The sound and sights of our local rivers beckon travelers from all over the world to Virginia’s River Realm. The waters have an inexplicable capability to calm the busy mind. The waters here also draw culinary day dreamers for the coastal delicacies they produce and inspire. From oysters, to fresh white bass, to hand-picked crabs, there’s something to satisfy any palate. It’s important to have the right stuff to wash it down. Fortunately, our region is also home to wineries, wine experts, and a new brewhaus. They’re here to make sure your relaxing and luxurious adventure is topped off with a taste of terroir and a dose of extra relaxation.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite spirit spots in the River Realm. At each one, you’ll not only discover a new wine or beer to love, you’ll meet friendly faces of the men and women who have made this region their home. They’ll share their food pairing recommendations, offer tips to explore their neighborhoods and share a laugh. Make sure you say, “Hi” and ask lots of questions.
Specials Wine Seller
52 South Main Street, Kilmarnock, VA
Amy Groh Britt and her father Tom Groh have built a world within a world at Specials Wine Seller. Specials Wine carries more than 3,000 wines. The winding walls and rooms of this surprisingly large shop are not only lined with wine varietals from around the globe, but maps and historical monuments that nod to the history and importance of wine. Amy is a Certified Executive Wine Sommelier and offers wine tastings every Friday. It’s the perfect way to discover your new favorite spirit. Pick up a bottle and take it to a local restaurant like Chao Phraya for a small corkage fee. Sit back and enjoy the surroundings of endless wine whilst enjoying charcuterie boards, cheese boards and no corkage fees for any wines on you drink on site (you can always take leftovers home!)
65 Tavern Rd, Irvington, VA 22480
This enchanting wine and oyster bar is located in from of the Hope & Glory Inn in Irvington, VA. Pair River Realm oysters with a curated list of local and regional wines, including Dog & Oyster’s own. Owner Dudley Patteson works with the award-winning Chef Meseret Crockett to make sure each oyster served pairs perfectly with the Virginia Oyster. Enjoy the covered patio all year round and bring your furry friends to this dog-friendly destination.
1025 Goodluck Rd, Kilmarnock, VA
Slide into town on your next Crush Friday and make sure Good Luck Cellars is on your bucket list. Here, Wine Down Fridays is always lively and totally tasty. Good Luck Cellars welcomes local food trucks and musicians for a relaxing party open to all. Wash down soft shell crab tacos, raw oysters, and gourmet popcorn with the vineyard’s extensive list of award-winning wines. Enjoy your culinary finds on the vineyard’s wrap-around porch overlooking the vineyard.
77 King Carter Dr, Irvington, VA
This booze boutique is both a bar and a shop bringing a curated selection of wine, craft beer, and small plates to visitors. Cozy up on a big, open patio any time of year and enjoy a beautiful view of the charming town of Irvington. The patio is equipped with fireplaces for cool fall and winter nights and even welcomes musical artists throughout the year. The walls inside are lined with hand-selected wines, which the friendly staff will help you sift through with ease. Make room in your suitcase to take some home–after you’ve indulged here first, of course!
44 W Church Street Kilmarnock, VA
Step into Kilmarnock’s one and only Brewery and Brewpub to relax and unwind with friends and family. In addition to craft beers, you can order up cocktails and comfort foods over live music, games, and more. Stay for the jams here. The brewery hosts live music every Friday and also has Karaoke Night on Thursdays. When you’re finished, head out on foot to grab a snack at Small Town Burger, Northern Neck Popcorn Bag or Carried Away Cuisine.
170 White Fences DrIrvington, Virginia
We love a good party in the open air! Camp is always a party. Set in a stunning field, Camp offers an al-fresco sipping and dining experience to enjoy with your travel crew. Relax by one of the DIY fire pits while you indulge in craft beers, and local wine. Build your own snack board, enjoy flavors from local food trucks that regularly pull up and other food options available from Camp. Watch the calendar for Virginia musicians showcasing lively acoustic jams that everyone can enjoy.
We’re proud to have so many creative and energetic events around the River Realm that highlight local cuisine and spirits. There is is something new almost every week. Visit our special events calendar to discover events like the Raise the Roof Craft Beer Festival in July or the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail Oyster Crawl held in the spring and fall.