“I could not be more excited to work among people with such talent and passion,” says Cappie Peete of her position as wine director of McCrady’s,
in Charleston, North Carolina. Her words about her role at the critically acclaimed restaurant echo her approach to her work: insatiable curiosity about
wine and a love for pairing it with Chef Sean Brock’s food to create a memorable visit for every guest.
A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Peete had always known she wanted to work in the service industry. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in
hotel, restaurant, and tourism management at the University of South Carolina, she realized her passion for food and wine in particular. “I took a wine and
spirits course on a whim and fell in love,” she recalls.
Peete held a variety of front of the house positions at restaurants in South Carolina and Georgia while she was still in school. After graduation, however,
she began to follow her muse, studying wine through a Certified Sommelier program at the Professional Culinary Institute. She passed her certification
through the Court of Master Sommeliers in December 2009 and joined McCrady’s in March 2010, initially working as a server while she continued her
wine education and work with Sommelier Clint Sloan. In 2013, her studies paid off when she reached the advanced level, making her the youngest Advanced
Sommelier in Charleston. Shortly after passing her exam, she was named an “Eater Young Gun” semi-finalist, solidifying her place as one of the most
promising up-and-coming talents in the restaurant industry.
In her current role, she is responsible for updating and maintaining the extensive wine list and developing pairings with Brock’s menu, as well as many
behind-the-scenes duties—from staff training to purchasing. Of course, a large part of Peete’s day also includes talking with guests and guiding them
through the wine list. “What I try to create for people is a memorable dining experience; I love making people happy,” she says. “My main responsibility is
helping them find a wine that suits their taste, budget, and pairs wonderfully with their dinner.”
When she’s not at McCrady’s, Peete, continues to further her wine knowledge through studying for the next level of sommelier certification. When
her mind is not on wine, however, she enjoys downtime at the beaches near Charleston, cooking for herself, or eating throughout the Holy City. She’s also
an avid football fan who takes every opportunity to cheer on the South Carolina Gamecocks.