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The first thing that caught my attention upon arriving at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival Official Poster Unveiling was the red vintage sign spelling out “seven” in celebration of the festival’s seventh year. The second thing was the incredible smells wafting from The Pampered Palate’s spread of hors d’oeuvres.

Following one’s nose across the room led to a station serving up filo tarts with goat cheese, pickled shrimp with avocado mousse, chicken satays, and the crowd favorite, grilled cheese with shrimp, brie, and basil. As partygoers vied in line to snag seconds, the unmistakable sound of silverware on wine glasses brought everyone’s attention to the front.

Charleston Wine + Food Festival director of communications Ashley Zink stepped to the platform and welcomed the crowd of hungry gourmands. “We have a first this year,” she announced. “Jessica Crouch, our winning designer, is the first female poster designer for the Charleston Wine + Food Festival!”

Crouch and Zink then turned their attention to the poster, lifting the black curtain to reveal this year’s beautiful design. The poster features a rich crimson background with an elegant rendering of a wine bottle created from white outlines of various forks and cutlery. The gorgeous design was met with applause, and guests stepped closer for a better look or returned to the bar for another glass of vino.

As is typical with all Wine + Food events, guests lingered until the very last, slowly making their way towards the door after snagging a Dolce Bakery miniature cupcake or five for the road.

Now in its seventh year, the Charleston Wine + Food Festival works to enhance Charleston’s culinary reputation as well as supporting local charitable endeavors. The Festival also gives back to our culinary community through culinary scholarships at local universities, and the festival selects a signature charity each year. Since its inception, the Festival has raised over two hundred fifty thousand dollars for its benefactors through auctions, ticket sales and donations.