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The San Diego Wine Company
5282 Eastgate Mall, Miramar
(858) 535-1400
The WineSellar and Brasserie
9550 Waples Street, Mira Mesa
(858) 450-9557
Vintage Wines
6904 Miramar Road, Miramar
(858) 549-2112

The Wine Bank
363 Fifth Avenue,
Gaslamp Quarter
(800) 940-WINE

Where you go to sip your Saturday away depends on what you're looking for, and when you're looking for it. For value and variety, it's the San Diego Wine Company. From 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., $5 will get you pour-your-own samples of about a dozen wines from all over the map: some bargains, some gems, some both. The decor is spare, the tasting space can be crowded (there are no chairs), but there is plenty of good bread and wine. If you want chairs, tasteful decor, and excellent food, try the WineSellar and Brasserie, which holds Saturday lunch tastings starting at 11:30, usually costing $15 to $25 (lunch is an additional $9.50 and makes the event a delightful afternoon date). Tastings are themed and often off the beaten track: Pinot Grigios one week, Santa Barbara wineries the next. Reservations required. Vintage Wines does not hold its 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. tastings every Saturday (call for information or to request a newsletter), but when they do, the offerings are worthy: from such quality producers as Ridge, Ravenswood, and Rosenblum, Arrowood, DeLoach, and Marimar Torres. Prices dip as low as $10, but usually hover around $18. The tasting room is attractive and comfortable, the attendees well-versed. Reservations required. Finally, if you're looking to start off an evening downtown, descend the stairs at the Wine Bank and wend your way back to the rustic bar for their afternoon (3:00 p.m.) tastings. They are themed here as well, and prices bounce between $10 and $30.

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