The Cave Wine Bar Opens in La Jolla! It isn’t often that you find a wine bar and tasting room that doubles as a gourmet restaurant, but the brand-new Cave Wine Bar & Bistro on Prospect Street in beautiful downtown La Jolla manages to do just that. It may be small, but it’s packed with more than 700 wines – 600 of which are available for bottle purchase and 110 of which are offered by the glass. The unique little shop is the brainchild of owner and manager Thomas McGlone, whose interest lies in discovering, purchasing, and selling very small-production wines; high-quality, exclusive, and oftentimes very rare vintages that you won’t see offered anywhere else.
The Blue Book got the opportunity to chat with Thomas just 8 days after he opened his doors to the public. Though still in the very early stages of business, he plans on having a full menu available in just a couple of weeks.
Inside The Cave & Menu
A cozy, communal table occupies a large portion of the Wine Bar’s main room, resulting in a community atmosphere that lends itself well to sharing food and chatting with friendly strangers. “The idea,” Thomas explained, “is to be an inviting place that friendly people will naturally gravitate to; the communal table might scare some people away, but if you’re looking for a place to chat and get to know other people who love wine, it’s great.”
Several items currently grace the Wine Bar’s menu, which will be available in two weeks’ time, including fresh crab dip, gazpacho, gourmet salads, linguine, soft pretzels with tarragon truffle oil, and seared sashimi served made-to-order on a block of salt. Thomas and his employees only buy their ingredients from local farmer’s markets or grocery stores, and when they don’t have something, he gets it shipped in straight from Hawaii; most recently, Hawaiian peppers, mangoes, and Key limes. The Wine Bar will also be serving breakfast 7 days a week from 8am-12pm, which will include things like pumpkin spiced waffles topped with strawberry puree and key lime butter, deviled-egg sandwiches, a 3-egg omelette, and eggs benedict served with homemade jalapeño jelly. Needless to say, we’re excited to do some serious lunching and brunching here!
Happy Hour will also be daily from 4-6pm, and will include 1/2 priced food items and $3 sangria, $2 pilsner, and $2 Bloody Maria’s – which are essentially a Bloody Mary minus the vodka and plus some tequila!
A Little Bit About the Owner
Thomas grew up with a knack for business and an early interest in wine: when he was 18, his then-girlfriend purchased him a wine book, and he was instantly fascinated. He began experimenting with different flavors, and quickly developed a flair for tasting. Soon enough, he was the owner of 24 different stores and restaurants; currently, he owns 4 (some in Florida and two here in California) and will soon be expanding into Fort Worth.
The Cave Wine Bar boasts one of the largest by-the-glass wine lists in the country. Thomas brings them in from all over, but keeps a heavy focus on California’s Sonoma and northern regions. He offers a well-stocked international section, as well; Spain, Italy, France, Argentina, and Chile are just a few. He has actually developed his own scoring system that involves four categories, and every wine must pass the test in each category before he will stock it in-store: bouquet (or smell), taste, uniqueness (production number, whether or not its sold in grocery stores, and who nearby is carrying it), and value, which he explains has less to do with price and more to do with taste and quality. And he isn’t stingy! He’ll regularly pour customers a 6.35-ounce glass, and is increasing his supply at an almost constant rate.
Head over to 1237 Prospect Street to check out one of La Jolla’s newest additions! At $7 for just 5 tastings and food that’s made fresh in-house, the place is affordable and unique – and perfect for wine-lovers, food aficionados, or just a casual night out with friends. Visit thecavebistro.com for more information.
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