Fans of Coastal San Diego

This site is for the many fans of coastal San Diego, those who have lived here for years, as well as those new to the area. Here you can learn more about the different communities, the many things to do and places to visit in and around San Diego, share your experiences, and ask for advice and recommendations for restaurants, shopping, visitor activities, places to live, and more! Buyers thinking about moving here will find lots of information to help, too!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Wine Tasting in Carlsbad

The Carlsbad Wine Merchants store, just off Faraday, is a terrific wine store. I'm sure there are others in the San Diego area but this one is tops in my area, as far as I know.
Carlsbad Wine Merchants was recommended to us almost two years ago when we moved here, and we have enjoyed frequenting this growing establishment to learn about and purchase wine, and to enjoy their wine tastings.

Kathy Bankerd is the owner, and one very knowledgeable and helpful person when it comes to wine. And it shows in their selection. We have become much more familiar with red wines since we first started visiting this store and began talking with Kathy. She understood our lack of knowledge, but willingness to learn, and patiently (spending over 1 hour the first visit) shared her thoughts and recommendations on a series of reds we should try to begin acquiring a taste and appreciation for Zinfandels, Cabernets, Malbecs and more. They keep a list on their system of the wines we have bought so we can refer to them in the future, or use them for comparison to other wines, especially when we don't keep notes or the label.

We have also been attending some of the wine tastings, which are held pretty much every week (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays), and which offer a tremendous opportunity to sample a wide range of wines and meet, in some cases, the winemakers. Kathy offers special wine tastings to celebrate different times of the year, the release of new vintages, and has expanded the store to double its size, and there is a new and larger tasting room and an espresso bar. In addition they offer a number of gift items, personalized gift baskets, and private events.

We attended their wine tasting this past Friday night featuring Tobin James of Paso Robles, one of our favorites. Their Zinfandel, Ballistic, is perhaps our favorite red wine. We also had a chance to meet Toby James himself, which was great fun. And as James Gang Wine Club members we get to enjoy special wines shipped to our home twice a year. Cool. We are planning a trip in May to the vineyard which should be great fun (they are some great events during the year too).

Don't miss this place, if you have not been there. You can email Kathy at or call her at (760) 804-9994 for more information. They also offer a monthly newsletter and a wine club. What more do you need?

In Kathy's words...

Il migliore vino e'quello che si beve con gli amici!!

(the best wine is the one you have with friends)

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