Five Vines Wine Bar came up on a search for wine bars located nearby. We had the place practically to ourselves when we arrived shortly after 4pm, but it was hopping with locals when we left a few hours later.After a busy day of driving around SoCal, we needed a rest (plus it was almost cocktail hour). Luckily,
Located in heart of San Juan Capistrano, Five Vines is named for the family of five who own the bar. We met Suzy (aka “Vine #2”) who was a terrific hostess. She and another gal handled the front of house expertly, we never had an empty glass on our table.
Five Vines offers over 5o different options by the glass (6oz), taste (2oz) or bottle – with most bottle prices under $50. California heavy list, but I was happy to see a few wines from my beloved home state of Washington (Seven Hills, Nine Hats and Stone Cap), along with a smattering of Italian and French wines. A few sparklers and dessert wines round out the list.
For flights, you can choose from one of their house designed flights (with cutesy names like “Mischievous Malbecs” or “Chillaxed Chardonnays”), or you can put together your own from any of the wines on their list. They also have a “Flying Blind” flight where they’ll pour you three red wines, and if you guess the varietals correctly you get the tasting for free and your picture posted on their Facebook page – something I’d definitely consider trying down the line sometime.
In continuing my personal “California Adventure” of acquiring a greater appreciation and knowledge of the state’s wines, I ordered a flight of three Golden State whites:
- Barlow 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley. Nice citrus and grapefruit, lower acidity than usual for this varietal.
- Victor Hugo 2015 Viognier, Paso Robles. The best of the three with lush peach aromas, but also distinctly smelled of Pillsbury crescent rolls.
- Saracina 2016 Unoaked Chardonnay, Mendocino County. This didn’t taste completely unoaked to me, definitely had some baking spice notes.
Hubs tried a Riesling from Marin County that was positively teeming with petrol aromas, followed by a Pinot Noir from Santa Rita Hills. He liked the Pinot but I thought it came across as thin and tight – and while I would love to be similarly described, not exactly what I’m looking for in my wine. 😉
Also have to give serious props to their playlist – our good friend The White Buffalo’s song came up on the rotation!
Overall – a comfy, unpretentious wine bar with solid, but not over-the-top, service. I’d definitely go back for the personalized flights so I can practice my blind tasting and to have another crack at the Mormor cheese ball – a secret family recipe