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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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Dija Mara

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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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Sans V Tasting Room

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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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The WineSellar & Brasserie

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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.

LJ Crafted Wines - Wines & Tastings

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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.

Ambrogio15

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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

Village Vino

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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.

Cueva Bar

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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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Madison

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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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The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro

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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

The Rose Wine Bar

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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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Vino Carta

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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.

Kettner Exchange

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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

Dija Mara

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

Facebook

Sans V Tasting Room

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.

Courtesy photo

The WineSellar & Brasserie

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.

LJ Crafted Wines - Wines & Tastings

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.

Ambrogio15

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

Village Vino

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.

Cueva Bar

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
Photo via Facebook

Madison

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.

Courtesy photo

The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro

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

The Rose Wine Bar

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
Courtesy photo

Vino Carta

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.

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.

Kettner Exchange

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