The wide world of wines from La Costa Wine Company

Frank and I had the pleasure of visiting Michelle Velchek’s La Costa Wine Company at The Beacon Mall in Carlsbad.

The center is growing every month with new stores and restaurants, including big names, such as Steak ‘n Shake and Sweetgreen, and smaller stores, such as La Costa Wine and The Wise Ox, a butcher shop that also serves sandwiches from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. pm every day.

When we walked into La Costa Wine Co. and saw the wooden display and inventory shelves throughout the store with wines from California, the United States and around the world, including those from Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, I had a flashback.

When I was a kid, I remember the late sportscaster Jim McKay saying, “This is ABC’s Wide World of Sports. At La Costa Wine Co., it felt like Velchek’s “Wide World of Wines.”

She’s owned the store for eight years, and after buying it, she moved it a few miles down the street to the current location of The Beacon mall.

Like everything, you get what you pay for in life. Compared to big-box stores with little or no assistance, Velchek and his team pride themselves on customer service, a full wine bar with daily tastings, and monthly pop-up dinners from Chef Erin Sealy.

“Our favorite is when guests are throwing a party, and we can help with wine pairings. Even with additional staff, we can keep our prices competitive,” Velchek said.

Most bottles are in the affordable $20-$40 range, but those willing to splurge can find jaw-dropping wines like Rutherford Staglin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014. The Wine Bar, with plenty of bar tables or quant, offers $10 wine flights on Wednesdays with three 3 oz. pours.

Saturday and Sunday flights cost between $25 and $35 and include four or five 3 oz. pours. Customers can also create their own personalized tastings, have wine by the glass, buy a bottle from the store and open it ($5 cork for bottles under $25, free if over $25) or even bring their own. own special bottle ($20 cap).

Flights begin daily at 4:00 p.m., shop and bar hours are Monday-Friday 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Saturday hours are extended to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday , the store closes at 6 p.m.

Additionally, customers can enjoy the robust selection of cheeses from around the world during tastings. Great job, La Costa Wine Co team, offering a full-service wine boutique with monthly wine dinners to bring the La Costa community together! See

Christophe Cevasco in a corner of Del Mar

It’s been a busy week for Frank and me. We reviewed The Butcher Shop, visited La Costa Wine Co. and attended a media event at Cevasco’s in Del Mar with restaurateur and executive chef Christophe Cevasco, owner of Cevasco’s and upstairs BeeSide Balcony in a corner of Olde Del Mar.

Cevasco is a third generation chef of Spanish and Italian descent. Originally from Paris, France, Christophe’s career in the restaurant industry began at age 17 in the kitchen of his father’s restaurant in Pasadena when they first emigrated to the United States.

In 2011, after returning from a SoCal hiatus where he was working in Las Vegas, he spent eight years as a managing partner at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood in La Jolla, furthering his knowledge of fine dining and world-class service. . Christophe recently returned to his roots as Executive Chef at Cevasco’s and BeeSide Balcony.

(Left to right) Cevasco’s octopus ceviche, fried tortellini and arancini happy hour plates. Photo by Rico Cassoni

With a daily happy hour from 3-6pm, Cevasco’s, with its bar, indoor tables and corner tables overlooking “Where the Turf Meets the Surf”, is a perfect place to grab cocktails, beer, wine , happy hour, a dinner, a game, meet up with friends in a relaxed atmosphere, etc.

Those wanting a jaw-dropping view during dinner might want to start at Cevasco and then migrate upstairs to its BeeSide Balcony restaurant, with stunning views and a more extensive menu.

We were lucky enough to sample several dishes from the very affordable happy hour shareable menu. The octopus ceviche, fried tortellini, arancini (crispy rice balls, black truffle and spicy marinara), Taco Loco street tacos with brisket and the BBQ beef brisket slider were beyond happy hour cooking.

Those who want traditional dishes for dinner will be delighted to choose entrees ranging from salad with or without protein, Raw Bar seafood, noodles (Italian pasta dishes), The Grill with surf and turf options, and From the Sea plates that include sesame-crusted tuna, grilled salmon, and Halibut Piccata made with freshly delivered seafood.

The $9 Happy Hour cocktails, $5 wells, $5 wines and $3 beers are also sure to please. Also, Christophe had fantastic wine choices for Bubbles & Rosé, New World whites and reds and World whites and reds. Most notable was the Gaja Promis, Super Tuscan. Frank and I did a double take seeing this as a pick by the glass. It was a delicious choice with our fare!

We look forward to an upcoming BeeSide Balcony review. Great job, Executive Chef Christophe and bartender Jake King. Additional information on

wine bytes

Fall CRUSH returns to the Temecula Valley after a two-year hiatus due to coronavirus showcasing wines from over 30 member wineries in one location! The outdoor event will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 17 at Monte de Oro, 35820 Rancho California Road, with early access ticket holders getting entry at 7 p.m. Tickets are $105 and $115 for VIP/Early Access. Get tickets here:

— Sal Ercolano, owner of Flora Bar and Kitchen in Carmel Valley, is hosting a five-course dinner with Ferrari Carano wine at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21 and Thursday, September 22. The main course features venison loin in a cabernet reduction with root vegetables paired with a Tresor Bordeaux red blend. The cost is $75 per person plus tax/tip. RSVP to 858.461.0622.

Rico Cassoni is executive producer for Taste of Wine & Food. Founder and Advisor Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator. They are two of the leading reviews on the web. See their reviews on Contact them at [email protected]

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