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Dec 14, 2006 02:22 AM

best wine store san diego

i was told by several people that beverages and more in mission valley was the best. i thought that the selection was not that great and that most of the stock was pretty overpriced. any ideas?

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  1. Vintage Wines is our favorite. Great selection and they have some great tastings too.

    SD Wine Company is worth stopping in. We've usually found a few interesting bottles and their pricing is generally great.

    The Third Corner is fun and they've got a nice selection at decent prices.

    Wine Bank is another shop we like but they were purchased a few months ago and recent reviews aren't great. To be fair, we've not been in a while so I'm only going off other folks' opinions. We used to buy a lot more wine than now and it was our go-to spot.

    And finally, Costco has a decent selection and it seems like we usually find the most interesting selection in Mission Valley.

    Happy shopping!

    1. Barrons in Rancho Bernardo is pretty good.

      1. Although the selection is limited and stock changes frequently, which is frustrating at times the SD wine co. on Eastgate mall in the UTC/miramar is my go to place. The whole staff is top knotch, spot on recs, good deals. Sign up for their mailer online.

        Current fav is the Marques Phillepe (RP +90) Shiraz - 7.99

        1. #1: Vintage Wines
          #2: San Diego Wine Co.
          #3: Third Corner
          #4: Italian wine specialty store around 9th+G (if it's still open)
          #5: Costco. The Morena store still gets more "super-premium" stuff than any other, including Mission Valley.
          #6: BevMo: Usually they're about 10-20% overpriced, but not always.

          In general, I also try to visit the Wine Exchange (in Orange) and the Wine Club (Santa Ana) regularly. Get on their mailing lists.

          Absolutely avoid San Diego Wine Bank. It was marginal when Mike owned it. He was a real stinker about not running the A/C when it could get up to 80F in his downstairs. Thinking about all those incredible wines he's ruined over the years just to save a nickle makes me sick. He sold it to some dipshit from back east who immediately raised prices (on all those cooked wines) 50% and repositioned the store to rip off Conventioneers.

          Barons has also made my "don't bother to return" list. They've put out an awful lot of wines that were obviously cooked without comment (or discount). And their pricing has continually crept up until they're no longer competitive with SD Wine Co. or Vintage.

          I occaisionally find something interesting at Whole Foods, though their prices are about 10-20% too high. Same for Bristol Farms and Jonathans.


          3 Replies
          1. re: mikec

            Barons is known for buying cooked wines, at least among people who know their wine.

            San Diego Wine Co. used to be my go-to spot, but now I'm sitting on 60 bottles at home that need drinking so I haven't bought anything in a while.

            Wine Bank's new owner made a really bad impression on me when I went in to get some Scotch. I asked for something specific, which they had, and then he tried to steer me to something I had no interest in, which was more expensive. He tried to sell me on it by telling me it was John Gotti's favorite, and then that the former owner of Wine Bank knew John Gotti. I left thinking that if this dude is impressed by the tastes of a notorious criminal, it's probably not the place I want to be shopping.

            1. re: Josh

              I agree with the comments on cooked wine from the Wine Bank, two bottles out of 8 last week. Also the new owners and staff seem very disinterestede unless you are one of the super regulars or a crony. I will stick with Vintage Wines, the WineSellar, and Costco on Morena.

              1. re: ibstatguy

                I'll agree that Vintage isn't perfect, and you should probably avoid older Burgundy's there. Still, I've been in The Wine Bank basement when it had to have been in the mid to high 80's. The Wine Bank running the A/C now is closing the barn door after the horses have left. What is the Wine Bank going to get now that will be worth getting? I like Brian, I think he's a good guy who got royally screwed by Mike. He might be able to lead you through the minefield that is the Wine Bank.

                FWIW, I've also got several friends that have been screwed by Parker of the WineSellar, so it's not a place I recommend.

          2. I like the wine store in Flower Hill. Very knowledgable and good selection. Also just discovered Meritage Wine Store in Encinitas. Smallish, but excellent selection and awesome wine tastings every Thursday, Fri, and Sat for usually just $20. Last Friday was a blind tasting of 6 "Legends", basically the well known Cabernets ranging in price from $80 to $150 a bottle. Included Silver Oak, Mondavi, Duckhorn, and others. $20. Looking forward to some non-"Legends" that might provide better value to purchase. My favorite wine store is Wine Country in Long Beach, just off I-405. They have the best monthly magazine with great articles (free) and a huge selection. Well worth the trip for great finds and excellent prices.