A place whose passion for this part of life matches mine own closely. That said, may I introduce you to one of my all time favorite spots in San Diego in this "About San Diego" feature; the Wine Vault and Bistro.
Being a cork-dork, I've been to many wine-store, wine-bars and restaurants
over the years but few offer a full service service on all three counts, this place
offers pairing menus and the wine available for purchase afterward and you can even have one very best martinis in the city, just ask for the Voyager 209. It's a style of doing business in the restaurant game that's very different and unfortunately the exception.
But exceptional is the experience Chris and Mary Gluck; the owners of The Wine Vault and Bistro bring to the table everyday. A charming wine store, wine bar and bistro all in one. They made the splash unto the San Diego Wine scene just five years ago, welcoming the garden variety oenophile and yes even the wannabe-wino alike and may I add in my estimation very successfully.
With no advertising budget to speak of, Chris and Mary depend solely on what Mary calls "chains" or friends telling friends. Mary recalls one of her customers only known as "Sergio" bringing countless friends and business acquaintances dozens of times, simply because he loves the service, top notch food and the boutique wines. Many of which are highly allocated and sought after by wine lovers everywhere. So here I'm telling all you my friends, my readers that place is the "real-deal" and work hard to earn you business each and everyday.
Chris the owner and all around nice guy personally tastes through all the wines on he puts on his shelves, checking for what I call QPR or the quality price ratio. In other words, "a lot of bang for the buck" and who couldn't use that these days. Chris also rejects many labels because they don't meet his requirements, a feat that is not as easy as you may think it is. So whether you are a, Red-Wine only, anything but chardonnay type of wine drinker or you love something "sweet" they will have what you've been looking for at very affordable prices, which are easy on the wallet and delightful upon the palate.
If you're like me you’ve probably drove past or maybe even stopped by for Gelato from the shop below or visited Shakesheare's Pub on this part of India Street countless times, without even knowing that just a full story above the sidewalk lies one of San Diego's best wine shop, wine-bar and restaurant, a delish dining destination like no other located at 3731-A India Street one-half block south of Washington Street, just moments off the I-5 corridor.
If wine is not your thing, I've seen Sake Night, Beer Google Night and some evening they feature special tastings of single malt scotches, tequilas, small-batch bourbons and more. If you crave a great Martini, be sure to give their fantastic martini sampler a swirl. For the savvy-sipper planing is essential as having a cork screw at the ready in the right moment, thus I'd highly recommend checking their calender page for details.
After you've checked their calender and you've found something appetizing, you better book it or miss the opportunity, because the "vault" says to the world, umm, what recession? Here's the number to call [619-295-3939] to book your own slice of a wine and food pairing yumminess. By the way if you'd like to just shop for your favorite bottle of wine; you're encouraged to do so Monday through Saturday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
On Thursday and Friday nights they feature "casual" wine tastings which attracts folks seeking a bar or lounge type experience. It’s a great place to start out the evening for a night "out on the town" or to just unwind with friends. Wine lovers and newbies alike will find something to love in the bar's collection of Old and New World wines still and sparkling, available by the glass, bottle or flights of multiple two ounce tastes.
One of my favorite things to do there is to attend the winemaker dinners. Mrs. Cuvee and I love-love going to these fun and informative events. Not only is it a great way to discover something new and delicious to add to my already over flowing cellar, bad problem to have I know.
But, it is a great way to see wine in a new light, not just as cocktail but as part of the whole package of seeing how wine can really make food sing, like no other beverage can. What is unique is that after tasting through these flights you can purchase a bottle to take home or keep one with you for on the go.
Most vinosapiens I speak to are well aware of this San Diego hot spot. The Wine Vault and Bistro has a reputation of giving a great bang for the buck wine, food pairing genius, word spreads quickly. While at times it may be tough to get a table or find parking, you'll be rewarded for your patience with stellar wine, fresh food with imbued with no-compromise ingredients and welcoming smiles all-around. You may just discover your next favorite wine or possibly make them your one stop shop for dining and wine shopping all in one. Please take the opportunity to stop by and have a glass or two and see for yourself. Until next time sip long and prosper, cheers!