Scenic 98 Coastal held its first-ever Sip into Summer Wine Dinner last Thursday evening at Crown Hall in Mobile. The idea was to showcase many of the small businesses we have featured in our weekly newsletter since we launched two years ago. By all accounts, it was a great success!

Since its inception, highlighting and promoting the businesses, events, and organizations that create this magical place to live, work, and play have been a hallmark of Scenic 98 Coastal. We enjoy discovering small, tucked-away places and creative people found throughout our communities. We call the area between Mobile and Pensacola our playground. Exploring new places and meeting new people make this endeavor fun and worthwhile. 

When we had the idea to host a summer wine pairing series, I was amazed at the response. The participating partners made this a seamless experience. All we had to do was get out of the way and let them do their thing. The result was outstanding!

As one of our guests was departing, he told me, “This was an A-Plus evening!” I told him I had never made an A-Plus in my life and that was mighty high praise. Here is a brief synopsis of the people and businesses that pulled this all together for a wonderful evening of food, drink, and fun. Thank you all!

Vine+Branch, Allie Nielsen, Andalusia: The centerpieces for the evening were provided by Vine+Branch and were available for purchase. Allie Nielsen describes her creations as a ‘luxury faux’ floral design. They are more than that. Hand-crafted and made to order, each Vine+Branch design is truly a unique piece of art. Allie connects with her clientele on a personal note and crafts each design specifically for the unique style and vision of each home and space. You can get in touch with Allie at Vine+Branch. Such style and beauty!

Judge Roy Bean Spirits, Fairhope: In the aftermath of Hurricane Sally, David Gibson, founder of Judge Roy Bean Spirits had an idea. He decided to finish small-batch bourbon using charred and toasted pecan staves creating a unique flavored bourbon with a smooth, slightly smokey taste. Now selling his fourth small batch production, Judge Roy Bean Bourbon is designed to celebrate the spirit and flavors of the Gulf Coast! Read all about David and his remarkable life and career from the archives of Scenic98Coastal. Thank you, David. The Scenic 98 Old Fashions with the molasses, cayenne, and rosemary bacon skewers were the perfect way to kick off the evening!

Admiral Shellfish Company, Ft. Morgan: Oysters farmed on the western shore of Ft. Morgan at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico into Mobile Bay produce a delicious flavor with a salty finish rarely found in local farm-raised oysters. Because these oysters experience a large expanse of open water, they are naturally tumbled, creating the perfect size, meaty with a deep cup. 

The goal of Admiral Shellfish is to offer the most delectable oyster found on the Gulf Coast. They have succeeded! Sarah and Jayme grilled the Admiral Shellfish Company oysters using flavors from South Africa to create a delicious treat called Fire-Grilled Dukkah Oysters. You can read about Admiral Shellfish here, or better yet, call them for a tour!

South to South Wines, Suzaan Laing, New Orleans: In addition to the wonderful food, we were delighted to be joined by Suzaan Laing, founder of South to South Wine Importers. She really made the evening special with her knowledge of South African wines and the stories behind them. 

Love for both New Orleans and Cape Town, and a passion for South African wine, led her to found  South To South Wine Importers with a vision to share the quality of South African wine with wine drinkers in the southern states of the US. 

“Culturally and culinarily, there are many similarities between South Africa and the Southern Gulf Coast- from open-hearted hospitality to the food on our tables. As a wine importer, the focus of South to South Wines is to bring the best of South Africa from Cape Town directly to the tables in the South.”

Here is our story about Suzaan. She says she loved being here and plans to celebrate a big birthday with us later this year. Why are we not surprised? Welcome, Suzaan!

ABM Wines, Distributors: After extensive stints as a chef at such up-scale and well-regarded restaurants in Boulder, Colorado (European Cafe), and New Orleans (Mr. B’s, and Emeril’s), Seth Hargett was recruited to the Grand Hotel as Chef de Cuisine. 

His recent venture with partner, Ree Segars, is ABM Wines, an Alabama-based wine-distributing company located in Summerdale, Alabama. Seth and Ree work closely with Suzaan Laing and South to South Wine Importers to bring fine South African wines to upscale Alabama establishments. 

Bay Gourmet Catering, Mobile: What more can we say about Sarah Clark, Jayme Richburg, and their outstanding team at Bay Gourmet Catering and Crown Hall in Mobile? When we approached Sarah about the South Meets South theme for our first Sip into Summer Wine Dinner, she didn’t hesitate. “We love doing different things and exploring menu options. It’s fun to do something different and showcase Crown Hall. We enjoy the exposure that wine pairing dinners afford us.”

Established in 2001, Bay Gourmet Catering has a reputation for professional, efficient, and friendly party planning and execution that hosts appreciate and their guests rave about. Their focus is on fresh, seasonal foods that are innovative and whose natural beauty and presentation add to every celebration. Sarah Clark and Jayme Richburg are happy to offer an impeccable, unobtrusive, and personalized menu and service that you and your guests are sure to enjoy! 

It’s no small feat to prepare and serve 75 guests at the same time, but Bay Gourmet does it effortlessly. Truly, it couldn’t have gone better. Give Sarah a call for your next special occasion!

We appreciate everyone who attended Thursday’s South Meets South wine pairing dinner. Stay tuned for the next Sip into Summer Wine Series Dinner as we head east. Thanks to all our partners for everything you brought to our tables. It was a blast!

Jun 5, 2024
People & Business Profiles

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