Central Coast Wines?
- theophila Mar 18, 2010 08:52 AM
I am aware of the other threads one wine shops/stores such as http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/678519 and everything it links, but I am looking for specifics.
My husband and I recently relocated to Chula Vista from Santa Barbara, where we used to shop Costco or Trader Joe's for our affordable local wines, and I've been starved for good California/Central Coast wines! Even the Napa/Sonoma selection here seems to be pretty limited to the big corporate wineries with steep price tags, and BevMo is pricey on what few SB/SRH/SMV/Paso wines they do have.
I have read about SD Wine Co, KnB, Holiday Wine Cellar, etc., but I'm not really ready to drive all over San Diego for potential disappointment (we stopped in The Wine Bank briefly, and they claimed to be "the best," but for all their selection, I was definitely let down).
Specifically I am looking for:
Jaffurs, Beckmen, Bridlewood, Carr, Foxen, Summerland, Stolpman, Tantara, Roblar, Addamo, Au Bon Climat, Denner, Adelaida, Booker, L'Aventure, Linne Calodo, Caliza, Tablas Creek
As you may be able to tell, I enjoy the wineries that specialize in Rhone varietals. Any insight as to where I might find these would be much appreciated! And I do mean more than the occasional SB Winery Pinot or Bridlewood Syrah.
Thanks so much!
There are no "great" wine shops in San Diego (I'm thinking of Wally's, K&L, Hi Time, Wine Ex, etc. in LA and OC). Try getting to know someone at a good shop (I like 3rd Corner these days, ask for Dennis) that will have at least some of those wines and you may find that might be willing to order others for you. SD Wine Co is a good spot but I don't think you're going to see a lot of the wines you mention in stock. I have not been in to 57 Degrees which recently opened; the best part of that place will surely be the presence of Bryan who was at the Wine Bank for years when it was operated under different ownership.
You will find some CC wines in a few wine stores around town. Wine Loft up in the Carlsbad Forum has some as well as Meritage in Encinitas (in the Pancake House mall). These are north county and it may be a bit of a trek for you. You just might want to become good friends with you UPS driver and join several wines clubs of the wineries that you really like.
You can find Bridlewood and Foxen at Ralphs or Vons. Bridlewood since being sold isn't what it used to be. I've seen a decent selection of Santa Ynez and Central Coast wines at Whole Foods/Bristol Farms. You can find Justin around quite a bit now.
Wouldn't hurt to call around to some of your mentioned places to see selection and price then make the drive. Good luck.
You know I totally forgot about Vons. It has to be one of the larger Vons with a full wine department. Up my way, the La Costa Vons and the Solana Beach Vons both have full wine departments. I gotten Byron, Cambria, Au Bon Climate, and Ken Volk wines from them. Not sure if the Vons in South County carry those wines.
I have seen Tablas at Vons and Au Bon Climat wines are not hard to find. Vons had a Foxen white a couple of years ago. I once saw an Adelaida wine on a restaurant menu. I think you are going to have to join some wine clubs. You have listed excellent but mostly small production wineries and you arent going to find their wines here.
If you are ever in the Point Loma/OB neighborhood look in on 3rd Corner and talk to anyone there about what you are looking for.
I have wines beyond the Central Coast that I like - but unfortunately, unless they are Argentinean, Spanish, or Italian, they are usually not within a reasonable price range to drink regularly. And we prefer CA wines. Obviously, not all of the CC wines I'd listed fall under affordable for everyday drinking (some just happen to be our personal favourites), but many do. A benefit of having lived in SB was that a lot of local wines were at our fingertips for not much, especially when they were available at your local Costco for somewhere around $8-10/bottle for 85-95 pt rated wine. Even great Napa and Sonoma wines (and boutique wines from the area) were available at an average price of $25/bottle, since many locals (and visitors) would try a wine at a local restaurant, love it, then look for it in stores. Just looking for a store that would have that feel.
Another vote for the 3rd Corner. They have Tablas, and I am pretty sure I have seen Summerwood there, and L'Aventure. Go during the day and talk to Dennis as IBstatguy recommends. He knows his way around the local wine scene and he may be able to special order wine for you. You can also drink wine there, and have something to eat.
I think Roblar is only available at the winery (could be wrong, though)
Chris from Wine Vault and Bistro knows his Paso wines as he organizes many wine dinners with the winemakers from Paso. And the food is delish.
I was picking up Summerland at BevMo Mission Valley pretty regularly for a while. It wasn't terribly pricey (~$15 for their Syrah), but BevMos are definitely bereft of good CC wines. I haven't been to SD Wine Co., but I haven't seen Adelaida anywhere else, so I joined their club. I've seen Tablas Creek at Vons and BevMo.
The Henry's in North Park always carries interesting Argentine and Chilean wines. Nothing spectacular, but definitely great for dinner and extremely well-priced. Wine Vault and Bistro's fabulous, but I haven't seen wines from any of the wineries you mention. As 4wino mentioned, they do have winemaker dinners featuring Paso winemakers.
Funny you should mention Denner... the last time I was up in the Central Coast, we stopped for a tasting and had a hilarious time chatting with Mr. Denner. Really nice guy. I have yet to see any of their wines around here, but let us know if you find some.