Dispatch from Greenville: Putting Every State on the Wine List

sipThe wine list at Sip, Greenville’s impressive new rooftop lounge, would be intimidating under the best of the circumstances: The dozens and dozens of wines offered by the glass are identified only by varietal and place of origin, giving little guidance to the drinker who just wants something floral and light. But the situation’s nearly untenable on the weekend nights, when the attractive patio fills with revelers – most of whom are drinking beer and liquor.

The most common wine order during the hours when the service staff can’t talk guests through their choices is “just give me a Riesling,” High Street Hospitality beverage director Chad Musick admits.

During its first summer, the six-month old bar sold 20,000 glasses of wine. But Musick says he plans to tweak the list just as soon as the opening craziness subsides: His list of edits includes ramping up the domestic selection.

Sip now serves a single wine from North Carolina and no wines from Virginia.

“We want to get Virginia, New York and Texas, and we’ll expand from there,” Musick says.

Eventually, Musick wants to serve wine from all 50 states. He firmly believes a drinker from Indiana would order an Indiana wine, if only for the novelty value. According to Musick, there’s a wine maker in every state with national distribution, so logistics shouldn’t upset his grand scheme.

It’s rare to find a bar stocking representatives from all of them, perhaps because Nevada wine isn’t yet on the level of Oregon wine. Yet Musick’s confident that by the time he gets his list assembled, regional wine quality will be on the rise.

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