Experience the hidden Hillcrest wine spot - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Experience the hidden Hillcrest wine spot

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Photo Courtesy of Woodie Photography Photo Courtesy of Woodie Photography
Photo Courtesy of Woodie Photography Photo Courtesy of Woodie Photography
Photo Courtesy of Woodie Photography Photo Courtesy of Woodie Photography
Photo Courtesy of Woodie Photography Photo Courtesy of Woodie Photography
Photo Courtesy of Woodie Photography Photo Courtesy of Woodie Photography

By Andrea Mora / KFMB Interactive Intern

Scores of bars and eateries line University Ave. and standing out from the competition can prove challenging for some restaurant owners. But if one thing is true, it is that quality outweighs appearance. Located in a humble shopping center amongst other small businesses, is a classy and intimate meeting spot known as The Wine Encounter.

Open since 2004, visitors can expect to experience something different everyday because the wine selection and menu is constantly changing, said general manager and wine buyer Rich Tomasello, who owns the winery along with his brother Vince Tomasello.

Monday through Saturday, guests can enjoy an evening in the company of friends and family in a warm and inviting ambiance. New and expert wine tasters can savor a variety of drinks and wines, Italian-inspired foods and classic Frank Sinatra tunes.

The winery opens its doors everyday with a rotating drink menu and unique happy hour specials from 5 to 7 p.m. Available by the glass or bottle, some happy hour drink selections include red and white wines, imported beers, sparkling wine and champagne. Glass selections cost between $3 and $10 and beers are $2.50.

Monday's special is 1/2 off Flight Night from 5 to 9 p.m. Every wine flight, including champagne flights, is half price. A flight is a two oz. serving of three wines listed in a given section. Popular flight selections include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and the Big Reds. Flights range in price from $13 to $22.

Tuesdays are known as Tasting Night from 5 to 9 p.m., with scheduled informal tasting flights from local wineries and vineyards. Visitors should intend on making reservations beforehand. Cost ranges depending on the event. Guests should expect to pay $15 to $20 per person.

Wednesday's special is Informal Tasting from 5 to 9 p.m. The manager chooses a different tasting flight each week. And Thursdays are known as Thirsty Thursdays from 5 to 11 p.m. The manager creates a selection of five wines, and guests only pay $8.

One can pair their wine with a variety of delicious appetizers, bistro-style foods and desserts. Popular choices include homemade pizzas, such as the Barolo, made with tomato sauce, basil, pepperoni, mozzarella and parmesan for $12. And the artichoke and jalapeño dip with tortilla chips for $8.

For a night away from the typical loud bar scene, visit the Wine Encounter in Hillcrest for a more intimate experience. The winery is open Monday 5 to 9 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday 5 to 11 p.m., Thursday until midnight and Friday and Saturday until 1 a.m. and closed Sundays.

The Wine Encounter
690 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
619-543-9463

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