Gwen Fowler



Tasting Pavilion at Coastal Uncorked was a real treat

Posted 4/29/2012 9:48:00 AM

With an oceanfront tent village, good live music and temperatures nudging toward 80 in Myrtle Beach Saturday afternoon, guests at Coastal Uncorked’s Grand Tasting Pavilion had the perfect spot and the perfect day to indulge in food, wine and beer.

Teresa Carl and Robin Champion, both of Raleigh, N.C., sat at a table enjoying the sunshine and a barbecue sandwich from Louis’s at Sanford’s in Pawleys Island. They had visited Myrtle Beach to celebrate Champion’s birthday and timed the trip to attend the Coastal Uncorked Food, Wine and Spirits Festival.

The Grand Tasting Pavilion, the main event of the third annual festival, ran Friday and Saturday, April 27-28.

In more than 25 wine booths, spread through three large tents, bartenders poured samples, and beer samples were poured in another tent. There was even a Bloody Mary bar.

Restaurants were serving their specialties, and one of the most delicious was the pan-seared scallops served over Lowcountry ratatouille. Chef Michael McKinnon of the Cypress Room in the Island Vista Resort said he made the ratatouille with local yellow squash, local English peas, and microgreens and mushrooms from Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner. The scallops were perfect, but the ratatouille could have been a meal by itself.

Chef Andrew Gardo of Sea Captain’s House served scallops seviche, and at the Croissants Bistro & Bakery booth, Pastry Chef Heather Cameron offered three types of cupcakes: chocolate caramel, red velvet and lemon. Chestnut Hill gave guests a choice: pork tenderloin or shrimp and grits.

Nacho Hippo, River City Cafe, and Travinia Italian Kitchen, were among the other restaurants participating.

Some South Carolina food specialty retailers also shared samples of their products.

Sheila Skipper of Margaret Holmes shared two versions of fried peanuts the Effingham company is producing. One is the original salt flavor and the other is Cajun flavor. The company also cans greens, peas, tomatoes, fruits and boiled peanuts.

Sallie Dent Porth of Sallie’s Greatest served samples of her specialty herbal fruit jams with cream cheese, blue cheese and goat cheese. Two of the newest flavor combinations for her business in Cameron are lemon, fig and basil, and fig, sweet onion and rosemary.

You could even stomp grapes if you wanted to, and Nancy Etman and Whitney James, both of Florence, tried it out. It felt odd to feel the grapes explode beneath their feet, they said.