Last Saturday, I finally got the opportunity to visit Splash Wine Bar in Northpark, a trendy little neighborhood in San Diego with several bars and restaurants to satisfy a range of different tastes. I had been dying to visit this local spot for awhile now and finally used my birthday as the perfect excuse!
Learn by drinking doing is Splash’s philosophy! At Splash Wine Bar, they believe that the best way to learn about wine is to drink the wine, which is why when you walk through their doors you’re greeted by a collection of self-serve wine machines. From the wine novice to the beginner, this is the perfect place for anyone looking to expand their palate and find a few new favorites by giving you the option to taste from a selection of 72 bottles of wine that are produced all around the world!
Splash’s unique self-serve machines are organized by price and color, with red wines in the round serving stations as you walk in and white wines located towards the back. It’s a fairly easy system once you get the hang of it.
- Head to the bar and load up a card (think of it as your wine passport) with any dollar amount
- Grab a glass from the drinking station
- Insert your card into the self-serve machine
- Select your wine! (Don’t forget to put your glass under the spout! It’s okay, rookie mistake…)
Not only does this system allow you to try many different varietals from all over the world, but it also gives you the opportunity to try wines that you might not be able to afford by the bottle. Each taste of wine equals out to a one ounce pour. I tried an amazing oaky and buttery Chardonnay from Carneros, California that would have cost me a whopping $40 a bottle, however a “splash” only cost me $4.50.
If wine machines aren’t your thing, they also serve house wine and a revolving selection of wines by the glass, including sparkling wines such as the must-try sparkling Shiraz (has one ever heard of such a thing?!). I enjoyed a glass of their house Chardonnay, made by Fallbrook Winery just north of San Diego.
Aside from wine, Splash offers a nice selection of “small bites” ranging from meat and cheese platters to flatbread pizzas. I’m pretty sure I saw a server come out with a tray of sushi too—but maybe that was just the wine taking effect! Words cannot describe how fantastic their goat cheese and spinach pizza was, so instead I will sum it up with a picture. I also tried their baked brie wedge smothered in raspberry chipotle sauce and served with slices of French bread. It was the perfect combination of salty meets sweet. On a side note, I must say that I love the perks of being a wino because it means getting to experience all the great food that goes along with it!
I enjoyed my experience at Splash so much that I am already dreaming up my next “girl’s night out”. It’s the perfect place to grab drinks after work with a girlfriend or have a first date! The low lighting, decor, and couch seating helps create a very comfortable and intimate environment. While it may be a small venue, it can definitely accommodate a party of ten or less, but I would not suggest going over. If you do decide to bring a large group, call to reserve your space ahead of time in order to avoid wait-time. The owner of Splash, Tracy, was very helpful and willing to work with me on seating, despite my lack of planning!
For more information on Splash, visit their website at asplashofwine.com or visit them in person at 3043 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104.
More pictures from the night: