A seasonal Southern rite of passage

I A seasonal Southern rite of passageused to joke with relatives up North that South Carolina only has two seasons: hot and not hot.

The truth is, seasons in the Lowcountry — yes, there really are four — are flled with subtleties, especially autumn, when it’s still possible to swim by day, and wear a cozy sweater at night.

remys1It’s midnight on Hilton Head Island, a place where even most grocery stores close by 10 p.m.?

Even though most bars and restaurants have started winding down for the night, the island still has many late-night offerings.

Check out this list for ways to extend an evening out with friends.

Background

Rosés – Wines for the SummerAfter being unfashionable for a while, rosé wines are increasing in popularity. In major markets, stores carrying perhaps five different wines a few years ago now offer more like 20.

The change is evident on the Island: Red Fish, for example, has a rack of rosés in a prominent position by the entrance, and most of the specialty stores carry several well-chosen selections. This is particularly welcome for the summer, when a rosé can be an ideal and versatile wine with enough different styles to work with most dishes.

All rosés are made from red wine grapes, and any of them can be used to make a rosé. The wines work particularly well with Mediterranean food, and that’s probably why the producers in southern France have such a long and established history. Many of these wines are made from a blend of grapes also characteristic of their red wines, and these same grapes are to be found in some of the best rosés from California.

LICKING OUR CHOPS HAS NEVER BEEN SO MUCH FUN.

Mmmm ... Barbecue

More than 900 people basked in a sweet hickory-smoked plume at historic Honey Horn Plantation last month, sinking their teeth into the best ribs, pulled pork, cornbread and side dishes the Lowcountry has to offer at the 13th annual Kiwanis Rib Burnoff.

“This is a good, southern, hometown, little festival right here,” said Eric Anthony of Barrier Island Barbecue, a griller for the Iron Pig team, the amateur team that won first place for ribs in both the blind tasting and the popular vote, first place in barbecue in the popular vote and the coveted Showmanship Award. “All the competitors know each other. We’re all friends up until 11:30, then from 1:30 until 4 o’clock we don’t talk to each other, and after that we’re all friends again.”

Throw a Holiday Party for Charity.

Throw a Holiday Party for Charity.As the holidays draw near and families look forward to spending time together, get creative with the recipes you make and the parties you host. Celebrity event designer Preston Bailey, who has planned events for such notables as Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey and Catherine Zeta-Jones, has partnered with Uncle Ben’s to encourage people to consider a charitable approach to holiday entertaining this year.

“I am urging my guests to give back to a cause that is dear to my heart this holiday season,” said Bailey, author of three entertaining books. “For me, it’s the fight against hunger. In lieu of traditional hostess gifts, I’m suggesting on my party invitations that guests make a charitable donation to Feeding America.”

A little fruit with big benefits

CranberryCommonly associated with Thanksgiving Dinner, cranberries and cranberry sauce offer much more than serving as a colorful accompaniment to turkey and stuffing.

According to a variety of health professionals and sources, such as the Cranberry Institute (cranberryinstitute.org), maintaining a lower risk of chronic disease is closely related to maintaining a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

Hilton Head Island–Bluffton Chamber to serve up its 19th culinary event at Sea Pines Country Club.

Taste of the SeasonWhen it comes to holiday gatherings, it’s all about the food. Taste of the Season has become one of the area’s premier events for foodies and for those just looking for a deliciously good time.