Wine Tasting in San Diego

Family Winemakers of California Tasting 2012In case you needed another reason to visit San Diego, the Family Winemakers of California will be holding a public tasting on Sunday March 11 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  About 130 wineries will participate in the tasting which is open to Trade only from 1:00 to 3:00, but then the doors open for a public tasting from 3:00 to 6:00.  If you want to try some excellent wine from some of the best wineries in California, go here to learn more and to order tickets.

Now, 130 wineries are a lot for any one person to try.   If you were thinking about just showing up and handling this thing alphabetically, you should reconsider that because you may not make it to Tablas Creek Vineyards and if you missed them that would just be a shame.  We’re going to help by recommending some of our favorite wineries that are scheduled to participate which we highly suggest you aim for first.

Don’t Miss These Wineries at the 2012 Family Winemakers of California Tasting

B Cellars  (Calistoga, CA)

Black Sears Vineyards  (Angwin, CA)

Corison Winery  (St. Helena, CA)

Cornerstone Cellars  (Yountville, CA)

Fiddlehead Cellars  (Lompoc, CA)  

Fritz Underground Winery  (Cloverdale, CA)

Halter Ranch Vineyard  (Paso Robles, CA)

Hendry  (Napa, CA)

Keenan Winery  (St. Helena, CA)

Littorai  (Sebastopol, CA)

Melville Vineyards and Winery  (Lompoc, CA)

Merry Edwards Winery  (Sebastopol, CA)

Mi Sueño Winery  (Napa, CA) 

Parallel Wines  (St. Helena, CA)

Robert Biale Vineyards  (Napa, CA)

Shannon Ridge Vineyards and Winery  (Clearlake Oaks, CA)

Siduri Wines & Novy Family Winery  (Santa Rosa, CA)

Tablas Creek Vineyard  (Paso Robles, CA)

Twomey Cellars  (Calistoga, CA)


Family Winemakers of California (originally named Premium Winemakers of America) was founded in 1991 to give voice and presence to small, family wineries in the public policy arena.   In 1992, the organization was renamed Family Winemakers of California because it was an “organization that reflects the ‘little guy’s point of view.”


Our Other Favorite Places in San Diego

While you’re in San Diego, here are some other food and wine places we really enjoy and encourage you to consider:

Cucina Urbana is an excellent California inspired Italian Kitchen and Wine Shop on Laurel right next to Balboa Park.  The salads and pastas here are especially tasty.    505 Laurel Street, San Diego  (619) 239-2222

El Agave Restaurant and Tequileria is our favorite Mexican restaurant in San Diego.  It’s considered part of Old Town, but it’s on the outskirts of Old Town.  The mole here is stunning, and they have over 2000 tequilas to choose from (nope, not a typo – 2000).  2304 San Diego Avenue, San Diego  (619) 220-0692

Extraordinary Desserts is a great place to grab a pastry and go, or you can sit and have a delicious meal.  If nothing else, you can come here and just salivate while staring at the display cases.  The original location opened in Balboa Park in 1989, and a second location in Little Italy was added in 2004.  Karen Krasne has also written a cookbook, “Extraordinary Cakes” so you can attempt to replicate what you saw/ate when you get home.  1430 Union Street, San Diego  (619) 294-7001 and 2929 Fifth Avenue, San Diego  (619) 294-2132 

Farm House Cafe offers rustic French Country cuisine in the heart of University Heights, and the service is excellent.  The menu changes with the seasons but you pretty much can’t go wrong at this place, now celebrating its 4th anniversary.  2121 Adams Avenue, San Diego  (619) 269-9662

Hob Nob Hill is the place to go if you’re looking for an old school coffee shop dating back to 1944.  Their coffee cake is just like the one your grandmother used to make (or you wish she did).  2271 First Avenue, San Diego  (619) 239-8176

Nicky Rotten’s Bar and Burger Joint is handy for a burger and beer in the Gaslamp District, especially if you come during Happy Hour with $3 draft beers and well drinks and 1/2 price appetizers.  Happy Hour is 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on weekends, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and from 3:00 p.m. to closing on Mondays.  560 Fifth Avenue, San Diego  (619) 702-8068

The Wine Bank is an excellent wine store in the middle of the Gaslamp district if you need to buy a bottle.  The upstairs looks more like a typical liquor store but once you go downstairs you will realize that their buyer has excellent taste in wines.  The Wine Bank has thousands of labels of wines, spirits, and liqueurs in all price ranges and styles.   363 Fifth Avenue (corner of 5th and J), San Diego (619) 234-7487

While you are in San Diego you should also check out the website King of Happy Hour.  This information-packed site includes Happy Hour recommendations, reviews, and even includes information on late night Happy Hours.  You can also search by neighborhood, to make things easier.  It’s the kind of website we wish every town had.

Cucina Urbana on UrbanspoonEl Agave on UrbanspoonExtraordinary Desserts on Urbanspoon
Farm House Cafe on UrbanspoonHob Nob Hill on UrbanspoonNicky Rottens on Urbanspoon



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