vindiego recap or whoa, i drank a lot of wine

A few weekends ago, Stacey and I went to the 3rd VinDiego Wine and Food Festival. VinDiego changed venues this year – moving from the Broadway Pier in Downtown over to Liberty Station. I was again invited this year but only got one media ticket. Stacey and I split the difference between a discounted ticket. Let’s see what shenanigans we got up to this time!

1-ntc-command-center

Jake dropped me off at the NTC Command Center where VinDiego was being held. Somehow I got in the “good” line since I got wristbands right away for both Stacey and I. I got my ID checked but since Stacey came after (also dropped off) they never checked her ID. Interesting, no? 

2-vindiego-glasses

When you get inside, you get your chalet, er, wine glass. This is your magical vessel which allows you to have ALL THE WINE. There were leftover glasses at the end. Stacey and I maybe snagged some. (Shhh, don’t tell.)

3-sadie-rose-bread

Sadie Rose was back again which made us quite happy. They had little loaves of some kind of country bread there this time. This is also about the time we really wished we had a tote bag. Our wish came true in the form of a State Farm rep who had these cute tote bags to give away (as long as you signed up for something, of course).

4-cheese-spreads

5-mushrooms-beats-toast

Our first time was FOOD! Of course it was. Sadly I don’t remember the name of this restaurant… I THINK it was the Patio. They had these cheesy spreads all with different items in them. I choose the mushroom and the one with beets in it. The beets one was very pretty and I loved the pop of color though beets aren’t usually my thing. The mushroom one was extra tasty though.

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7-glass-of-rose

Our first wine! Mostly what you’re going to see down past this is bottles and bottles (and bottles) of wine. White wine, usually, because that’s what I drink. Let’s count and see how many wines I tried, eh?

This is a typical pour for the event. Some places gave you more. You could also return and get more – there was no limit to the amount you could consume. Scary, huh? 

I also discovered at this event that I dig Rose. 

8-stoller-wine

9-glasses-of-red-wine-vindiego

This is the only red wine I tried. 

I didn’t like it. 

Stacey drank all reds that evening. 

10-chehalem-wine

11-ceviche-verde-chez-loma

Next in food! This was a ceviche verde from Chez Loma. It has rockfish, a tomatillo sauce and avocado in it. I don’t like tomatillo so I wasn’t really into this. I just ate the avocado. 

12-le-parfait-paris-cream-puff

Le Parfait Paris was also here with a nice spread of breads and tiny desserts. This is a little cream puff – I don’t remember the flavor, sorry! It was the perfect little bite though with the cream inside and the dusting of chocolate. Not too sweet. 

13-le-parfait-paris-sweet-rolls

Stacey and I both thought it was salt chunks on top of this brioche but it’s actually sugar! It was also really good. 

14-wine-glass-holders

In case you cannot trust yourself to carry your glass of wine, they were selling these very bright wine holders. Some people needed these since we heard a few wine glasses shattering during the event.

15-drink-up-bitches

Heh. 

16-moscato-quady-winery

17-moscato-wine-peek

This one I do remember because it was my favorite wine of the event! It’s a Moscato called Essensia made by Quady Winery. The guy doing the pours made it like a wine cooler drink for us. He added ice and a twist of lemon to mine and it had a nice orange-ish lemon-ish twist to it. It was maybe a tad too sweet, but I like the sweeter wines. Stacey got the red one and she thought it was way, way too sweet. 

18-mary-drinking-moscato-wine

Me with my moscato wine cooler drink in front of the roses. People seemed to love my shirt. 

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20-ritual-wines

21-fitzee-foods

More food! Our pattern was “get food, drink more wine, Mary gets slight buzz, go eat more food to make the buzzing stop, repeat”. 

This was a little sample from Fitzee Foods. They have a local shop in Liberty Station where you can pick up already made meals or they will also deliver to you. They create pre-portioned, freshly made, healthy meals for all lifestyles. 

I believe this was a quinoa dish with peppers in it that was slightly spicy. It tasted pretty good though slightly spicier than I liked it. 

22-san-diego-magazine-tote

If you bought a subscription to San Diego Magazine they would give you this kick ass tote bag. Instead of buying a subscription, I took a photo of the tote bag. 

23-roasted-carrot-salad-grant-grill

Look at this incredibly pretty carrot salad from Grant Grill

24-carrot-salad-plated

Here it is all dished up. There was a light dressing on it with some kind of creamy little sauce on the side. It was very flavorful and I loved the pop of color. 

25-hawaiian-springs-water

Hawaiian Springs water. Gotta hydrate, yo. 

26-brown-sugar-brined-pork-lion-dk-catering

Chef DK Catering had a Brown Sugar Brined Pork Loin. It came with a smoked orange reduction sauce and some mashed potatoes. It was a plate of porky goodness! 

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28-no-dogs-no-wading

If Maya and I were ever here there’d be no worries about this happening. We’re not water people (dogs, whatever). 

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29-adelaida-wine

30-santa-julia-wine

31-deconstructed-jambalaya-barrel-room

The Barrel Room had these cute little spoons of “Deconstructed Jambalaya”. Shrimp om nom nom! 

32-lamb-lentils-solterra

I’m 92.1% sure that this is from Solterra. I do know that it’s a little cupful of lentils and ground lamb. Interesting flavor! 

33-marina-kitchen

I’m also like, 94.6% sure this is from Marina Kitchen. It had eggs, asparagus, croutons and caviar. Also interesting. Stacey gave me her asparagus, woo! 

34-eberle-steinbeck-vineyard

Oh god, more wine. 

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36-pomodoro-burrata-solare

Back to food! 

Solare, which was probably two blocks away from VinDiego, had these little cups of Pomodoro with Burrata. It was like tomato soup withe cheese in it! We liked it. 

37-flagship-cruises-samples

38-beefy-bbq-sandwich

Flagship Cruises were making little samples of the food you’d find on one of their cruises. Stacey and I watched a lady take the meat off of two other plates, put it onto her own plate, and then dump the chips and bread and gave it back telling the folks she didn’t want that part. Uhhh. Yeah. That was weird. 

The meat had some BBQ sauce on it and the chips had truffle oil on them! 

39-bice-meat-cheese

BICE had salami and cheese, hooray! I know you can’t see the cheese here, it was on a level below this one. I was getting a bit more buzzed at this point…

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42-alexander-vineyards

43-alexander-vineyards-owners

There was very little rhyme or reason to the places we choose to sample wine from. I did pick this one because they had photos of their puppies out! They told me the puppies were the owners. ??

44-studio-diner-chili

Studio Diner had chili. Spicy chili. Oh my god spicy chili. 

46-green-cake

47-chocolate-peppermint-cookies

Kuba Kreations had a whole setup showcasing their pretty cakes. For their sample they offered little chocolate peppermint cookies. Adorable! 

48-fig-tree-mashed-potatoes

Fig Tree Cafe had a long line earlier and when I went back, they only had mashed potatoes left. Spinach mashed potatoes. That were unseasoned. Stacey and I both took one bite and then made a face. Maybe it would have been better with whatever it was they were serving… 

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It was getting closer to the end of the of the event.

45-crazee-burger-menu

We decided to stand in the long line for Crazee Burger. 

50-drone

While in line someone was making a drone fly by. Stacey and I put on our “unhappy” faces to stare at the drone as it flew by us. I bet they won’t use that footage. Hah! 

51-mini-kangaroo-burger

They ran out of Kobe and only had Buffalo and Kangaroo left. The lady in front of us seemed distraught that Kobe was gone – that was, after all, the “safe” flavor. Stacey and I decided to just go for it and try kangaroo.

Dude. Kangaroo is really weird. It had a chewy texture and was very gamey at first. And then! Then… the aftertaste… was fishy. It was super weird. Stacey had weird dreams that night. She blames the mix of having lamb, kangaroo and chili. 

52-sweet-cheeks-winery

We picked this one to try because the label looked really cool. 

53-sokol-blosser-rose

54-dance-party

Around this point the band stopped playing jazzy-elevator versions of popular songs and started to sing upbeat songs. It was pretty much dance central in here as everyone really loosened up from drinking so. much. wine. 

No, Stacey and I did not dance. We just tried to drink more wine. 

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56-mary-stacey-toasted

Who’s the buzzed one in this photo?! 

56-zuccardi

My last wine. I can tell you nothing about it since I don’t even remember. Stacey managed to get another bit of red. Most places had already run out of wine before the official end. 

57-feet

Feet photos. Yeah. Seemed like a good idea at the time. 

58-drunky-face

Taking selfies also seemed like a good idea. Buzz central over here. 

59-surprised-stacey

Hi, Stacey!

How’d your count go? If you said “17 wines” then you’re correct. I tried 17 different wines. Stacey tried a couple without me and I dumped a couple after one sip. I’m not sure how many glasses that equates to, but damn, that was a lot of wine. I also might have had trouble going up a few stairs at this point. Luckily Jake picked us up right outside so neither of us had to drive. 

After we dropped Stacey off, we drove by the Cravory in Point Loma and I got very, very excited about the prospect of cookies and made Jake stop. He had to help me out of the car. After we picked out six cookies to take home, I had to sign my name on the iPad and I remember saying “Oh, boy.” When I successfully finished, both Jake and the girl working at the Cravory cheered for me. That’s when you know you’re really drunk – strangers are cheering for you when you accomplish simple tasks. 

It was a fun event! Would I pay full price for it? Probably not, but then again, I’m not a huge wine fan. I’ll drink it, but it’s not my favorite thing. I was glad to see there was more food offerings this year. We didn’t get to go to all of the food places since there were long lines at a few, but we got to try almost all of them. Having the event at Liberty Station also made it feel more open than at Broadway Pier but we missed being able to go outside and sit by the water for awhile. 

Disclaimer: I received one complimentary ticket to VinDiego and we split the cost of the other ticket (with a discount code). All opinions stated here are my own.

Author: Mary

Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 11+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

8 Replies to “vindiego recap or whoa, i drank a lot of wine

  1. You and friend looked like you had a blast! I just checked the ticket prices and yikes – $95 for general admission? What did you think of the food samples – were there more selections than the Taste of Hillcrest? I can’t remember if you said the lines here were long for the samples. Those wine glass covers look like bikini bottoms. That’s a scary description of the kangaroo meat. I was hoping you’d say it taste like chicken. Not sure I’d ever want something I eat (non-fish) to have a fish tasting finish. I wish Cravory had a video of you trying to sign your name on iPad. I’d pay to see that right about now 🙂

    1. Hi Faye! We did have a lot of fun! There is not as much food as Taste of Hillcrest – in addition to what was shown in my post, there were probably just a few more spots we didn’t get to try. The difference though is that the samples are unlimited (or at least until they run out) so you can could go back and get additional samples if you wanted to. It’s a cool event for sure, but I don’t think I’d want to pay full price for it (only because I’m not THAT into wine). I’m glad there is no video of my antics. I highly doubt I’d want anyone to see it (but apparently I’m happy to tell everyone about it).

  2. Fun event recap! The towel made me giggle. And good idea on the tote bag… I kinda already have way too many myself. Awesome selfies! =D

    I have to be careful at events with alcohol too! Sometimes I just do as much food as possible and then finish off with drinks. I like to split a liquor sample… or more like take a TINY sip of the sample and give the rest to hubby. Unless it’s some yummy kind of cocktail or moscoto. Then it’s all mine yo!

    1. Thanks, Lynn! I wish I still had the tote bag from this event but someone’s little puppy dog ATE my tote bag. Siiiiigh. I will have to remember to bring my own for another event! I honestly do not normally ever drink as much as I did at VinDiego but since we partially paid, we felt like we had to drink up and get our money’s worth, haha. Moscato is my favorite kind of wine! I like the sweet stuff 🙂

  3. Man, that WAS a hell of a lot of wine you had! I would have had the whites and rose wines as well. I’m not fond of strong red wines. Or wines that taste like grass or wood. I veer towards the super sweet stuff or the sweet dry ones at least.

    Re: the tiny brioche from Le Parfait, those were actually choquettes,made of choux pastry (basically cream puff dough but without the cream inside). I didn’t like Le Parfaits version. We had excellent choquettes in Portland at St. Honore Boulangerie (a few blocks up from the Peculiarium). I liked the big pieces of pearl sugar on there. It does look like salt, haha.

    1. Hi CC – Uhhh, yeah. It was way more than I expected to drink, haha. I had trouble with stairs at the end of this one… don’t plan on drinking that much in the future but luckily there was no hangover, either. Thanks for letting me about about the “tiny brioche”. I couldn’t find the “real” item on their website. I still wish I had been able to try those choquettes in Portland!! Guess we’ll just have to go back someday… 🙂

  4. Just so everyone knows, Drunk Mary is every bit as cute as this makes her sound. Though there were many amusing moments, the quote of the night was probably “standing is hard.”

    I did indeed have weird dreams that night, and I do blame the lamb/kangaroo/chili in my belly. It may not have helped that after the event I downed an iced tea then sat down to watch hockey while drinking beer and eating (more) chili. That’s a lot of things that don’t go together in a day.

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