I don't find myself in Point Loma often, but I've found a reason to change that. The Wine Pub is a welcoming place for a drink—and a nibble—tucked between a bank and a Thai restaurant in a busy corner of the neighborhood (2907 Shelter Island Drive). After missing a wine pairing dinner there, I was invited to eat, drink and visit with owner Sandy Hanshaw.
Hanshaw and I talked personal tastes in wine and bonded over a shared love of cheese, and I got to see—and taste—what I'd been missing at her wine bar for five years. The pub features indoor and outdoor (dog-friendly) seating, specializes in domestic and new-world wines and emphasizes artisan dishes.
With Hanshaw's guidance, I got to tasting. The Bele Casel Prosecco was a tantalizing start. The crisp, sparkling wine was drinkable on its own, but a subtle nuttiness matched well with walnuts from the cheese-and-charcuterie board.
Next I experimented with two dry reds and other items on the board. The spicy Niner Cabernet Franc blend stood up to hearty prosciutto and salami. Hanshaw noted that this one is a favorite among both patrons and staff. I found my favorite cheese (Sage Derby) paired with my preferred wine (Aviary Cab Sauv), each with herbal notes that enhanced the other.
Another tasty yet simple standout was a cup of butternut squash soup. Though it's a less-obvious choice among shrimp cakes, seared ahi and Angus sliders, I indulged my craving and was heartily satisfied.
The Wine Pub's atmosphere is just as important as the good food and drink. The patio, currently decorated for the holidays, is an ideal spot for a date or a small group. Twinkly lights and a cozy fire pit set a romantic mood, especially when accompanied by live music.
In short, The Wine Pub seems like the type of bar that I'd open—a relaxed environment with a menu that's familiar yet carefully crafted, accessible wines that pair well with food and, I'd be remiss not to mention, a retail section so you can take something tasty with you.