If you find yourself tooling around North Park looking for a place to get your wine on, then you'll want to come with to one of San Diego's newer concepts in the age of the wine-bar. What is it? It's a groovy little place called Splash and if you will excuse the pun, it's really making a quite a "splash" on the North Park wine scene.
I really digg the concept of Splash, I think you will too, as the experience is as fresh and unique as a newly bottled Sauvignon Blanc from
The Splash Wine Lounge is all about the wine, but if you're feeling a bit peckish, they have a small but growing menu to accompany your tastings. According to Splash owner Traci Smith, regarding the use use of the Enotech, "it's technology which allows Splash customers to taste on average over 72 different wines from around the world". So were not just talking about California wines? Oh-no, your experience could range anywhere from a Washington State Horse Heaven Hills Merlot to a fat, throaty Shiraz from the Barossa Valley, down-under.
The basic concept is that it's so nice to be able to swirl, sniff and sip through a few types of wine before choosing a bottle to sit down with for which the bottle pricing is pretty reasonable. For example, Splash had offered in the past, a 2007 Mount Rosa, Pinot Noir, Central Otago New Zealand for $30.00, which at the time tasted very lean and light, still showing very nice cola and raspberry notes, but the point is that you'll find that their pricing is competitive.
According the their website, "Splash is using the latest Italian technology and they offer on average over 72 different labels in the form of a one ounce pour [splash], a glass or a bottle. You can expect to pay anywhere from .95 cents to 10 dollars for a one once pour, depending on the wine you select. The enomatic wine machines have easily readable displays, declaring which wines are available for the consumer to "self-serve" a "splash" of wine with a pre-paid debit like card. It is very similar to a Dave and Busters type experience. It allows the wine lover and novices alike to try many different wines before selecting a glass or bottle for which to sit and sip there or to take home for further enjoyment.
What I really like about Splash is the opportunity to taste many types and or styles of wine, everything from the sweet to the sophisticated. Their setup is a made to order serve yourself or you could just sit bar-side and have wine served by the glass [4-5 oz] or if you're the kind of person who loves to discover new flavors, and styles of wine and you don't mind the occasional bumping into other patrons, then Splash is definitely for you, give it a swirl.
If you do need assistance; like recommendations, the owner and or staff are more than willing to accommodate your requests and answer questions. Splash, definitely has a “chill” vibe, which is appealing part of the wine-scene there and part of the reason they are so popular. Where else can you plop down onto the comfy sofas with some wine and chat with friends [besides your own home]. Another nice aspect of Splash, is that it offers the opportunity to try some wines which are not always in everyone's price range and or are of very limited production. One other if you like to double your spending power on an evening out, check out their Two-Splash Tuesdays.On the other side of coin, while exploration is fun, it can also be quite expensive. If you do the math, while it may seem like quite a deal, that you're only paying a dollar or two for 1 oz. of wine, you can quickly rack up quite a tab. The other issue I've noticed; Splash have become a victim of its own popularity. Because of its small location, it can become very crowded, quite quickly. So, if you're think of going to splash with a large entourage, well that can be a little tricky. as the lounge chairs, couches and the bar seats are few in number and many times it's standing room only.
Recommendations: Splash is wonderful opportunity for the average vino-sapien looking to do some exploration. You'll find for the most part, there are no wine snobs looking over your shoulder telling you what you should be tasting. If you're one of those folks who is unsure whether you are Red or White wine fan, then here's a perfect place to take your palate out on a test drive. On the other hand if you are looking for more of a "bar-type" experience than you may want to save your money and try a different venue. Visiting mid week is great way to avoid the crowds and have unhurried experience. Until next folk, sip long and prosper cheers!