Last month I was invited to go and check out San Diego Cellars, a new winery/wine bar that’s located on the north side of Little Italy, just a little ways from the main drag. San Diego Cellars will be in the perfect spot as Little Italy and the surrounding area expands a bit. For now, it’s on the quieter side of Little Italy, or as I call it, the side with easier parking!
As I am primarily a food blogger for a reason, my focus on this post will mostly be the food, though Heather and I sampled the whole wine menu with a few tasters of each wine. I went through the white wine list while Heather stuck with the reds, both our preferred choice of wine. We started out with this Santa Lucia Pinot Noir Rose. I adored the blush of color on this one and it was a nice way to begin the night. This Rose and the Viognier/Chardonnay Blend were my favorites of the evening, but as I’m not much of a wine person I couldn’t really tell you why except that they were refreshing and nice on the palate.
Tasting flights (which is what we tried) are $10 for six pours. Glasses of wine range from $5 to $8 a glass, depending on which wine you choose. The one shown here would be $5 a glass, though this is just a tasting.
[gourmet cheese plate - $15]
Heather and I shared a few of the their appetizers. All of their food dishes are meant to be shared and are appetizer sized. If you’re looking for a full on meal this might not be your top choice to visit, but the appetizers were delicious and top notch and if you shared a few things, I think you’d come away happy.
Our cheese plate consisted of four delicious cheeses: a double cream brie (top, middle), a gouda (right), humbolt fog (bottom) and and a pt. reyes blue cheese. Paired with that was a bit of fig, some apple slices, grapes, and pomegranate seeds.
We got a side of some perfectly crisp crostini to go with our luscious cheeses. The brie and pt. reyes blue were my favorite of the bunch. The brie was creamy and thick with that bit of pungence that I love so much out of brie. The blue wasn’t too sharp but slightly mellow and paired so well with the fruits and the fig jam. I loves me a good cheese plate and I love a good bread paired with it, which this totally was. The chef promised us perfect bread and she delivered! The crostini was seasoned and just added another level of flavor to the delicious cheeses.
[crostini appetizer - $9]
We also sampled one of the “put together” crostini appetizers, this one being a mixture of Heirloom Tomato Jam with Burrata and micro-basil on that same seasoned crostini. The tomato jam had a touch of sweetness. The creamy burrata was silky smooth and delicious and that little bit of basil made it pop with extra flavor. So good!
[flatbread - $10]
This flatbread was maybe my favorite of the night though, as good as that crostini was! This had a mixture of pistachio pesto, heirloom tomato, more burrata with micro basil. Sounds pretty similar to the crostini, doesn’t it? But the flatbread was a perfect base for this with a nice chew. The pistachio pesto was freaking delicious and really made this dish shine. I’ve never considered using pistachio’s in a pesto before and I have to say that I really, really like it. This is something I think I’ll have to try and recreate at home!
[profiteroles - $7]
For dessert we tried the Profiteroles which are served with chantilly creme, macerated blackberries and raspberries, and a drizzle of warm chocolate sauce. The profiteroles were very light and airy and the delicious cream inside made them extra yummy. The fresh berries brought a little tartness to the dish and the semisweet chocolate sauce was the perfect match – not too sweet and just the right amount of chocolate to top it all off.
Todd Hipper, co-owner and winemaker, was our gracious host for the evening. He was great at explaining all of the wines to us and showing us the ropes of the menu and telling us where the wines come from. It was great meeting and talking with him and having him tell us all about his beautiful wines!
They have indoor and outdoor seating on the patio. You can sit at the bar and talk with the patrons and others around you while you sample and enjoy some wine and appetizers.
Here I am, enjoying one of my tasters.
And Heather, enjoying one of those crazy reds.
San Diego Cellars also offers these Cruzers – a swing-top 1000ml refillable wine bottle. It’s like a growler, but you know… for wine.
There is also the San Diego Cellars Spiller Wine Club which nets you a whole slew of benefits for your wine loving ways.
San Diego Cellars is a great place to hang out with friends, enjoy some wines and food and just relax. It’s a really chill, kick back atmosphere – nothing snooty or too fancy going on here, just open, warm and inviting. Definitely a fun place to hang out for awhile!
San Diego Cellars
2215 Kettner Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101
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