• 80's Night!, featuring Poisonous and Livin on a Prayer, on Friday, July 22, at 9 p.m. • Punk Rocker Night, featuring Generator, Socially Distorted, and Tawnie and the Replaceables, on Friday, July 29, at 9 p.m. • Dazed and Confused, Back 2 Black, Rushed, and DJ ManCat, on Friday, August 5, at 9 p.m. • 70's vs. 80's Night, featuring Wayward Sons, Way Cool Jr., and DJ ManCat, on Friday, August 12, at 9 p.m. • Beatles vs. Stones Night, featuring Rubber Souls, Rocks Off, and Elite Elvis Tribute, on Friday, August 19, at 9 p.m. • 90's Night, featuring Red Not Chili Peppers, Vitalogy, No Duh!, and DJ ManCat, on Friday, August 26, at 9 p.m.
At the helm of his urban winery in the heart of the Cedros Design District, winemaker Adam Carruth handcrafts award-winning wines, including the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Best in Class Alexander Valley Cabernet, from grapes he fastidiously collects from all over California. His team handles the production of each varietal from crush to finish, aging juices in barrels that line the walls of the industrial-chic tasting room. The final products—which range from a crisp sauvignon blanc to a bordeaux-style Surfing Madonna—slosh into customized stemware for patrons’ enjoyment seven days a week. Also in the tasting room, guests can peruse the exhibited work of local artists, break into crunchy baguettes from Bread & Cie or nibble on cheese.
Live music streams from the stage at beach-themed Cardiff Beach Bar at Tower 13 while servers deliver beer battered mahi mahi tacos with smoked poblana crema. Behind the full bar, adorned with flat screen TVs, staff members dispense frosty draft brews into pint glasses and mix cocktails.
Commercial pilots certified by the Federal Aviation Administration welcome guests to tours of Southern California aboard hot air balloons. As guests enter into sheared baskets, the pilots offer them complimentary champagne and non-alcoholic beverages before taking off. Sightseeing trips include flights over Temecula Wine Country at sunrise as well as romantic rides along the Pacific coast at sunset.
Ken Mills and Michael Bartley didn’t stop enjoying global culture when they left their positions as food and beverage managers for Hornblower Cruises. They just brought that appreciation ashore at Wine Steals, their casual wine bar and market. Aided by Ken’s wife, Wendy, and certified specialist of wine Tasha Kuxhausen, they fill the bar’s barrels and shelves with more than 40 international wines.
Like Ken and Michael, executive chef Jeff Cunningham also earned his sea legs, serving in the US Navy and as a galley cook. In addition to arranging artisanal meat and cheese boards, Jeff crafts wine-themed international flavor combinations that either spread onto pizzas or curl up into sandwiches. For example, the pinot noir combo mixes Italian flavors of prosciutto, asiago, mozzarella, and white truffle oil.
Servers suggest ideal pairings to novice and experienced oenophiles as they pass drinks and plates across a 14-seat stone bar topped with European-style zinc. Above the bar, a chalkboard framed by wine barrels lists 40 vintages available by the half glass, glass, or bottle. Throughout the space, plush couches and chairs gather around wine barrels with wooden tabletops for more intimate gatherings or heated staring-contest championships. Wine Steals’ casual approach to wine and eclectic food has earned it the title of Best Wine Bar in the San Diego Union-Tribune's 2012 readers' poll.
History is full of illustrious matches: Antony and Cleopatra, Woody and Mia Farrow, Romeo and Master P. Today’s Groupon brings you the successor in this historic pairing lineage: wine and grilling. For $30, you’ll get $65 worth of food and drink at Firefly Grill & Wine Bar, an Encinitas eatery where grilled fare and great bottles live happily ever after in a charming fantasyland where everyone is best friends with their stomachs. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.