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Never An Empty Wine Glass

San Diego tastings abound.
Courtesy photo

When did San Diego become such a wine lover’s paradise? Did you know there are 50 wineries in San Diego County alone? That surprised us, too, not to mention numerous wine bars available to savor vintage classics and young blends. San Diego has also become home to several prestigious wine tasting events embodying a comfortable local flair, and occasionally awesome food to satisfy varying palettes.

Within a two-month period, San Diego hosts three great wine-centric events all looking to captivate attendees with bold varietals. Starting things off in late February, the annual Paso Robles Grand Tasting Tour at the cellar-like Wine Steals in Petco Park was a home run. If you haven’t heard, Paso Robles is arguably the fastest growing wine region in the country. The wall-to-wall, packed tasting showcased more than 150 vineyards in their inspired splendor. Like Paso Robles itself, the tasting created a warm level of intimacy, providing an appealing venue and assuring new acquaintances.

A few weeks later, the Family Winemakers of California’s annual “Tasting 2010” took place in Del Mar. Featuring more than 200 family-owned vineyards pouring more than 750 wines, the afternoon was a dazzling and delicious experience. All one had to do was grab glass and start with letter “A” and make your way through the alphabet. Row after row of wineries were staffed by the families and winemakers themselves, allowing for great conversations and countless winemaking stories. Then there were the folks who thought they’d just “grow their own.” Dionysus and his clan would have been proud.

Next up on April 17 is the second annual Rhythm & Vine event in North County, featuring tastes from 60 award-winning wineries, and 35 top chefs vying for culinary favor. Gourmet food samplings abound, and three live musical performances will further soothe the soul. Throw in a good cause (proceeds benefit the local Boys & Girls Club; plus, there's a lower ticket price for designated drivers) and everyone wins. Not only is this a grand occasion but a conscientious one as well. Tickets are on sale at www.rhythmandvine.org

The producer of all three of these showcases is a local outfit called Fast Forward Events. They are also responsible for the show-stopping San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival held every November in Embarcadero Park. If you've never been, this is the grand-daddy of them all, and a must for any foodie or, well, winey. (Is that even a word? No, then we own it.)

San Diego is evolving into a unique and delicious dining town. With a growing wine component, our little slice of heaven is truly becoming a culinary force. Fast Forward Events paved the way for these fun and festive events, and we thank them for making sure our glass is always full.

Details »
  • City: Escondido
  • Phone: 858-578-9463
  • Name: Rhythym & Vine - A Music & Wine Festival
  • Address: 272 East Via Rancho Parkway