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Where To Drink Wine in San Diego Right Now

Tip your glasses to these wine bars, restaurants and tasting rooms

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Historically, San Diego has been a tough town for wine. Beer, unsurprisingly, takes center stage with cocktails, spirits and cider following close behind. That’s beginning to change: restaurants are becoming less beholden to their staid wine lists that are tightly controlled by a small number of distributors, instead striking out into wider world of wine by finding smaller producers making exciting wines that aren’t often found in restaurants. Tasting rooms are also proliferating and it seems as if the county’s agricultural sector is gearing up for increased grape production and wine tourism. All of this means it’s an exceptionally exciting time to be drinking in wine in San Diego—the only question is where to go. Here’s where to drink wine in San Diego right now.

Did we miss something? Feel free to drop us a line. Please note that map points are organized by geography and are not ranked.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Dija Mara

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232 S Coast Hwy
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 231-5376
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Oceanside’s Indonesian hotspot also boasts a creative, ever-changing wine list filled with lower-intervention wines made by small growers and winemakers.

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2. Sans V Tasting Room

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298 Enterprise St suite d
Escondido, CA 92029
(760) 741-1246
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This Escondido tasting room boasts two wineries under one convenient roof: Stehelon Vineyards and Vesper Vineyards. All grapes are grown in San Diego County and are made into wine by multi-generational San Diego farmers and winemakers.

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3. The WineSellar & Brasserie

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9550 Waples St #115
San Diego, CA 92121
(858) 450-9557
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French food is one of the stars at this Sorrento Valley but wine really takes center stage. Wine dinners, storage, a shop and a global wine list make this a destination worth traveling for.

4. LJ Crafted Wines - Wines & Tastings

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5621 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 551-8890
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South African owners and winemakers are at the helm of this Bird Rock tasting room. Solely California grapes are used and LJ utilizes its proprietary technology, which allows for wine to pass from barrel to glass or growler without significant oxygen exposure.

5. Ambrogio15

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926 Turquoise St h
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 291-8650
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With two locations in Little Italy Food Hall and Pacific Beach, Ambrogio15 is best known for its Milan-style thin crust pizzas. Owner Giacomo Pizzagoni has also taken painstaking effort to source a wine list with only Italian wines that are organic and/or biodynamic.

ambrogio

6. Village Vino

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4095 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 546-8466
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Village Vino is a mainstay of not just Kensington, but of San Diego’s wine scene, in total. A welcoming and knowledgeable staff are always available to guide guests through the shop and bar’s offerings, which are curated with an eye for quality in mind.

7. Cueva Bar

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2123 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 269-6612
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Tucked away on Adams Avenue just off of Park Boulevard is Cueva Bar, which serves tapas and wine in a cozy, cavern-like location. The global wine list offers plenty of variety for all types of wine drinkers—just don’t forget to order the empanadas to go with.

Cueva Bar
Cueva Bar
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8. Madison

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Madison Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

During 2018, University Heights’ Madison’s wine list underwent an overhaul to skew towards wines made with more “natural” techniques—for example, no chemical additives or significant intervention during the winemaking process. This natural list is ever-changing and features unique wines not easily found anywhere else.

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9. The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro

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2265 Bacon St
San Diego, CA 92107
(619) 223-2700
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With fair prices not gouged by a heavy markup, a varied list with unique selections and a menu that spans cooking styles, Ocean Beach’s Third Corner is a welcome oasis in a neighborhood not particularly known for its food and wine scene.

3rd corner

10. The Rose Wine Bar

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2219 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 281-0718
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One of the temples to natural wine in San Diego, South Park’s The Rose Wine Bar is a mainstay in the neighborhood and a go-to for wine enthusiasts and gourmands alike. Locals spring for their lively wine club as well as their popular salad pie and empanadas. It is also possible to buy wine to take home.

The Rose Wine Pub
The Rose Wine Pub
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11. Vino Carta

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2161 India St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 564-6589
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Little Italy’s Vino Carta is one of the best destinations for wine in the county—no surprise, considering its parent company is Bottlecraft. The wine shop and bar hosts regular food and wine pop-ups, features a weekly tasting list at its bar and offers a fun monthly wine club for regulars. Natural wine and smaller-production growers are the focus and its staff are educated and often very willing to help customers figure out what’s in their glass.

12. Kettner Exchange

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2001 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 255-2001
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During late 2018, Little Italy upscale dining destination Kettner Exchange scrapped its entire wine list, opting instead for producers with a lower-intervention, more natural and small-grower approach. The result is a fresh, sprawling list of well-priced and incredibly high quality selections that won’t be found anywhere else in the county.

Kettner Exchange

1. Dija Mara

232 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
Facebook

Oceanside’s Indonesian hotspot also boasts a creative, ever-changing wine list filled with lower-intervention wines made by small growers and winemakers.

232 S Coast Hwy
Oceanside, CA 92054

2. Sans V Tasting Room

298 Enterprise St suite d, Escondido, CA 92029
Courtesy photo

This Escondido tasting room boasts two wineries under one convenient roof: Stehelon Vineyards and Vesper Vineyards. All grapes are grown in San Diego County and are made into wine by multi-generational San Diego farmers and winemakers.

298 Enterprise St suite d
Escondido, CA 92029

3. The WineSellar & Brasserie

9550 Waples St #115, San Diego, CA 92121

French food is one of the stars at this Sorrento Valley but wine really takes center stage. Wine dinners, storage, a shop and a global wine list make this a destination worth traveling for.

9550 Waples St #115
San Diego, CA 92121

4. LJ Crafted Wines - Wines & Tastings

5621 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037

South African owners and winemakers are at the helm of this Bird Rock tasting room. Solely California grapes are used and LJ utilizes its proprietary technology, which allows for wine to pass from barrel to glass or growler without significant oxygen exposure.

5621 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, CA 92037

5. Ambrogio15

926 Turquoise St h, San Diego, CA 92109
ambrogio

With two locations in Little Italy Food Hall and Pacific Beach, Ambrogio15 is best known for its Milan-style thin crust pizzas. Owner Giacomo Pizzagoni has also taken painstaking effort to source a wine list with only Italian wines that are organic and/or biodynamic.

926 Turquoise St h
San Diego, CA 92109

6. Village Vino

4095 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116

Village Vino is a mainstay of not just Kensington, but of San Diego’s wine scene, in total. A welcoming and knowledgeable staff are always available to guide guests through the shop and bar’s offerings, which are curated with an eye for quality in mind.

4095 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

7. Cueva Bar

2123 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Cueva Bar
Cueva Bar
Photo via Facebook

Tucked away on Adams Avenue just off of Park Boulevard is Cueva Bar, which serves tapas and wine in a cozy, cavern-like location. The global wine list offers plenty of variety for all types of wine drinkers—just don’t forget to order the empanadas to go with.

2123 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

8. Madison

Madison Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Courtesy photo

During 2018, University Heights’ Madison’s wine list underwent an overhaul to skew towards wines made with more “natural” techniques—for example, no chemical additives or significant intervention during the winemaking process. This natural list is ever-changing and features unique wines not easily found anywhere else.

Madison Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

9. The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro

2265 Bacon St, San Diego, CA 92107
3rd corner

With fair prices not gouged by a heavy markup, a varied list with unique selections and a menu that spans cooking styles, Ocean Beach’s Third Corner is a welcome oasis in a neighborhood not particularly known for its food and wine scene.

2265 Bacon St
San Diego, CA 92107

10. The Rose Wine Bar

2219 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
The Rose Wine Pub
The Rose Wine Pub
Courtesy photo

One of the temples to natural wine in San Diego, South Park’s The Rose Wine Bar is a mainstay in the neighborhood and a go-to for wine enthusiasts and gourmands alike. Locals spring for their lively wine club as well as their popular salad pie and empanadas. It is also possible to buy wine to take home.

2219 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104

11. Vino Carta

2161 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

Little Italy’s Vino Carta is one of the best destinations for wine in the county—no surprise, considering its parent company is Bottlecraft. The wine shop and bar hosts regular food and wine pop-ups, features a weekly tasting list at its bar and offers a fun monthly wine club for regulars. Natural wine and smaller-production growers are the focus and its staff are educated and often very willing to help customers figure out what’s in their glass.

2161 India St
San Diego, CA 92101

12. Kettner Exchange

2001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Kettner Exchange

During late 2018, Little Italy upscale dining destination Kettner Exchange scrapped its entire wine list, opting instead for producers with a lower-intervention, more natural and small-grower approach. The result is a fresh, sprawling list of well-priced and incredibly high quality selections that won’t be found anywhere else in the county.

2001 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

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