The Finest of Spirits: Chan’s Wine World delights taste buds, set to open new pub

Staff Writer
The Destin Log
Randy Hayden holds a bottle of Angel’s Envy bourbon by Chan Cox, Harlan Estate, 98 points, $1,000 a bottle red wine and his favorite beer, Hop Stoopid IPA.

There seems to be a whirlwind of activity blowing through Chan’s Wine World.  Phones are ringing, cash registers are singing and shelves are being continually stocked with every imaginable spirit and exquisite cheeses from all over the world.

I finally get Randy Hayden, general manager of Chan’s Wine World to stop just long enough to give me a quick interview. He was like tying down wild horses so I got my southern drawl into fast overdrive to make this article happen.

Randy let me know right away that Chan’s Wine World is the pulse of Destin. 

“If there is something big going on around here we are usually going to be part of it. Our basic operations usually consist of four elements. Number one is our retail operations. We pride ourselves on being the only place in town where you can go for excellent wine, craft spirits and craft beer. We have experts in every field and the most seasoned staff in town. If you’re looking for what’s hot, what’s new, you’re going to find it here.”

The second element is the incredible cheese shop. Randy tells me, “We have the best selection of artisanal cheeses in the area. If you have trouble choosing from the 500 cheese selections, see cheese Manager Sara Levesque, whose staff is one of the most knowledgeable in the world. You will find an insurmountable array of cheeses from France, Spain, Belgium, U.S., and Italy to name a few. Randy and I both have a favorite cheese and it is Bellavintano. Ask for a taste, you will leave with a pound.

Randy’s number three is the wine bar which is a hidden gem in Destin. 

“The Beef you get at Chan’s is locally raised, all natural and hormone free. The fish is fresh caught by local fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico and I definitely recommend saving room for dessert. The desserts float down from heaven and all are made from scratch.”

The wines you find here are hand picked by two of the best in the business, Chan Cox, owner, and Michel Tibeault who have traveled the world over to bring back to their customers the best styles and vintages that pass their crucial test.

Trey Griffith is a chef full of pleasant culinary surprises. Don’t miss Wednesday’s beer and burger night. Beer tasting runs 6-8 p.m. and for $5 you get to taste 8 - 10 different beers. To go with the beer, you also have the burgers. For the last 60 weeks Trey has created a different burger. This week’s burger (at the time of writing) is Yogi Bear picnic burger. This burger contains an eight ounce beef patty, a heaping of cole slaw, baked beans, homemade pickles, yellow mustard and wait, don’t forget to pile on the hot dogs. Yes, hot dogs on the burger. The sky is the limit.

I love the Friday night wine tasting that runs from 5-7 p.m.  There is a different theme every week and you get to taste ten different wines for $10.  In addition to this, you can order the cheese tray picking three to five different cheeses from a menu of hundreds.  The tray comes with warm bread from the oven and a mixture of nuts. Oh boy is this good.

Number four from Randy, last but not least, is the exciting Craft Beer. 

“Grand opening is scheduled for July first and projected to be the biggest thing to happen in the restaurant/bar scene in Destin in the last 20 years.”

Welcome to the Gastro Pub. This tavern-like atmosphere will offer a world-class beer selection. Brent Sutton, craft bar manager says, “The bar will is filled with the finest spirits available brought to you from carefully chosen people who are dedicated to producing the best, not the most.” Brent went to Miami and spent time being trained by Nick Nistico, world renowned mixologist. He taught me how to create craft cocktails that have never been tasted around here.

You will find this expansive craft beer selection results from the tireless efforts of Chan’s staff. This dedicated effort to research and seek out the newest and rarest brews will have Chan’s Wine World soaring above all the rest. A journey into this realm will find you returning again and again. See you on the first of July.

Laura Hall is a long time Destin resident.  She writes about local topics sometimes with her cavalier spaniel Annie in tow.  If you have a good topic, contact Laura at