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Bine and Vine in Normal Heights is right across the street from Lestat's in a former drug store. The shop has the look of a convenience store, but it's almost entirely dedicated to craft beer and wine sales. The interesting word "bine" implies a climbing plant similar to a vine that's characterized by spiral shaped growth around a support.

Like Bottlecraft in little Italy or Clem's in Kensington, Bine and Vine's inventory is focused on "good stuff." Beers from European and American craft brewers fill the coolers and the racks at the store's center cradle a short but compelling selection of wines. In some respects, the selection is breathtaking. One reach-in cooler has bottles of French cider that will boggle the mind of any Julian Hard Cider fan. Another shelf has bottles of mead in many flavors. The wines are a mix of New- and Old World stuff and it's no exaggeration to say that there's a little something for everyone.

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As it is, the store has an under-stocked feel. Perhaps that's a good thing, as having too much inventory leads eventually to product decay, but curiosity wants to see what new and interesting things turn up.

The only real fault is that the majority of beer is confined to the coolers, so buying room temperature bottles for cellaring (or at least storing outside of a refrigerator) isn't much of an option. The wines don't have this problem, and there are plenty of whites in the chill chest for impromptu purchase as well.

Bine and Vine's inventory is narrow, but deep, like a chasm or a deep ocean rift. While the selections are limited to fine wines and craft beers, the variability within that slender definition is great and anyone looking to go beyond the immediate reach of the tap lists at BLAH or Small Bar would do well to pop in and refresh his personal holdings. The shop is implementing an online ordering system at bineandvine.com, which, despite cryptic shipping policies, could extend opportunities for others who are sadly estranged from a good beer and wine shop.

3334 Adams Avenue
619-795-2463
Open daily 10-10

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Comments

Geoi Oct. 9, 2012 @ 11 a.m.

Hi, This is Geoi, owner and beer buyer at Bine & Vine. Just wanted to respond to the comment:

...the majority of beer is confined to the coolers, so buying room temperature bottles for cellaring (or at least storing outside of a refrigerator) isn't much of an option.

The beers we stock on our dry shelves are ones that are maltier, with higher alcohol, are more sturdy and ones that you can generally cellar. Unlike a majority of stores, we'd never store "sensitive" or more fragile styles of beer at room temp. This is to maintain freshness. What makes us different is we actually drink our product and know how to properly store each style. So while it may seem that only a small portion of our vast selection (600 beers and growing everyday) is available at room temp, know that there's a "method to our madness."

Also, we've only officially been open since April. We're only about half way done stocking and remodeling. Big things to come!

Thanks,

Geoi Bachoua Bine & Vine Bottle Shop 3334 Adams Avenue San Diego, CA 92116 PH: 619-795-BINE (2463) FX: 619-795-VINE (8463)

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errantnight Oct. 9, 2012 @ 11:55 a.m.

"The only real fault is that the majority of beer is confined to the coolers, so buying room temperature bottles for cellaring (or at least storing outside of a refrigerator) isn't much of an option."

This is absolute hogwash.

There is absolutely nothing about having those beers stored in a cooler that will inhibit or damage the long term aging prospects of that beer.

Beer once refrigerated doesn't need to stay refrigerated. Yes, repeated large temperature swings are a bad idea. A single temperature rise (from the fridge to your car to your cellar) will not result in a poor product. The temperature fluctuations and conditions of one's "cellar" are going to have far more impact than that one temperature rise.

By comparison, the light exposure in the room and the temperature swings out on the shelf will be far more damaging to the long term aging prospects of the beer. Indeed, having beers stored in a fridge on-site should do much more to encourage you that the beer you're looking to cellar long term is currently in good condition.

This is true even if you're not planning on cellaring long term. Fridge storage (without fluorescent lights) is ensuring you as stable and well conditioned a bottle as you're going to be able to find. If you need to let it warm up to room temperature, that's going to be better than if it was stored that way in the first place.

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Ian Pike Oct. 9, 2012 @ 12:55 p.m.

It's been my experience that once beer has been chilled, warmed, and re-chilled in sequence like that it acquires that skunky taste, to greater or lesser of an extent. Seems like a big risk to take with good (i.e. expensive) beers. This is usually a problem with beer in kegs when I have been working in restaus and bars in the past. Perhaps it's not as big a deal for bottled beers? Obviously, the systems are different.

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TheBigB Oct. 10, 2012 @ 10:39 a.m.

You need to have a talk with your Reader colleague that usually writes the beer related articles.

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brownclark Oct. 18, 2012 @ 10:35 p.m.

"Bine and Vine in Normal Heights is mainly knwon for craft beers and wine . I must say the store is amazing and have convenient way to store beers . I agree with @ianpake statement “It's been my experience that once beer has been chilled, warmed, and re-chilled in sequence like that it acquires that skunky taste, to greater or lesser of an extent. Seems like a big risk to take with good”. " bars ocala

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