It\u2019s virtually impossible to step foot on one of the picturesque Hawaiian islands and not crave a Mai Tai. Sunshine and the sea seem to demand it. Last year, 94,225 Royal Mai Tais were consumed at the Mai Tai Bar, attached to the famous pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel.\r\n\r\nBut wine has its place in paradise, too. Of the first 10 American sommeliers to pass the Master Sommelier examination, five called Hawaii home at some point. They helped create an enduring wine culture across the islands since the 1970s.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe inspiration starts then,\u201d says Chuck Furuya, owner of Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar. In 1988, he became the 10th person in the United States to earn a Master Sommelier certification. Furuya says that around 1993, there were 16 people in the nation who passed the Advanced Sommelier Certificate. Eight were from Hawaii.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDespite being far removed from what many consider wine country, Hawaii also boasts a handful of homegrown wineries. Spanning Maui to Oahu and the Big Island, Hawaii is unique for its production of fruit wines. However, the islands are also home to a number of traditional vineyards, crafting everything from Viognier to Chenin Blanc, Syrah, Malbec and Grenache.\r\n\r\n\u201cHawaii is well-known, but geographically speaking, is very isolated,\u201d says Matthew Nelson, a sommelier at Pai Honolulu. \u201cBeer, spirits and big-name wines are more familiar to consumers, so it can contribute to guests being somewhat reluctant to move away from what they\u2019ve heard of or tried already and explore new or less-known selections, particularly when you\u2019re asking them to commit to a bottle for the table.\u201d\r\n\r\nHawaii is a food-driven community. Wine is a natural extension of that.\r\n\r\n\u201cBoth professionals and consumers here are realizing more and more how necessary it is to appreciate and know more about [wine],\u201d says Nelson.\r\n\r\nWith lush wineries, mind-blowing wine lists and hidden gems, here\u2019s your guide to the wine scene of Hawaii, island by island.\r\n\r\n\r\nOahu\r\nHawaii may be secluded, but its deep sommelier culture is fully represented on Oahu. Tucked away in downtown\u2019s Harbor Court building, locals flock to Pai Honolulu for chef Kevin Lee\u2019s famous happy hour, served Tuesday to Saturday from 5\u20136 pm.\r\n\r\nExpect dishes like brisket bao buns, buttermilk fried oyster mushrooms and customizable charcuterie boards. Sommelier Matt Nelson will help you find the perfect pairing.\r\n\r\nNelson\u2019s favorite of the moment? Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile.\r\n\r\n\u201cMany people will have experienced either that type of wine, or that region, but often not together,\u201d he says. \u201cIt has dark fruit and oak, and everything else that a Napa Valley Cab drinker looks for. But those aspects don\u2019t overshadow the other fantastic aspects of the grape.\u201d\r\n\r\nHowever, he stresses the broad appeal of Pai\u2019s wine program. \u201cIf you\u2019re not a wine geek, you\u2019re still having a fantastic experience,\u201d says Nelson.\r\n\r\nIn Honolulu, Furuya offers an eclectic selection at Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar. The wine list is one-part familiar, with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cab Sauv, Champagne, Burgundy, Bordeaux and so on. However, Furuya takes the rest of his list even further.\r\n\r\n\u201cFor the other half, we look to feature wines from the Mediterranean basin, celebrating indigenous grapevines and family-owned wineries,\u201d says Furuya. \u201cWe try hard to work with families who own and farm the vineyards, use heirloom [and] heritage vines, and that farm sustainably.\u201d\r\n\r\nTry the Domaine de Marquiliani Ros\u00e9 Gris from the island of Corsica, which Furuya describes as having a \u201clight and weightless\u201d profile. Or have a pour of the Catherine & Pierre Breton Grolleau, a rustic red from the Loire Valley. Furuya often wanders from table to table, where he shares wine knowledge and admittedly bad jokes.\r\n\r\nAt 12th Ave Grill, a neighborhood staple in the Kaimuki neighborhood, Wine and Beverage Director Rick Lilley\u2019s program is a result of extensive travel coupled with a passion for good wine. \u201cHis [wine] list is diverse and he also gets lots of the small one-offs that make it to Hawaii,\u201d says Lyle Railsback, a wine merchant for Kermit Lynch and Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 honoree, who provides some of the restaurant\u2019s offerings.\r\n\r\nPop into the Halekulani hotel, where Kevin Toyama directs the wine list, to discover small-production wine finds. A focused, expertly curated list is filled with producers like Domaine de Reuilly, Drew Family Wine and Au Bon Climat Winery, to name a few. Toyama\u2019s aim is to allow diners to indulge in wines they wouldn\u2019t normally encounter.\r\n\r\nIn Market City Shopping Center, Fujioka\u2019s Wine Times is a well-kept secret amongst locals. Jason Fukeda, the shop\u2019s manager, stocks a variety of well-known and obscure wine labels, offering one of the most standout wine selections across the islands. Saturday wine tastings and seminars occur regularly.\r\n\r\nIn Kailua, stop by Oeno Winemaking, which claims to be the only winery on Oahu crafting 100% natural wines. There, visitors can learn how wines are blended, aged and fermented. Guests can also get in on the process, helping create their own wines with Oeno\u2019s staff. After fermentation is complete, they can return to bottle, cork and label their custom creation.\r\n\r\n\r\nHawaii (Big Island)\r\nPeter Merriman\u2019s flagship, Merriman\u2019s Waimea, one of Wine Enthusiast\u2019s Top 100 Restaurants of 2019, remains an icon for Hawaiian cuisine and an extensive, award-winning wine list. Its \u201cwine flight du fortnight,\u201d a rotating flight of four themed wines, is worth the splurge. Expect eclectic offerings like Turley Wine Cellars White Coat and Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis DOCG. The list also offers a wide variety of white wine options perfect for a warm Hawaiian day.\r\n\r\nIn Waimea, the unassuming Kamuela Liquor Store, founded in 1946, is led by wine collector Alvin Wakayama. The shop will provide a reasonably priced surprise for visitors who seek a bottle to pair with a sunset. Wine and cheese tastings take place on Fridays and Saturdays.\r\n\r\nAdventure and wine await inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. A night at Volcano House, perched on the rim of Kilauea's Halemaumau crater, gives guests ample time to explore and check out Volcano Winery on the drive back to the coast. There, guests can taste eight wines grown on the 4,000-foot slopes of Mauna Loa. Look for unique bottlings made from the Symphony grape, a crossing of Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris.\r\n\r\nTake the eastern route back to Kona and stop at Holuakoa Gardens, in the artsy town of Holualoa. Known for its commitment to the slow-food movement, it offers a seasonal menu alongside affordable wines. Don\u2019t get too attached to favorites though, as the owners bring in new wines on a regular basis.\r\n\r\n\r\nMaui\r\nMauiWine is set amid 60 acres of rolling hills in the lush countryside. In 1974, the winery began as a partnership between C. Pardee Erdman, owner of Ulupalakua Ranch, and Emil Tedeschi, who came from a family of winemakers in Calistoga, California.\r\n\r\nPineapple wine started as a fluke in the mid-1970s, but it quickly turned into an overnight phenom. Maui Blanc, Maui Splash and Hula O Maui, a floral, fruity and zesty sparkling wine, make up the trio of pineapple wines offered here.\r\n\r\nThe winery also produces everything from Viognier, Syrah and Malbec, to a sparkling ros\u00e9 made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay called Lokelani. Book a private tasting in the old jail that once served as Capt. James Makee\u2019s office. Try special library releases, unreleased wines and exclusive bottlings not available in the regular tasting room.\r\n\r\nMill House, a farm-driven restaurant set amidst the Maui Tropical Plantation, is known for delicious cocktails, but don\u2019t overlook the wine list.\r\n\r\n\u201cMany guests are accustomed to drinking their red wine at a warmer temperature back on the mainland, at least warmer than a sommelier may recommend,\u201d says Amanda Hall, the restaurant\u2019s director of communications, marketing and education. \u201cWe are trying to pave the way by introducing guests to cooler reds by offering wines like chilled Schiava or chilled Etna Rosso, by the glass.\u201d\r\n\r\nSince an overly sweet, sugary cocktail in the heat is a recipe for a hangover, Hall recommends a cold Bandol ros\u00e9 or a crisp Alsatian white wine for a perfect island pour.\r\n\r\nIf you need a break from seafood, Matteo\u2019s Osteria, in Wailea, is a true expression of Italian cuisine. Matteo Mistura, born and raised in Liguria, Italy, offers 60 wines by the glass in this charming, off-the-beaten-path eatery. The daily happy hour highlights interesting Italian wines at a 20% discount, and a mouthwatering $8 menu of stuzzichini, or snacks.\r\n\r\n\r\nKauai\r\nA scenic drive to the North Shore, in Hanalei, leads to a tiny landing of charming restaurants. Bar Acuda makes for an excellent date night. Its wine list, half of which is offered by the glass, features small producers from Italy, France, Spain, Oregon and California. It also places an emphasis on Rh\u00f4ne grape varieties to pair with the restaurant\u2019s Provence-inspired dishes. The menu aims to feature wineries that practice sustainable, organic or biodynamic farming.\r\n\r\nOn the way to the airport, stop by La Spezia, in Old Koloa Town, for one last meal. The restaurant is notable for its cocktails, but the by-the-glass wine list is the real star. Start with a Sicilian white like Donnafugata Anth\u00eclia alongside the antipasti and Castelvetrano olives. There\u2019s a rotating list of 20-plus offerings by the glass, or a bottle list with more than 100 labels. The waitstaff is also happy help setup an impromptu wine pairing based on your food selection.