A San Diego wine bar where friends gather, relax and celebrate

4095 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA, 92116
(619) 546-8466


"3 Wine Bars to Try, Top picks for every type of wine drinker"

From: http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/San-Diego-Magazine/September-2013/3-Wine-Bars-to-Try/

For the Wine Geek:
Whether you’re trying to become a wine expert or looking to increase your wine lexicon, Village Vinowine bar in Kensington offers a great selection of international and domestic wines with the sophisticated palate in mind. Talk to the owner, Rita—she knows her stuff! 4095 Adams Avenue, Kensington

From: http://www.pacificsandiego.com/2012/11/26/best-cellars/

Best Cellars
From wineries to wine bars, here are a couple dozen of San Diego’s all-time grapes

There was a time not long ago when the average drinker couldn’t tell the difference between a buttery Chardonnay and a peachy wine cooler. But in a short decade, San Diegans have become notably more wine savvy in the face of 50 wineries established within the county and dozens operating in nearby Temecula. Add to the landscape a never-ending proliferation of wine bars, and you’ve acquired (or are about to) the confidence for leaning into a spit bucket and the knowledge for removing those stubborn purple stains off your lips (Wine Wipes by Borracha).

Ripe for the picking, these “grape escapes” are great locations for sampling our region’s fermented juices.

Village Vino

4095 Adams Ave., Kensington
619.546.8466, villagevino.com
After swirling her way through wine regions in dozens of countries and the Wine Executive Program at UC Davis, Rita Pirkl decided to share her zeal for small-production wines that evade the radar of big distributors. Her list flaunts 35 options by the glass or half-glass, plus 100 bottles of humble origins that can be corked inside the small, sleek space or purchased to go.


"New grapes on the vine"

From: http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-11903-new-grapes-on-the-vine.html

Village Vino (4095 Adams Ave. in Kensington): This corner wine bar in Kensington just celebrated its first year in business. Specializing in small-production wineries, it has an eclectic menu that changes regularly. Wines can be ordered by full- or half-glass, so I opted for several half glasses and sampled a variety. The knowledgeable servers helped sort through nearly 40 wines on the menu, and I didn’t find any I didn’t enjoy while picking through selections from France, Hungary, California and everywhere in between. A prix-fixe option Sunday through Thursday caught my eye:  $25 for a salad, flatbread and two glasses of wine from a select menu. Sounds to me like date night in a cute neighborhood.

The last pages of the wine list include bottle prices for imbibing in the bar or to-go at $8 off the list price. For us over-achieving wine geeks, they offer educational tasting events and wine dinners regularly.

Best of the bunch: The 2012 Matthiasson Tendu from Napa Valley is a blend of white Italian varietals Vermentino, Cortese and Arneis, a great summer wine with notes of minerals and a lush aroma of flowering herbs—lavender perhaps?

Best of the bunch: The Heavyweight Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi is jammy and heavy with just a touch of sweetness, providing good balance for spicy menu items.

"Village Vino: Restaurant Reviews"

Ranked #1,219 of 3,527 restaurants in San Diego
Price range: $10 – $30
Cuisines: French
Good for: Romance

"Village Vino to have Summer 2012 Opening"

I noticed this sign last Sunday while enjoying Adams Avenue Unplugged. Village Vino is a new wine bar slated to open soon on Adams in Kensington.




Rita Pirkl, native San Diegan, Kensington resident, and owner of Village Vino, has held executive positions in sales and marketing at Chateau Montelena Winery and Peju Winery, both in Napa Valley.

Focusing on small family owned and operated producers, Village Vino will serve limited production wines by the taste, glass and bottle. Small plates and food pairings will be offered as well.

Educational seminars and classes for wine lovers, from neophytes to connoisseurs, are also in the works.

As the sign says, Village Vino is slated for a Summer 2012 opening.




"NEW IN TOWN: Village Vino Former Napa exec turns Kensington wine bar Village Vino into a hit"

From: http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/Blogs/SD-Food-News/Fall-Winter-2012/NEW-IN-TOWN-Village-Vino/

Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 01:18PM
Village Vino in Kensington.


Village Vino in Kensington.

Napa’s loss is Kensington’s gain. As the former vice president of sales for Peju Province Winery and national sales manager at Chateau Montelena Winery, Rita Pirkl knows what works and what doesn’t in wine tasting rooms. Since June, she’s been putting that knowledge to work at her Kensington tasting room/restaurant Village Vino (on the corner of Adams and Kensington, across from Bleu Boheme). What works? Small family owned selections with a quality to price ratio that “makes sense,” like the Dog Point Pinot Noir from Marlborough. Rita lives less than a mile from her shop, a building that’s been around since 1920 (formerly Kensington’s go-to Piggly Wiggly) and a building that lured Rita from her job in Napa.

The 26-year San Diego resident spent time in Italy studying cooking as well, so she’s got the food/liquid food symbiosis dialed. The small kitchen creates dishes meant to pair with groups of wine, like the pesto-tomato flatbread (goes with most reds). The 35-seat locale has a modern look with antique flavor; the cement tables and bar are coupled with bistro-ish metal chairs. Rita knows her wine but most importantly, her customers. Rita’s done the digging – scouring the world for small wineries – and all we have to do it take a sip.

"Now Open: Village Vino in Kensington"

From: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/feast/2012/jul/11/wine/

Proprietor Rita Pirkl, of the newly opened Village Vino on Adams Avenue, spent eight of her last ten years commuting from Kensington to positions at Chateau Montelena Winery and Peju Province Winery in Napa.



And for the past five years, Rita had her eye on the corner of Adams Avenue and Kensington Drive, where NYLA Kensington Boutique occupied a prime spot. In January, on her way home from another trip north, she saw a For Lease sign in the window. A phone call later and she had her dream location.




It’s cozy and comfortable inside, warm taupes and weathered wood, splashes of bolder red and blue keep it interesting. The vases of beautiful sunflowers and lots of natural light add to the relaxing mood.

There are over one hundred wines to choose from, most are produced by small family operations that have a limited number of cases for retail sale. In addition, nearly a third are available by the glass, half-glass, and half bottle. The three-ounce half glass is a great option if you want to try several wines.

I started with a 2010 Tertre de Launay Savennieres, a minerally white Bordeaux. It was crisp and dry, a nice cool way to start out. John’s choice, the 2008 Paulo Scavino Rosso Vino da Tavola, a Piedmont Nebbiolo, had a soft fragrance and a fruity explosion in the mouth.




We paired these with a cheese plate containing Venissimo’s offerings. Purple Haze, a creamy, lavender and fennel pollen laced chevre was lovely with the Savennieres. Ewephoria, an aged sheep’s milk gouda, had a golden, nutty flavor and a crumbly texture that paired better with the Nebbiolo and very well with the dried mission figs, dried tart cherries and toasted Marcona almonds. Last was an aged cheddar from Hook’s Cheese Company, nice with the bolder reds of our second wines.




Our next half-glasses were a 2008 Siegrist Dornfelder, a German red for me and a ’10 Easton Zinfandel for John. I enjoyed the Dornfelder’s bright fruit aroma and tart cherry overtones with our next small plate, big pieces of focaccia bread and dips of organic olive oil and dukkah, a wickedly addictive Egyptian dry spice blend of toasted cumin, coriander, black pepper, sesame seeds, and ground hazelnuts. The Zinfandel was big and full of juicy black fruit with a bit of pepper, and again, a good combination with the bold roasty flavors of the dukkah.

Village Vino is in soft opening mode right now, with a food menu limited to just a few items, but plans are to expand it, adding new plates over the next several weeks.

Village Vino

4095 Adams Avenue

San Diego, CA 92116

(619) 546-8466


Tue – Thu: 11:00 am-10:00 pm

Fri – Sat: 11:00 am-12:00 am

Sun: 11:00 am-10:00 pm

Closed Mondays.

"Schooled: At Village Vino, the staff doesn't pull any punches in terms of wine"

From: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/feast/2012/nov/13/schooled/

Back in July, Mary Beth Abate did a thorough job of getting at what Village Vino is all about. The Kensington wine bar gets ahold of interesting vintages from small New- and Old World vineyards. Owner Rita Pirkl is an obvious wine buff and it’s clear that the wine bar is as much an expression of her passion for the grape as it is a business venture. Many of the wines seem to be priced affordably if purchased by the bottle, and a nominal discount for retail purchases further encourages customers to buy and drink more wine. This is just an educated guess, but I surmise wine prices at Village Vino run much closer to retail value than the same wines would in a conventional restaurant.

Having heard good things about the place, I popped in with a group of friends. It’s an interesting concept, and mostly well executed, but not without its quirks. I got the feeling that Pirkl, and some of the other staff members, are experienced in wine and much less so in table service and hospitality. Their tableside manner involved much shrewd criticism of my party’s wine decisions. This is not in keeping with the longstanding tradition of restaurant sommeliers, most of whom keep their extensive knowledge in check while they attempt to make the guest feel superior in his or her taste.

For me, Pirkl and company’s direct manner was a breath of fresh air. I basically threw myself in their hands and asked for something delicious. I was justly rewarded for doing so. My friend, on the other hand, felt wholly intimidated at the implication that her choice in wine was insufficient and that she could expect disappointment, even from a good wine, if we weren’t willing to shell out for another excellent one. I stuck up for her as best I could, but there was no denying the truth of what we were hearing.

They’re straight shooters at Village Vino, I’ll give them that.

And I’d say keep it that way. It’s a great opportunity for a little education.

Mary Beth had also said that Village Vino planned to add more food to the menu than what they opened with. Six months later, I found the food to be problematic. I tried some hummus, and a $12 smoked salmon flatbread plate that featured three little rounds of toast with creme fraiche, salmon, and a lovely dotting of caviar. I hate to grouse, but I think I could get equal amounts of salmon for half the price at some local coffee shops.

I would like to see the food at village vino being given away for as little as possible in order to facilitate more and better wine drinking. The little snacks and bites are hard pressed to compose an entire meal, and I would have felt more strongly encouraged to explore the wine menu if the food had been a non-issue in terms of cost, quantity, or quality. To wit, make the food act as an excuse to drink more. Everybody likes that kind of excuse.

Pacific Magazine Features Village Vino

From wineries to wine bars, here are a couple dozen of San Diego’s all-time grapes

There was a time not long ago when the average drinker couldn’t tell the difference between a buttery Chardonnay and a peachy wine cooler. But in a short decade, San Diegans have become notably more wine savvy in the face of 50 wineries established within the county and dozens operating in nearby Temecula.

read more http://www.pacificsandiego.com/?s=Village+Vino

San Diego Magazine Review

There is no doubt about it, Village Vino has been very fortunate to receive generous reviews from our guests and from several publications, including San Diego Magazine.  We're committed to creating an experience that is different from the typical wine bar, and are grateful for the support of our concept.

Wine tip of the day:  Don't own a wine cellar or wine refrigerator?  When serving red wine, put it in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before serving to bring it to proper serving temperature.  When serving white wine, take it out of the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to bring it to proper serving temperature.  Pop the cork and enjoy!