Wine and Dine: Wine Experiences in Newport Beach
Looking at the wine list before committing to a restaurant or tasting room is common practice for oenophiles. And whether you are looking to experience a wine tasting in a chic room, tasting that perfect red or white over dinner, or exploring Newport Beach’s very own vineyard and winery, we have you covered! Here are the top places to enjoy vino in beautiful Newport Beach, California.
WHERE TO WINE, DINE, AND SHOP
JULIETTE KITCHEN + BAR
Tucked away off of the 73 freeway, Juliette Kitchen + Bar is a rustic, yet warm and inviting, fairly new addition to Newport Beach, with a menu inspired by seasonal and local ingredients and an exquisite wine list that is frequently changing. They offer a variety of wines, such as sparkling, reds, whites, rosé, and if you can’t seem to decide between those, Juliette’s offers a wine flight to boot. When the owners curate the wine themselves, and won’t serve a wine they haven’t tried, you know you’re getting a careful selection of unique quality wines from both local and global varietals. As if Juliette’s Kitchen + Bar wasn’t already the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine, the adjoining wine shop offers an impressive selection of bottle offerings, which can be enjoyed in the restaurant with no corkage fee.
Must Try: Richard Perry 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon ~ Coombsville, Napa Valley, California
Conveniently located at beautiful Fashion Island is this fresh California-inspired Italian kitchen, with a rustic country farmhouse flare, which is also an unbeatable wine shop. CUCINA Enoteca welcomes guests into their restaurant and wine shop by surrounding visitors with walls stacked full of various wines; an unmistakable reminder that they take their wine very seriously.
CUCINA has an extensive, well-thought-out wine selection, and offers bottles for near retail prices. In addition to unbeatable bottled prices and monthly special wine deals, CUCINA has a great selections of red, pink, and white wines by the glass to be enjoyed with their farm-fresh modern Italian dishes. The restaurant also offers the ultimate refreshing wine-based libation, Sangria, in both red and white wine varieties. Served with the rocks with chunks of fruit, this sweet wine creation is perfect for those beautiful Newport Beach sunny days.
Guests can feel good about indulging in wine at CUCINA because each month the restaurant partners with a charity to raise awareness, by donating $1 for every bottle or glass of the CUCINA private label wine or carafe of the CUCINA tap wine sold as a part of their Sip + Support program.
Must Try: Braida di Bologna 2011 Bricco dell’Uccellone Barbera d’Asti ~ Piemonte, Italy
A RESTAURANT AND A MARKET
As if being the oldest operating restaurant in Orange County since 1926 wasn’t reason enough to visit this restaurant, their wine list and special offerings will surely catch your attention. This Newport Beach landmark restaurant, was seen many famous including John Wayne, in fact you can still sit at “his” table, located next to the fireplace. A restaurant has plenty of weekly wine specials during their discounted social hour, to taste a variety of vino without breaking the bank.
A Market is situated right next door and in addition to selling a great collection of bottles of wine to take home with you, they have a delicious breakfast and lunch dining menu of they own (if you are in the mood for a more quick and casual experience).
Must Try: Clos de l’Oratoire Des Papes 2012 Blanc ~ Rhone, France
WHERE TO WINE AND DINE
THE WINERY RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR
Prepare to experience the relaxing atmosphere of wine country, while enjoying the beautiful view of the Newport Harbor, over a glass of wine. The Winery is situated in Mariner’s Mile on Pacific Coast Highway and offers a contemporary dining experience, complimented by a weekly evolving worldly wine list, currently offering 650 selections for guests to choose from. There is truly something for everyone’s palate at The Winery, and guests are sure to leave satisfied with the help from the restaurant’s certified team of sommeliers. These experts apply their wine expertise to effectively guide diners to the right wine to pair with their meal, as well as their palate. Within the restaurant, the Winery holds up to 7,500 bottles of wine in their climate-controlled wine cellars, which guests can look into touring!
Must Try: Agrapart “Minéral” 2007 Extra Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs ~ Côtes des Blancs, France
FLEMINGS PRIME STEAKHOUSE AND WINE BAR
Flemings stays true to their passion for steak and wine, by offering guests the finest prime steak to be paired with any one (or two) of their hand-selected 100 selections of wine by the glass. One hundred offerings may seem overwhelming, but Fleming’s makes ordering and enjoying your wine easy, by offering guests an iPad to quickly search for in-depth information about wine options to guide them to the perfect glass. Located a short walk from the center of Fashion Island, Flemings provides the perfect atmosphere for an after work drink with friends, or a moment of relaxation after a long day of shopping.
Must Try: Dom Perignon 2004 Brut ~ Champagne, France
The Bungalow offers a craftsman style experience and atmosphere with fine dining, and an extensive wine list, right in the heart of Corona del Mar. Their award-winning wine list gives guests twenty premium wines by the glass, and over 160 bottles straight from their wine cellar to choose from. A favorite spot to the locals, The Bungalow is surely a social spot to grab a bite and a quality glass of wine, right off of Pacific Coast Highway and only minutes away from shopping and entertainment.
Must Try: Numanthia 2009 ‘Termanthia’ Tinta de Toro ~ Toro, Zamora, Spain
WHERE TO EXPERIENCE
NEWPORT BEACH VINEYARDS AND WINERY
Overlooking the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and Ecological Estuary is Newport Beach’s best-kept secret, the Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery. The 1,000 square foot private lot offers scheduled tours, private events, and reserved wine tasting experiences. In addition to 1,200 vines on a third of the property, Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery has its very own underground wine cave, which houses the Vineyards oak barrels. Come to relax and experience first-hand about Newport Beach’s very own impressive vineyard and winery. If you are strapped on time, or want to get a taste of the Winery’s offerings before visiting, you can purchase a selection of their wines at local shops and restaurants, such as Juliette’s Kitchen + Bar, Il Barone, and Newport Beach Vineyard and Winery’s partner in cheese and charcuterie, Corona del Mar’s Vin Goat.
Must Try: Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery 2010 OC Estate Unobtainium Red Blend ~ Newport Beach, California
ORANGE COAST WINERY
Founded in 2011, Orange Country Winery delivers a personable experience to guests, who can “sip, savor, and taste the difference”, at two different Newport Beach locations. The Corona del Mar location offers a more upscale atmosphere, while their original Newport Beach location remains casual, warm, and inviting for any occasion. Orange Coast Winery is open to the public weekly, Thursdays through Sundays, and is available to book for private events. The founders of Orange Coast Winery are involved and carefully overlook ever step of the process, from the “dirt to the glass”, a passion which is undoubtedly noticeable in their signature offerings.
Must Try: Orange Coast Winery 2008 Orange Bubbly ~ Mendocino, California
Founded in 1999, Wine Gallery is located in a prime spot of Corona del Mar, walking distance from the beach, near The Bungalow restaurant. Although located in a busy area, the Wine Gallery and Shop maintains the intimate atmosphere that makes a night out wine tasting all the better, and is the perfect place for a fun, sophisticated private event. Wine Gallery offers a wide variety of wines to choose from, as well as wine flights for a great price. Providing the opportunity to sample and compare rare and interesting wines. Situated close to quality restaurants, and an upscale movie theater, the Wine Gallery serves as the ideal place to relax and indulge with friends before dinner or a movie.
Must Try: Nikolaihof Wacahu 2012 Gruner Veltliner ~ Wachu, Austria
Whether you are looking for a balanced Bordeaux or glass of bubbly, Newport Beach provides the perfect backdrop to swirl, smell and sip. Cheers!