to plant a muscadine vineyard (you can’t have a winery without a picturesque vineyard), but they sought out European-style grapes from growers in the Blue Ridge mountains, Virginia and Georgia. After extensive renovations and expansions, Silver Coast opened and quickly became a popular destination for beach-goers and locals alike. Winemaker Dana Keeler joined the winery in 2004, bringing 35 years of experience in wine making and consulting in the
Carolinas and New York. His expertise has brought Silver Coast over 300 national and international medals. Today, Silver Coast Winery offers not only tours and tastings, but wedding and social events you can host in the vineyard, barrel room or art gallery. In 2012, Maryann and John brought their award-winning wines and friendly approach to their hometown of Southport. And of course art would become an important part of the mix here too. They are also planning to bring back the popular Painting with a Twist, where you create your own beautiful work of art while enjoying a glass of wine. Make Silver Coast Winery Tasting and Tap Room a regular stop on your walks downtown. Come and enjoy the art, sample the wine and beer, chat up your neighbors and give a high-five to Brian. Silver Coast Winery Tasting & Tap Room 105 S. Howe St, Southport, NC 28461 910.777.5151 www.silvercoastwinery.com
Wine and Craft Beer Tastings Daily Monday-Saturday 11am-7pm Wednesday ‘til 8pm Friday ‘til 8pm Sunday Noon – 6pm Open Mic Night – Tuesdays Wine Club Night – Wednesdays

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