Press

8 Charleston area restaurants, chefs are James Beard Foundation Awards semi-finalists

Charleston has made the James Beard Foundation Awards semi-finalists list again, and numerous times. While FIG and Rodney Scott of Rodney Scott’s BBQ took home James Beard Foundation Awards last year, this time around eight Holy City area locales and food and beverage makers have ranked in categories such as outstanding restaurant, restaurateur, wine program and more...

Eight Charleston area chefs and restaurants named James Beard Semi-Finalists 2019

Like a Christmas Eve gift, the 2019 James Beard Foundation Semifinalists have been announced a week before the kickoff of the 14th annual Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Eight Charleston chefs/restaurants/restaurateurs made the list, one less than last year, but who's counting? The finalists will be announced on Wed. March 27, and the winners will be announced Mon. May 6.

The 15 Most Important Natural Wine Bars in America

Located in the Park Circle neighborhood of North Charleston, Stems & Skins, whose name appropriately references a cluster of grapes, was established in 2016, focused on serving natural wines, classic cocktails, and a global selection of beers. 'Going to Stems & Skins is like going to a close friend's house for the evening', says Sarrah Wile, founding partner of natural wine importer, Sour Grapes. Matt and his wife, Angie, who is almost always there working the floor, are so welcoming. You know you're in good hands and you really feel that southern hospitality...

Why Wine Lovers Are Flocking to Charleston, S.C.

DUBBED THE HOLY CITY for its history of religious tolerance and hundreds of houses of worship, Charleston, S.C., brought to mind another moniker when I visited last month. Might I suggest America’s Most Exciting New Wine Town? ...

— Lettie Teague

Best Wine Regions to Visit in 2019

Overshadowed by Napa and Sonoma, this wine region is one of the oldest in the country, which gained international recognition in the legendary 1976 Judgment of Paris, a blind tasting where California reds and whites outperformed their French counterparts. This is an area that produces world-class chardonnay, pinot noir, and cabernet sauvignon...

— Laura Giannatempo

Why Fine Dining Chefs Are Turning Their Attention to Casual Wine Bars

There is a whole generational push from people like me, who grew up in fine dining and learning about wine in formal situations and want to take this luxury and make it an everyday thing,” explains Matt Tunstall, co-owner/beverage director for Stems & Skins, a natural wine bar in Charleston...

— Kate Leahy

Park Circle wine bar Stems & Skins hires its first chef and beefs up its menu

At a place where even the grilled cheese is classified as a snack, customers generally aren’t inclined to stay for a full meal. “People would come in and have an aperitivo, or a nice cocktail after dinner,” says Matt Tunstall, co-owner of Stems & Skins. But the Park Circle wine bar’s leadership team wanted customers to consider a Stems & Skins visit as the evening’s main event, rather than prologue or epilogue to eating elsewhere. So they’ve dropped the word “snacks” from their menu, and hired an experienced chef to oversee the kitchen...

— Hanna Raskin

Stems & Skins introduces expanded menu thanks to new Chef Greg Marks

Today Park Circle's beloved wine bar, Stems & Skins, announced the appointment of Greg Marks as chef, as well as the introduction of a new food menu. Marks' role — a new one at the Park Circle wine bar — will incorporate local products and produce with new 'technique-driven menu items.'...

— Connelly Hardaway

Justin Croxall & Matt Tunstall, Stems & Skins

Although it’s tough to say, Charleston, SC is not all postcards and porch living. It’s a city that is fighting decaying infrastructure, gentrification, the pressure of tourists, and traffic, traffic, traffic as an average of 75 people move here a day...

— Southern Fork

Stems & Skins now proudly offering tinned fish

Tinned fish was part of Stems & Skins’ food program from the start, but owner Matt Tunstall initially went to some lengths to make sure customers didn’t know it. If they ordered trout in escabeche sauce, for example, he would carefully extract the preserved fish from its tin and then plate it...

— Hanna Raskin

SOMMELIER MATT TUNSTALL OF STEMS & SKINS

I’m a back of the room kind of guy. So is my friend standing next to me. Together we watch patrons exit a downtown venue with the buzz of post-show chatter. A moment passes, and – as if reading my mind – he turns and asks, “How does one get to know someone?” What he means is: At age 30, how does one just make new friends...

— Hunter Gardner

Matt Tunstall of Stems & Skins in Charleston, SC on Rosé Bubbles, Dry Riesling and Alsace Whites with Barbecue

Originally from Memphis, Matt Tunstall headed to San Francisco in the 1990s to study food and wine. He put in almost seven years with the Plumpjack group, then worked for Elizabeth Falkner at Citizen Cake and Orson before he and his wife decided they were done with big cities. “We wanted to find a smaller town with a great food and wine community and some room to grow,” he says. They landed in Charleston, South Carolina, where Tunstall ran the wine program at Husk for four years. “That gave me the springboard to open my own place,” he says—something he did last January, opening Stems & Skins, a wine bar in the Park Circle neighborhood, with Justin Croxall from Bull Street Gourmet. If sales of bubbly are any proof, the neighborhood is mighty delighted to have them there...

— Tara Q. Thomas

Weekend Getaway: Charleston, South Carolina

While the ragers hit King Street, do late-night natural wines at Stems & Skins...

— TRACEY MINKIN

Here’s Where to Find the Hottest Seafood Trend Right Now (Hint: It Comes in a Tin)

This Old-World-goes-mod North Charleston Bar has been serving quality tinned seafood since opening in early 2016—initially limited to crostini-toppers, but now front-and-center on their menu. Test the waters with inexpensive 3-oz. cans of paté from Jose Gourmet, then graduate up to the more adventurous uni and razor clams. On the boozy side of things, Stems & Skins earns their wine geek cred with on-tap Torres Verdeo Verdejo, as well as a wine list populated with light and funky natural wines...

— MARY TOMLINSON

RESTAURANT REVIEW: CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

A natural wine oasis comes to Park Circle, in what has been called the Brooklyn of North Charleston. Stems & Skins owners Matt Tunstall, formerly at Husk, and Justin Croxall, owner of Bull Street Gourmet & Market, specialize in what they refer to as “fresh and freaky ferments” in this intimate, cozy space. The eclectic wine list offers options for every mood: If it’s a Jura kind of night, drink the bright and zippy Domaine de la Pinte Trousseau...

— Noah Singerman