Femi Oyediran likens sharing wine with people to being a DJ. "You hear sommeliers talk about the successive lineup of bottles they opened recently, and it pretty much sounds like Questlove talking about the last set list he geeked out on," he recently told Tasting Table
. If that kind of chill approach to wine is what you're looking for, take note, Oyediran — the former Advanced Sommelier at Charleston Grill — is opening a King Street wine bar and shop called Graft with Napa CIA-trained somm Miles White this summer.
Femi Oyediran and Miles White
"When we started this project, there weren’t a lot of outlets to get hip to great wine in Charleston, regardless of price, outside of the few restaurants that made the effort," says Oyediran of their Graft concept. "Even apart from that, the classic culture of wine has, at some points, been a culture of exclusivity, somewhat antiquated, or had the unintended effect of having people feeling like ‘they don’t know enough’ to feel comfortable going in to a wine shop. That’s not our bag."
Instead, what they hope to do with Graft is offer experienced wine knowledge without the pretension. "We’re aficionados that don’t like to act like aficionados," he says. "We just want to have a good time with people and put out good vibes. At the most basic description, Graft is a wine shop and a communal space to taste and enjoy phenomenal wine."
Graft will be located at 700 King St. Suite B between Leon’s and Pancito and Lefty. And it's the second new wine shop to be announced for King Street in the last month. Further up the road, the former GM of The Ordinary, Justin Coleman, is just a few months out from opening his own wine shop — Monarch Wine Merchants at 1107 King St. In Coleman's case, he felt the city needed a place to not only buy wine but get educated, which is why his shop will have a classroom component. Meanwhile, on lower King, Rudi's Caffé e Vino just opened above Skinny Dip Charleston offering an Italian-focused rooftop tasting space with bottles for sale as well.
So is King Street big enough for three new dedicated wine shops? If our blood alcohol levels are any indication, yes.