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10 FUN Places to Drink Wine in North County

wine bars san diego north county

It’s National Wine Day on Wednesday, May 25! Sure, no one knows the origin of the holiday or why it’s officially on the calendar, but who cares…right? It’s National Wine Day, according to the people of America.

Here’s an unofficial list of where to celebrate!

1. Yanni’s Bar & Grill

Yanni’s wine list runs several pages with a well-curated balance between old and new world wines. Confused? Descriptors like “Old World Greece” and “Chardonnay Oaked” will help direct you. Servers also help find the perfect beverage fit for your meal and may even recommend hard-to-find or vintage wines from Yanni’s personal cellar. Happy hour wines delight and often feature little known but exceptional wines opened for availability by the glass. Order something wonderful from the Greek-Italian menu and take a seat in the open dining room. If you dine outside, enjoy large patio areas with heat lamps  (try the table with the built-in fire pit).

  • Address: 12015 Scripps Highlands Dr., San Diego 92131
  • Websiteyannisbistro.com

2. Barrel Room

Sit on the patio or on one of the lounge couches (if you can snag one) and enjoy a nice glass of something mellow. Barrel Room’s wine list features more than 250 bottles of wine and has won awards from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and the San Diego Union-Tribune for its selections. The wine list changes monthly and includes wines in the “A Little Something Different,” “Bold, Expressive Whites,” and “Smooth and Velvety, Medium to Full Reds” categories. You can also order flights for sampling. The “Opus One Vertical” offered recently included 3 oz. pours of this California masterpiece’s 2009, 2010, and 2011 vintages.

3. Vincent’s

This upscale New French eatery in old Escondido boasts a popular and vast wine menu. Not surprisingly, Vincent’s wine list has won Wine Spectator recognition for several consecutive years. Vincent’s Private Cellar wines are also available and feature limited production wines highly sought after by wine enthusiasts. If you visit on a Wednesday, it’s Nuit de Vine (Night of Wine) when all wines are half off the listed price.

4. Addison

If you’d like to go all out on National Wine Day, visit Addison in the elegant Grand Del Mar. Ranked one of San Diego’s best restaurants for its contemporary French cuisine and world-class wine list, Addison features well-known wines and newly discovered selections. You’ll find everything from California top vintage wines to fine wines from France and Italy to new discoveries from Australia and South America at Addison.

5. RELM Wine & Beer Bistro

An acronym for Relax, Enjoy, Laugh More, RELM is a laid back place to get a bite and sample a wine in the charming Village of Carlsbad. Grab a seat at the bar, on the lounge couches or in the cozy back room. Take advantage of Happy Hour from 3-6PM for 25% off food and drink specials. Be sure to also check out RELM’s event calendar for live music nights, art showings, and more.

6. 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro

Pick out a wine (or wines) from the adjacent wine shop and enjoy it with dinner. Serving a nice mix of small plates and full-on entrees, 3rd Corner is a great gathering place for a nice glass of something paired with a delicious bite. Order a cheese plate, uncork your wine, and toast to National Wine Day.

7. Wine Steals

Wine Steals’ changes its by the glass menu weekly.  Choose from more than 40 wines from the old world, new world, and up and coming regions. Wine Steals lets you create your own flight, or selects one for you. Visit for $5 wine tastings and trivia every Wednesday night. Pair your glass with a cheese board, pizza, pasta or salad. Wine is available by the glass, half-glass, or bottle. On Sundays, Wine Steals highlights wines with $10 flights available all day while supplies last.

  • Address: 1953 San Elijo Ave. Cardiff by the Sea 92007
  • Website: winestealssd.com

8. Intertwined Bistro & Wine Bar

This cozy gem in the heart of Escondido does wine right. As in extensive wine list and cheese and meat plates, check. If you’re at all overwhelmed by the vastness of the wine choices, ask your waiter because he/she will be very accommodating. Come on Wine Flight Wednesday and enjoy appetizers at half off with an order of a flight of wines.

9. Davanti Enoteca

Named one of America’s 50 best Italian restaurants, Davanti Enoteca is located across from Cinépolis and is a fun, high-energy place serving inventive menu items and cocktails. Of course, this is about wine, and the location is a fun place to people watch and choose something from the nicely curated wine list.

10. North County Wine Company

Taste wines from around the world at this low-key, fun spot across from Restaurant Row in San Marcos. Nearly every night there’s something going on from a happy hour to half-off night. Check it out.

Your Turn…

How will you celebrate National Wine Day?

Debbie Anderson: Debbie is a freelance writer and editor who’s been blogging at San Diego Momma since 2007. Debbie's been featured in Writer's Digest, the San Diego Reader, and San Diego Magazine, and was named Top 25 blog by Red Tricycle, nominated for an InfluenceSD "Best in Lifestyle" blog award, and appeared on NBC, Fox, and The CW Network as a blogger spokesperson. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or at Google+.