This was a city that we had to visit. One of the most famous characters in literature hailed from this hallowed city of the South; Rhett Butler, one of the most famous men of print and cinema, and a man, that most men admire, not to mention the ladies. My Bride was eager to start making plans for this trip, on one of our holidays.
We were going to stay at the legendary Charleston Inn, but just before we booked the hotel, we discovered a smaller hotel that offered a loft apartment in the downtown of Charleston. It sounded so quaint, that we had to book it. Our room had parlor and the bedroom was up a flight of stairs over looking the parlor. The Ansonborough Inn was where we ended up staying and they had breakfast in the morning, wine and cheese in the afternoon. They had a little English pub, and then they had a terrace on the roof which looked out onto downtown Charleston.
As we wandered around, on a self guided walking tour of the downtown, three things stick out in my mind to this day. As you walked down the streets and looked at these stately homes, with some of the most beautiful doors you have ever seen. What is even stranger is that these doors are actually entrances to the front porch of most of the homes, as they were built perpendicular to the street to handle the sea storms better. The second most unique thing that I noticed was there were house painters everywhere. Between the high humidity and the salted winds off of the ocean, the houses were in constant need of fresh paint to maintain the proper look. The third thing that I remember most was that all of the bars had the little airline bottles of liquor on the shelves. I was told that it was the state law, which the bars had to pour from individual bottles for every drink ordered. If you walked into a package liquor store, then you could purchase a fifth of your favorite libation.
I mentioned the humidity; well it reminded me of New Orleans. As soon as you stepped out the door, you just walked into a standing wall of water. It was so humid; it was even difficult to enjoy my cigar, while my Bride did her shopping strolls through the town. Not that she or we needed anything, but she just likes to shop. Of course we would stop at a little sidewalk café and we needed something to fight the heat, like this split of Calera Chardonnay 1998 from the Central Coast of California. That day it just hit the spot, and I am sure that it would again.