san diego: urban wine tasting

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06.07.2011 by Andrea

the Ivy Wine Bar at Andaz

Two weeks ago I was in sunny San Diego soaking up the vitamin D, and it was heavenly. [My newest crazy theory/semi-rant about sulky Seattle weather is the next post to come.] The trip was some what last minute, and I was super jazzed to find out two of my favorite people were also coincidentally going to be down there on a Mommy & Daddy getaway.

T & N are boatloads of fun and are a couple that I wish I could bundle up and emulate. They have managed to find and perfect the formula for balancing four beautiful kids, success in their respective professions, and everything else that goes along with this zany existence we call L-I-F-E. They are overly hospitable and at one point welcomed me as a roommate in their home, and what can only be very loosely described [accompanied with peals of laughter] as their pseudo-nanny. Together they team up to run an active household, are passionate about helping people throughout their community, do a great job of loving others well, and know how to throw down and have a great time wherever they might happen to land. Basically, I was tickled pink to know that I was going to get to see them in person, and crash the first night of their vacation.

love this family! - photo credit: polka dot photography

They were staying down in the Gaslamp Quarter, so I sauntered down a few blocks to meetup with them. The hotel we had designated as the first stop had several restaurants and being that I am directionally challenged I was so happy to find the hotel that I walked into the first eatery that had diners. Immediately I spied a couple with their backs to me, walked up to them, placed my hands on their shoulders, and loudly proclaimed to the gentleman “wow, I don’t recall your hair being that bright of a red.” Foot in mouth. You can envision the looks on all of our faces when I realized that I had the wrong duo. I quickly backpedaled out of the bar, glad that nobody could see the bright red flush coursing through my body. Luckily I was in the wrong location, and T came out to retrieve me and directed me to our planned location where the lighting was darker, and I was less likely to embarrass myself.

The Ivy Wine Bar was like a Jetson experience. The left bank of the restaurant housed an entire wall of wine encased in glas, stainless steel, and soft ambient lighting. It had a futuristic vibe, yet was still inviting. The way that this concept works is that you pre-load a card, and then can either purchase a taster, half a glass, or a full glass of wine. Placards are above each bottle describing each sample. You are encouraged to grab a glass and then are welcome to wander up and down the aisle sampling the different varietals. Should you really enjoy the full bodies flavors of a certain wine, you’re welcome to purchase the bottle in its entirety.

During their Happy Hour they have designated 5 wines that you can taste for $5. I don’t drink wine very frequently, and am open to learning anything and all about wine. I usually rely on quotes I’ve obtained from wine coasters to keep me jokingly afloat. This was a fun field trip.

We also tried pretty much everything from their happy hour food menu. The yelp reviews were mostly favorable. Besides the strumming acoustic guitar player we basically had the the place to ourselves until right before we left. I’m looking forward to seeing whether or not this trend continues in other cities. It really didn’t matter if we were in an uber trendy place, or a dive bar, the fun we had talking and catching up made a for a great, memorable evening. I wish I could coordinate run-in’s with friends in the same city more frequently. It’s always refreshing to be in the presence of good company.

Enjoy the rest of your evening. Until the next sip -salut.

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