Dining and dancing through Labor Day weekend 

Wine snobs and wet T-Shirts

Though we've long since graduated from college, it's always good to go back to class, especially if it involves free booze. Wine Awesomeness hosted a wine class on Wednesday at Social Restaurant & Wine Bar on East Bay Street. We fancy ourselves quite the oenophile, but self-proclaimed wine geek Brad Ball taught us a few new things about hidden regions currently producing amazing wine. We didn't have to take notes, but much of the small crowd jotted down their favorites from the tastings and posed some thoughtful questions. The crowd got more friendly around the third pour, as everyone started to chat with their neighbor about pairings and wine parties. Fun and free wine on a Wednesday? We'll take it.

We decided to test our new knowledge at the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival Launch Party on Thursday. Held at the Charleston Harbor Resort, the party celebrated the first day of ticket sales for the March festival. If we've learned one thing from our nights out in Charleston, it's to always show up on time for parties that feature food. We usually expect to elbow old ladies for a chance to grab all that we can eat, but the party was spread across different rooms, allowing for smooth crowd flow and maximum chances to hoard as many samples as we could carry. Around the third pork belly dish, we realized we wouldn't be able to try all the restaurant's offerings without making ourselves sick with gluttony — not a bad problem to have. Having our fill and no longer interested in food, we let our belt out a notch and shifted our goals to sampling all the local beers and featured wines. We realized it was time to go when the phrase "foodie paradise" showed up in our notes.

We thought we should work off some of the 8,000 calories we consumed at the launch party, so we stopped by Rogue Wave Surf Shop's pre-Labor Day bash, hoping to dance. Owner Rhett Boyd was hosting a party for the band Vacationer to film a music video. Boyd described the band as having a Beach House/Vampire Weekend vibe and hoped to facilitate a house party feel for their video. Sperry Topsider sent the camera crew and Reyka vodka provided the fuel for the mass dance party. Sperry couldn't have cast a better-looking group of kids for the video; everyone showed up looking fresh from the beach and clad in plaids and boat shoes. One videographer exclaimed this was the best-looking group of young people he'd ever seen at a party. Well done, Charleston.

If we didn't get our best moves out on Thursday, there was still the ultimate dance party at Club Pantheon on Sunday night. With an extra weekend night, thanks to Labor Day, the downtown gay bar/dance club hosted a foam party to shake up the usually quiet "school night." We arrived a bit early; the foam had just started to ooze onto the dance floor and no one had dared to jump in. Within an hour, the whole place smelled of dish detergent, and the drag queens were on stage tossing foam onto dancers. Shirts started to come off and everyone was covered in bubbles. Those familiar with foam parties made sure to wear shoes they didn't care about and carried their phones in plastic baggies to protect against the moisture. Many partygoers wished the foaming mass came from the ceiling, like an astringent snowfall to cover the entire space, instead of passively lumping to the dance floor. The music was a throwback to our college days, but we never got the courage to get in the crowd. Besides, we didn't want to ruin our good jorts that evening. Maybe next time. —Erin Perkins


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