For visitors wishing to see more of Charleston than the grass of Marion Square while continuing the solid flow of vino and munchies, the Red, White and Lowcountry Spiritline Cruise was the perfect excursion. Embarking from the IMAX pier in the abundant sunshine Saturday afternoon, the cruise extended Wine & Foodies' culinary adventure while conveniently displaying the iconic symbols of the city by waterway. Passengers only took a few steps onto the vessel before running into the first tasting tables. Representatives from vineyards across the country were on hand and ready to explain the subtle nuances of their varieties and the best choice to complement the abundant edible treats. Angelina Mondavi, Rodney Strong, and Phillip LoLonis were a few of the represented vineyards that kept a popular buzz through the afternoon.
One of the stars was the Stilton blue cheese and white grapes, a perfect accent to the chardonnays on hand. The sage with a pinot noir was another palatable combination, along with the smoked cheddar with just about anything. Downstairs was a seafood lovers delight, with oysters and clams on the half shell, piles of boiled shrimp, shots of coconut ceviche, and an array of sushi. Spiritline Executive Chef Mason Mullock strove to use as many local products as possible, rolling each variety of sushi with local grouper, red snapper, mahi, tuna, and triggerfish. Mullock utilized another famous local ingredient for the desert portion. Carolina Gold Rice comprised the delicately bruleed rice pudding that sweetly concluded the food-filled voyage.