The Coast News Group
Taste of Wine

It’s all about the flavor at Sublime Tavern

James Limjoco is the easiest interview I have ever had the pleasure to do.

He’s the affable owner of Sublime Tavern with locations in San Marcos, Del Mar and soon to be in North Park.

He’s gone through upgrades in his presentation of comfort food, premium wines by the glass and bottle and an admirable lineup of micro-brewed beers, to keep his diners coming back to his ever changing, flavorful menus.

There’s a lot to cover here, I observed, as I settled in to the Del Mar location, which has more seating, including an outdoor pavilion with a panoramic look at the Del Mar polo grounds. “We’ve been open a year now and the public is coming around to our healthy, new flavor format,” Limjoco enthused.  “We have an extensive choice of wines by the glass, where you can order a quarter, half or full size portion, allowing the customer to try some really big names like Silver Oak for a small price.”

There are over 30 wine choices by the glass, 250 by the bottle and there are the 55 craft beers.  I thought I’d never see beers presented in flights to match up with the menu items ordered.

Sublime did that for me with cutesy suds like:  Allagash Fulux, Tripel Karmeliet, Boulder Shake Chocolate and Port Older Viscosity. I was definitely out of my comfort zone, but this is an important beverage trend that can’t be ignored.

We went through tasty wine selections that also matched up with menu items:  Saxon Brown Semillon white from Alexander Valley Sonoma 2011, Domino Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley, Ore. 2009, Seghesio La Villa Borolo from Piedmont Italy 2007 and a Round PoundCabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2011.

No concerns about loss of freshness on wines by the glass, Limjoco has invested in a large sized Enomatic system of storing and pouring wines that keeps the bottles flavor-fresh for weeks at a time.

And its not just the big Napa names.  “You get a worldwide fine wine experience at Sublime, a lot of different styles of the same varietal, “ he said. “Take Pinot Noir.  You can select a wine from Burgundy or a new world Pinot from Oregon.”

On the food side, try one of eight types of mac n’ cheese. My favorite was “Ecstasy” with Gorgonzola, applewood smoked bacon, mushrooms, roasted red pepper, garlic and thyme. Add truffle oil for a couple of extra dollars.  Pizza, with house made dough has eight ways to go. Try the quirky “Get Figgy Wit It” with figs, prosciutto, arugula, Parmesan, balsamic glaze, olive oil and garlic. Salads and full entrée dinners are also available.

Sublime is in full success mode when a group of people come in, share a bottle of wine, share some food and have a good time.

No problem finding the place.  It’s upstairs, on Via De Valle near El Camino Real, across from the polo field, with lots of free parking. For hours and menus, visit

Wine Bytes

Thornton Winery in Temecula continues its Champagne jazz series with David Sanborn Oct. 19 at 4 p.m. Tickets start at $70. See

Twenty/20 in The Sheraton Hotel Carlsbad presents “Pigs & Pinot” a unique wine dinner event with Jackson Family Wines of Sonoma, Oct. 22.

This is an all-Pinot Noir dinner with five of Jackson’s best Pinots paired with a five-course pork entrée specialties created by Executive Chef Robert Carr.  Reception starts at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m.  Wine descriptions and dialogue by Steve Heimoff;  $75 inclusive.  RSVP for limited seating at (760) 827-2500.

Firefly Encinitas has a Tolosa Winery three-course dinner, Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m.  Cost is $75.  A portion of the dinner will go to support local women who are experiencing financial distress the result of Breast Cancer Diagnosis.  Call for details at (760) 635-1066.

Monte De Oro Winery in Temecula has its second annual Masquerade Wine Dinner Oct. 24 with a reception at 7 p.m., dinner at 7:30 p.m. $70 members, $75 public.  Five-course dinner, plus new wine releases.  Masks required until dinner.  Details at (951) 491-6551.

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.  He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web.  View and link up with his columns  Reach him at [email protected] and follow him on Facebook