Those of you who know anything about CityBeat and/or the local wine bar scene will probably recognize the name Wine Steals. After all, you ranked this Hillcrest drinkery the greatest in the history of the universe in our 2004, 2005 and 2006 Best Of San Diego readers polls. That's a dynasty, all right, and who knows but that it won't feed on itself this year (we'll find out with Nov. 7's issue).
In fact, the peeps who run the Hillcrest place thought the venue was such a good idea that they've decided to do it again, this time in a location that 80 years ago would have been unheard of. Liberty Station, former home to trillions of Navy recruits since the 1920s and site of a major local military presence until its closure 10 years ago, has its own Wine Steals now, one that's been gathering steam since its April opening. It's in a former tool shed, and the interior looks every bit the part--you'll enjoy your glass of Australia's d'Arenberg Stump Jump Riesling blend, Mendocino's Bliss Merlot and the venue's other 300 selections in a surrounding as comfortably rustic as it gets. What's more, you'll do it for cheap--those two are among several items that go for $5 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. (glasses normally run from $8 to $13, with some bottles priced as low as $15). The venue also holds tastings during the week and offers a good selection of cheeses, meat boards, pizzas and salads. And the view of the directly adjacent Sail Ho Golf Course isn't exactly difficult on the eye.
Wine Steals' second location is at 2970 Truxtun Road, at Liberty Station's very northern end; the number is 619-221-1959. Hours of operation are Mondays, 4 to 11 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Thursdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to midnight. To a man, those recruits remained staunch and vigilant in defense of our right to enjoy this place. The least we can do is oblige.