News

Tasting with Winemaker Joseph Swick of Swick Wines 4/6/17

Join intuitive natural winemaker Jospeh Swick of Swick Wines to taste through their latest releases. Think you know what Oregon wine is all about? Think again - these wines march to the beat of their own drummer.


Thursday, April 6th
5:30-8:30pm

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FESTA! Celebration @ Vino Carta

FESTA! Celebration @ Vino Carta

Vino Carta is very fortunate to be able to enjoy the plethora of community events and festivities the Little Italy neighborhood hosts throughout the year.  Arguably the most important party each year is FESTA!  Marking its 22nd anniversary this Sunday, Festa is a celebration of all things Italian American culture, art, and successful evolution of the Little Italy neighborhood.  Inspired by the Little Italy culture and emphasis on chalk art, Vino Carta is hosting a special Sunday Wine Flight and "Live Art" show.  

We are extremely excited to welcome inspired and talented young artist/surfer/world traveler extraordinaire Mele Saili to Vino Carta for a "live art" exhibition that will coincide with our Sunday Wine Flight, which will focus on what else but Italian wines.

Mele is a 3rd generation San Diegan with deep family roots in Southern California surf history; the granddaughter of Larry Gordon of Gordon & Smith Surfboards.
You'll often find her traveling to various places around the world for surfing or creating art whenever she can, usually creating portraits and odd ball images using charcoals, inks, and acrylics.

You can follow her on instagram at @mele_saili or @mele_saili_art 

Please join us for this very special Sunday honoring FESTA! with great art and wine.

Starts @ 1 p.m.   Sunday Wine Flight is $15/person.

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Thoughts from last week's class on Natural Wine

Thoughts from last week's class on Natural Wine

What a great class last Thursday as we explored and definition and boundaries of Natural Wine - thanks to everyone who attended! A few things struck me as being worth another comment:


- Almost everyone came into the class with at least one negative (if not outright bad) experience with Natural Wine; I *think* everyone left with a much improved and positive relationship with Natural Winemaking.


- Like many things, trouble starts when definitions become dogmatically strict, especially when trying to understand something as dynamic and amorphous as Natural Wine.


- There are multiple paths to trying and enjoying Natural Wine - personal health, eco-awareness, and simple palate preference.


- Not all Natural Wines are the same, nor should they be lumped under the same taste/style profile.


- It's worth thinking about what has to happen to make millions of gallons of wine at a time, what sorts of risks that entails, and how that directs what ends up in the bottle. There are winemaking decisions and there are business decisions - and we're open to make the choice about what matters most to us (and to our pocketbooks).


This just scratches the surface of the wide and engaging conversation we had- I hope you'll join us for Vine Lab 1.3 at the end of October... Stay tuned!

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Happy Labor Day San Diego!

Happy Labor Day San Diego!

A Labor Day Weekend note from one of our wine specialists, Marc Stubblefield:

 

Labor Day is upon us, the last signpost before the leaves start to change, the breezes start to nip through our clothes and the summer tank tops give way to flannel and…. Wait, what? We live in San Diego - It’s about to get warmer in September! Still, the holiday weekend brings visions of smoky grills and kiddie pools and an attempt to mark the changing of the calendar to that thing other folks call Autumn. But what to drink with those ribs, tri-tip, burgers, late-summer corn and sausages? Of course, in San Diego there’s no shortage of beer to ice down in the cooler on the patio, but where should we turn if our tastes follow a more vinous pursuit? The classic BBQ pairing is good ole American Zinfandel (Limerick Lane, anyone?), but the possibilities are endless. Rosé spritzer that can go all day (Guilhem en magnum + Fever Tree tonic and lime)? Funky, natural Pinot Gris that showcases bright red fruit but also has enough structure to handle some ribs (I’m looking at you, Swick)? Or maybe some laser-beam bubbles that can cut through anything the grill can throw at them (You’re up, Lauer Sekt)? Don’t let the same-old IPA waylay your weekend – find some wines to make your festivities sing!

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Happy Labor Day San Diego!

Happy Labor Day San Diego!

A Labor Day Weekend note from one of our wine specialists, Marc Stubblefield:

 

Labor Day is upon us, the last signpost before the leaves start to change, the breezes start to nip through our clothes and the summer tank tops give way to flannel and…. Wait, what? We live in San Diego - It’s about to get warmer in September! Still, the holiday weekend brings visions of smoky grills and kiddie pools and an attempt to mark the changing of the calendar to that thing other folks call Autumn. But what to drink with those ribs, tri-tip, burgers, late-summer corn and sausages? Of course, in San Diego there’s no shortage of beer to ice down in the cooler on the patio, but where should we turn if our tastes follow a more vinous pursuit? The classic BBQ pairing is good ole American Zinfandel (Limerick Lane, anyone?), but the possibilities are endless. Rosé spritzer that can go all day (Guilhem en magnum + Fever Tree tonic and lime)? Funky, natural Pinot Gris that showcases bright red fruit but also has enough structure to handle some ribs (I’m looking at you, Swick)? Or maybe some laser-beam bubbles that can cut through anything the grill can throw at them (You’re up, Lauer Sekt)? Don’t let the same-old IPA waylay your weekend – find some wines to make your festivities sing!

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Announcing VC Wine Lab

The world of wine is vast, mysterious and complex. Beginning on August 18th, Vino Carta will offer wine classes that dig deep into a cultivar, region, winemaker and beyond. The VC Wine Lab will explore the reasons behind why great wines are great. Each VC Wine Lab will offer multiple wines, a thorough walk-through of each wine, and a well thought out snack pairing all led by one of the resident wine specialists at Vino Carta.
VC Wine Lab 1.1: The Italian Piedmont
Thursday, August 18th, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.
The rolling foothills of the Italian Alps in the Piedmont region provide for some of the most majestic visuals anywhere in Europe. The complex soils and micro-climates of the region provide a range of quality wines that may be the greatest in all of Europe. From the nobility of Nebbiolo in Barolo and Barbaresco, to the unsung white wines made from Erbaluce, the first VC Wine Lab promises to be a delicious and romantic exploration of great Italian wine. Not to mention, they have great cheese.
6 Wines with cheese. Just $30/person. Seating is limited to 12 people. Please reserve your seat by email: vinocartasd@gmail.com
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7/24 Sunday Wine Flight: SUMMER OF RIESLING

7/24 Sunday Wine Flight:  SUMMER OF RIESLING

In 2008, one of the greatest wine bars in the world, Terroir in NYC, started a party meant to celebrate and educate people on one of the greatest grapes in the world...Riesling!  It was called 'Summer of Riesling.'

That party ended in 2014, yet the echo of its passionate battle cry lives on in our hearts and minds. We invite you to join us this Sunday for a celebration of great riesling and a toast to the passionate wine people who threw a rad party in honor of a misunderstood wine.

We put the spotlight on 5 different rieslings from 5 different origins-- Rheingau, Mosel, Wachaü, Santa Barbara and Alsace. Guaranteed you will find at least one that totally alters your perception of this regal cultivar.

5 Wines.   $15/person.     Starts @ 1 p.m. Hope to see you there!
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Bastille Day Party - Thursday, July 14th

 

VIVE LE FRANCE!

If the 4th of July began the global Democratic Revolution, Bastille Day cemented the movement and provided the inertia for its perpetual motion.

As many of you already know, we're kinda' bullish on the French stuff.  Celebrated globally, we invite you to join us for our Bastille Day party THIS THURSDAY, JULY 14TH.

The party goes all day and includes:
-CHAMPAGNE AND FRENCH CHEESE HAPPY HOUR (5-7 PM only)
Special pricing on some of our favorite champagnes in the store with a complimentary nibble of fromage, and some psychedelic jazz fusion violin from Jean Luc Ponty.  BOOM!  Allez!
-10% off all French bottles
-Special all French by the glass menu
-Premium glass pours out of magnum bottles                                                            
-And lots of French fusion jazz violin!
Espérons vous y voir!
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June 2016 - San Diego CityBeat

VINO CARTA IN LITTLE ITALY COMBINES SIPPING AND SHOPPING

During the last five years, Bottlecraft has become a mainstay of San Diego beer culture. The bottle shop's model combines partaking with perusing to satiate the needs of thirsty patrons at locations in North Park, Little Italy and Liberty Station. Now, owner Brian Jensen has taken that same idea and applied it to wine with the opening of Vino Carta, located in the original Bottlecraft location in Little Italy.

Just like its predecessor, Vino Carta stocks its shelves with a variety of beverages, many from small producers. The store's inventory is divided into new and old world. In the new world you'll find California standbys, including local wines. From the old world, there's a large amount of Italian and French wines along with some from Germany and beyond.

In the "bar" portion of the store, patrons can buy full or half glasses or opt to purchase a bottle from the shelf and pop it open (corkage is $4 for half bottles and $8 for full). The bottles themselves range in price with some as low as $15 and many falling in the $20 to $30 range.

Having just held its grand opening last month, Vino Carta is still ramping things up. Its website now features an online store with local deliveries through Postmates, and pick-up is available. It will also start hosting many tastings in the coming weeks—some with specific winemakers, others focusing on specific regions and still more with guest sommeliers.

The laid back approach combining retail and service shows the trend of the wine world to mirror the successful styles of the beer world. The wines carried here are of good value, and the environment feels casual and inviting. The layout hasn't changed much, but there is more of a home-y vibe to the place now; with wood tables and chairs for small groups, a corner showcasing floral arrangements and succulents by Huntress Florals, and a vintage record player piping in tunes.

Just as with the beer world, if the quality isn't there, neither are the drinkers. Vino Carta is showcasing a good variety at palatable prices. Some of my own favorite brands that I spied on the shelves include Australia's Silkman and California's own Idlewild and Matthiasson. Seems like San Diego's newest wine shop is off to a promising start.

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Saturday, May 21st-- GRAND OPENING PARTY @ Vino Carta!

Saturday, May 21st-- GRAND OPENING PARTY @ Vino Carta!

The dust has settled.  We've met our neighbors.  The wines are kick ass!  It's time for a party!  Please join us for tasty snacks, some good juice and a great time, as we celebrate the grand opening of Vino Carta.
Please join us for the official grand opening on Saturday, May 21st.  From 2-5 p.m., there will be hosted snacks, special wines on BY THE GLASS, and a wine bottle raffle.
With over 150 retail options, the carefully curated wine shop side of Vino Carta represents the classic wine growing regions throughout the world and the producers who accurately reflect what makes each terroir distinct from one another.
Always serving at least 12 wines BY THE GLASS to choose from, the bar side of Vino Carta offers patrons both "half glass" or "full glass" options.  The BY THE GLASS offerings are dynamic, not always seen in restaurants, and promote an atmosphere of exploration and discovery.
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