Where to find wine with personalized service on the Outer Banks.
The time for wine can occur at any moment and any location on the Outer Banks, so it is best to keep tabs on places you can stop if a sudden need arises. In most every village and town up and down our beloved sandbar you can find smart little wine markets staffed with knowledgeable folks ready to share their love of the grape with you. Here is a short list of favorites.
Bacchus Wine and Cheese
This long-time favorite wine shop offers global wines for every budget and palate. It’s open seasonally and offers fun wine tastings and pairings from time to time. Take home a variety of international cheeses or have a cheese board specially made for you to take home to snack on with your favorite wines. It’s great place to shop for holiday gifts, as these folks make great baskets. 891 Albacore St., Monteray Plaza, Corolla; 252-453-4333; bacchuswineandcheese.com
Tommy’s Natural Foods Market & Wine Shop
When you are on a quest for everything North Carolina on the northern beaches, put Tommy’s on your list. A fabulous selection of North Carolina wines is just the beginning of their global inventory. Find everything for a gourmet meal including hand-cut steaks, local seafood, prepared foods and all the trimmings. You can also find an extensive collection of locally made products perfect for the pantry or gifts. 1242 Duck Rd., Duck; 252-261-8990; tommysmarketobx.com
Sweet T’s Coffee, Beer & Wine
The quaintest wine shop on the Outer Banks is probably Sweet T’s on the main road in Duck. Tucked amongst shade trees, it offers a multi-level seating area that flows into a small, thoughtfully stocked retail shop with a tiny counter for tasting or chatting with a friend. The outside seating area is perfectly charming, and there is often acoustic music. It’s a fun spot to gather with a small group or solo to meet some new friends. 1211 Duck Rd., Duck Common, Duck. 252- 480-2326; sweettsduck.com
Coastal Provisions Oyster Bar and Wine Cafe
One-stop shopping is something we all love, and it is particularly satisfying to find great wine where we can also find quality meats and local seafood. At Coastal Provisions you can find a small but well-thought-out selection of local and global wines in a variety of price points. This is a great place to find wine to pair with your oysters.
1 Ocean Blvd., milepost 1, Southern Shores; 252-480-0023; coastalprovisionsmarket.com
If you are looking for the hippest wine, cheese and nosh hang-out on the Outer Banks, this is your spot. This is the kind of place where you can wear your city clothes, impress your friends and meet metropolitan clients or you can wear a T-shirt and board shorts, talk to no one and be equally comfortable. You’ll find a clever bistro menu, a multitude of fancy cheeses, a thoughtfully curated collection of global wines and even live music some nights.
3708 N. Croatan Hwy., milepost 4.5, Kitty Hawk. 252-261-0277; triowinebeercheese.com
Chip’s Beer and Wine
Chip’s describes itself as a “snob-free wine zone” so there is no limit to the number of questions you can ask before your helper declares you unfit for consumption. An educated and friendly staff can help you with your purchases and making a plan for future meal and wine combos. It’s a good place to hang out and learn stuff.
2200 N. Croatan Hwy., milepost 6, on the Bypass, Kill Devil Hills, (252) 449-8229, chipswinemarket.com
One of the best collections of beach wine on the Outer Banks can be found just inches from the beach at Cahoon’s Market in Nags Head. What is beach wine? Wine that you drink on the beach, of course. Beach wines have clever labels, cool twists and refreshing qualities, all of which are hugely subjective. Often white or rose, a bit citrusy or sweet, even effervescent, these wines are budget friendly and are perfect accompaniments to Cahoon’s yummy chicken salad and other take-out treats. They also have wines for just about any occasion. 7213 S. Virginia Dare Tr., milepost 16. 5, Nags Head. 252-441-5358; cahoonscottages.com
Island Spice and Wine
Sometimes I’m not sure if I stop at a shop because they have great wines and just-what-I-am -not-even-looking-for kitchen-treats or if I just have a crush on the owner and want to hang around and see what she has to say. Such is the case with Island Spice and Wine and owner Donna Haddock Hashtani. Located in Avon, this was one of the first retail locations on all the Outer Banks to call itself a wine shop, and Hashtani has been at the helm since the beginning. Her inventory has ebbed and flowed over the years, as do all things on Hatteras Island, and her wine collection currently occupies about a third of the shop. Tightly packed together shelves in her wine cove are reminiscent of a tiny library packed with volumes of vintage grapes in bottles from across many lands. Give yourself time to take it all in, because you just know she has hidden treasures waiting to be discovered.
40246 N.C. Hwy. 12, Avon. 252-995-7750; islandspiceandwine.com
At Conner’s decades of providing locals and visitors with provisions has yielded an unusually delicious mix of the highest of high-end groceries with budget essentials, and the wine selection follows suit. You’ll find decadent cheeses to pair with your anything-goes wine choices. With uneven floors, packed shelves, daily groceries and tasty gifts tucked into every available space, this place is fun just to meander to find things you need and didn’t know you needed. 47468 N.C. Hwy. 12, Buxton. 252-995-5711; connerssupermarket.com
Lee Robinson General Store
A little bit of a lot of everything is one way to look at this Sticky Bottom landmark that can keep you basking in North Carolina wine for many sunsets to come. Find your favorite North Carolina wines as well as a good selection of global favorites. Pair your wine with one of their many books about North Carolina as you nibble one of their many N.C.-made treats.
58372 N.C. Hwy. 12, Hatteras. 252-986-2381; Facebook: Lee Robinson General Store, Hatteras Village
Zillie’s Island Pantry
When you are on Ocracoke Island there really is just one place to consider when you think about wine shopping, and that is Zillie’s. Tucked on the Back Road, this charming gallery of truly world-class wines also offers specialty foods and tasty bits, perfect for a beach picnic or freshly caught fish dinner. Zillie’s is stocked with wines for discerning tastes as well as flexible budgets. If you have a chance to attend a tasting, do it. Seats are limited; reserve early. If you have a chance to sit outside and sip a glass, do it.
538 Back Rd., Ocracoke. 252-928-9036; zillies.com