OK let’s just get this out of the way- to somebody based in California anywhere north of Carlsbad, Escondido might feel like a world away.  Tucked out east of Oceanside and a little too far from downtown San Diego, this town might go unrecognized by more mainstream wine consumers.  However, Holiday Wine Cellar, an Escondido landmark since 1965, is a wine-lover’s destination!

This place is stocked with one the greatest assortments of wine, beer and liquor I have seen- and it’s complete with a curled rod-iron staircase leading down into a cellar which holds a tasting room and an automatic wine tasting machine.  Speaking of which…


I found this amazing Zilliken Spatlese Reisling from 1992 on tap!  The bottle cost is a steal at $35.99.  Jim Kern, the wine director, graciously offered me a taste of the wine.  The nose was classic German: petrol, mud and wet rocks. In the mouth it was round and glycerine with the most beautiful pop of acidity and a languid honeydew melon on the mid-palate.  Even with almost 10 years in the bottle, this wine will surely continue to develop for many years.  Simply breathtaking.  Buy this now!  You won’t be sorry.

Holiday Wine Cellar is a local institution and a wine-lover’s paradise.  Complete with retro 1960’s architecture and stocked with interesting, affordable finds, this place is worth the effort to see for yourself.

About The Author

I love all things Italian: the beautiful country of Italia, the Italians themselves, the language, the food… and above all, I love Italian wine. The people I meet in my charmed life are fascinating, the wines are extraordinary. I needed a special place like this to write about them, and to remember them.

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