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By Allison Jarrell
South Orange County is brimming with wine bars and brewpubs ready to showcase their best beverages, so why not sample a few at a time with a flight? Most restaurants in the area are willing to let you sample a few varieties of beer or wine at a time, so take advantage of the opportunity and discover your new favorite libation this summer.
What follows is just a sampling of the beer and wine flights you can find throughout the tri-city area.
301 N. El Camino Real
A perennial winner of “Best Beer Selection” in San Clemente, Pizza Port is a great choice for local beer aficionados and visitors alike. The brewers at Pizza Port craft their own beer—made fresh on the premises—and offer a little bit of everything, from IPAs, porters and stouts, to pale ales, saisons and Belgian tripels. If you can’t decide on one of Pizza Ports’ 60-plus handcrafted beers on tap, they also offer about a dozen guest beers on draught at any given time. Better yet—try a little bit of everything with a flight (or two) and sip away while enjoying a fresh-baked pizza pie. Head online to Pizza Port’s website to take a look at what’s on tap.
156 Avenida Del Mar
The Cellar is the best of several worlds– it’s a wine bar, cheese shop, and a cozy, classy environment where visitors can take a seat after traversing Avenida Del Mar and enjoy some fine dining and a drink. Patrons can choose from a variety of cleverly crafted wine flights, some of which include California Dreamin’ (Chardonnay), Ventura Highway (California’s Central Coast), and Love is Blind (a blind tasting where customers can choose red or white wine). The Cellar also offers an array of shareable dishes, including a customizable cheese board, as well as craft beer flights for that friend who isn’t into vino.
34094 Pacific Coast Highway
The Craft House is fairly new to the Dana Point food scene, but it’s already making waves with lovers of both fine dining and craft beer. The local eatery features eight craft brews on tap, and guests can select any four beers to make their own flight. The craft beer all comes from breweries within 40 miles of the restaurant—from San Diego to Paso Robles. Worth checking out is the eatery’s house beer on tap called 1914 Heritage Ale—an extra special bitter style co-branded with AleSmith Brewing Company of San Diego.
Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana
32860 Pacific Coast Highway
Located in Monarch Bay Plaza, Angelina’s offers its patrons the chance to enjoy authentic Neapolitan pizza and Italian fare accompanied by flights of fine wine from various regions in Italy, such as Tuscany, Chianti, Piedmont and Puglia. Wine flights are available all day and include options like rosé, white, red or red reserve. Each flight comes served on a handcrafted wood board and includes three different wines. Customers can also add a bruschetta pairing to any flight—enjoy a Chianti Classico with Bruschetta Pomodoro (cherry tomatoes and fennel) or a Kimìa Moscato with Bruschetta Funghi (gorgonzola cheese and mushrooms). Each wine comes with a printed token so you can remember which sips were your favorite.
San Juan Capistrano:
31896 Plaza Drive, Suite D3
With 30 rotating craft beers on tap and more than 100 bottles stocked, The BrewHouse is an oasis for beer aficionados in South Orange County. Many of the bar’s draught beers come from Southern California, with a specific focus on featuring up-and-coming Orange County breweries, like Chapman Crafted in Orange, or Network Brewery in Santa Ana. True lovers of brew will also find gems from across the country—from Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing to Michigan’s Founders Brewing Co. Stop by and try a taster of a local IPA, or grab a flight and sample an array of beers from around the county and country. Added bonus—you can plan in advance by checking out what’s on tap on The BrewHouse website.
Five Vines Wine Bar
31761 Camino Capistrano, #11
For four years in a row, Five Vines Wine Bar has taken home the gold for “Best Wine Selection” in San Juan Capistrano, and it’s no secret as to why the cozy wine bar keeps earning that accolade. Five Vines offers guests a selection of more than 60 small lot boutique wines from around the world, which can be enjoyed by the taste, glass, flight or bottle. Taste your way through the bar’s entire rotating wine list with flights of three 2-ounce tasters—chose from a preselected flight or create your own. Guests can also enjoy their wine with an array of small bites and live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Read the rest of the 2017 Go See Do special section here: