David Bishop, Grill 225

Downtown. 225 E. Bay St. 266-4222

There may not be a better way to spend a gorgeous afternoon than learning about vino with this year’s Best Sommelier, David Bishop, at his home away from home, Grill 225.

“My interest in wine stemmed from working at a restaurant in Atlanta named Canoe, where we had wine tastings prior to every meal,” explains Bishop. “I moved out to Seattle and spent time in Oregon, where I attended ‘Pinot Camp’ along with 150 other sommeliers.”

Bishop settled in Charleston and opened a wine distribution business, working part-time at Grill 225. When the position of sommelier opened at the prestigious Market Pavilion Hotel, Bishop saw more than just dollar signs.

“I love the gratification of getting people to try new wines,” he says. “What is nice to see in the past year is that people are expanding their interest in wine. When I first moved to Charleston, people were only drinking Chardonnays and Cabernets. With movies like Sideways, now people are trying wines from South Africa and Austria. I love making people leave with high expectations in wine after not really having any to begin with.”

His favorite vintage, hands-down, is a 2002 Pinot Noir from Columbia Winery. “It’s the epitome of the best wine from Oregon.” With enthusiasm to spare, Bishop brings an honest warmth to wine education.