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

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


"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!


Village Vino – Kensington's Newest Neighbor

Village Vino, wine bar and bottle shop, has recently opened in the heart of Kensington, at the corner of Kensington Drive and Adams Avenue, near the Ken Cinema.  

Village Vino owner Rita Pirkl, a Kensington resident and wine aficionado, is excited to share her extensive knowledge of wines with neighbors and friends.  "Village Vino is a friendly place where guests enjoy and learn about unique wines from small family owned and operated wineries, in a relaxed, no-pressure environment" says Pirkl.

Village features more than 20 wines by the taste or glass, as well as large collection of bottle wines for dine in or carry out. In addition, Village Vino offers a selection of beers, non-alcoholic beverages, and a variety of small plate food selections to compliment the extensive wine selection.

In the coming weeks, Village Vino will begin hosting wine classes and tasting events, open to the public via advance reservations on villagevino.com.  Rita and her expert staff will share their passion, experience and knowledge during scheduled tastings and seminars, designed to appeal to wine lovers of all levels of expertise.

Pirkl explains, “We want to be known as a neighborhood gathering place and resource for information sharing and access to interesting wines not available in grocery markets and big box stores. The last thing in the world we want to be is elitist about wine.”