Jan. 5 2011 03:15 PM

A reservation at Wine Vault & Bistro

bottlerocket

I tend to be a fairly deductive, analytical person. I can connect the dots and understand how and why things work. I'm not, however, a particularly suspicious person, so often this is an ability that only really does me right after the fact.

Case in point: A few days before Christmas, my wife had no problem whatsoever surprising me with a reservation at Wine Vault & Bistro in Mission Hills (3731-A India St., winevaultbistro.com). It was a good get, as far as I was concerned—10 courses, paired with five different wines. I'm a fan of the place and its tasting dinners (check the website for upcoming events), because the food is excellent, the presentation is lovely, the wine pairings are well-considered and the prices are reasonable. Everything you sample is for sale, so if you run into a wine you enjoy with your meal—and I often do—you just take a bottle home.

But the dinner itself wasn't the only part of the evening that was surprising. I tend to go for complex, full-bodied reds, but the wine that found its way to my table at home was a bottle of 2008 Ranch White, from Halter Ranch Vineyard out of Paso Robles. It's rich and ripe with peach and honey when it hits your mouth, before smoothing out into a lengthy peppery finish. It was like a ray of sunshine in the dark, nasty weather we've been having, and it came home with us for just $12. As surprises go, that's a pretty good one.

Calendar

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28