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Beachfront restaurant Poseidon is over-the-top delicious, a triumph of Executive Chef Jamal. Courtesy photo
ColumnsFood & WineTaste of Wine

Taste of Wine: Poseidon restaurant; DAOU evolves and transcends

Perhaps some readers have noticed the shift in DAOU’s branding from Vineyards to Family Estates. Both Frank and I love this change as it really captures the essence of what DAOU is all about, FAMILY. Two brothers, who are best friends, are running one of, if not, the fastest growing wine operations in the US and possibly the world.

2018 DAOU Family Cuvee
2018 DAOU Family Cuvee. Courtesy photo

Georges and Daniel are steeped in family heritage with wines dedicated to their father, Joseph (Soul of a Lion), and mother, Marie (Mayote). The 2018 vintages of these estate-sourced 94-96+ point wines released just this month. Critics are saying the 2018 Soul of a Lion is arguably the best release ever!

Speaking of new releases, DAOU sells its 2018 Family Cuvee exclusively at Costco ($99). This Bordeaux style, cabernet sauvignon dominated Cuvee is aged in 100% new French oak for 21 months and blended with petit verdot, merlot, and cabernet franc perfecting this 96 point Wine Enthusiast winner.

Like all DAOU wines, it features deep purple, black color, great fruit flavor and hints of currant, spice, and vanilla. The soft structured tannins make this drinkable today or decades from now.

Talking about points, a HUGE congrats to DAOU for its recent 100 point tasting panel (perfect) score for the 2018 PATRIMONY Caves des Lions being released this spring. Also, the new PATRIMONY Estate, which we covered a few weeks ago, will soon be planting the first 13 of 70 plantable acres of the 269-acre estate.

Back to the Family Estates name, another great reason we love this new branding is seeing the next generation contributions of the DAOU children. Daniel’s oldest daughter, Katherine, who is DAOU’s Social Media Manager & Brand Ambassador, was just recognized for her Instagram @TheThiirsty podcast by Good Morning America news. Congrats Katherine! Daniel’s daughter Lizzy is a DAOU winemaker and daughter Anna assists with farming and viticulture.

DAOU Family Estates continues to evolve and transcend with memories of Joseph and Marie Daou, Georges and Daniel’s world-renowned efforts, and the next generation of Daous working in operations, winemaking, and viticulture. Daniel and Georges would say the best yet to come! Visit

— Story by Tech Director/Writer Rico Cassoni

All Aboard the Good Ship Poseidon

This photo could have been taken on a luxury cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico but it wasn’t.  It was taken last week in the middle of winter in Del Mar, less than 10 miles from my SoCal Carlsbad home. Del Mar is a surfing fiefdom where soaking in the sunset is a rite of passage.

The “luxury cruise ship” is really the deck of the Poseidon restaurant, with coastal cuisine on the beach and a front-row view of the best natural show the world has to offer, the daily sunset. Poseidon seems to flow with the tide, sand and surf. You could be in Santorini Greece, Portofino Italy or Nice France with a setting like this.

The Greek family that first set its eyes on this site in 1968, the Ranglas Family, built Poseidon and the Del Mar Hotel for uninterrupted views of the coastal beach panorama. The setting, still owned by the same family, has been perfected over the years and is now truly the best beach vibe along the San Diego coast.

I could go on about the ambiance of the location but we all know restaurants can’t thrive on only the view.  It’s the food and wine that make it happen.

You have to meet Poseidon’s Executive Chef Jamal. He loves to have a glass of wine in hand for inspiration and understands its relationship to his food creations. Raised with Moroccan cooking, he has flavored his Mediterranean-style menu with a classic farm-to-table discipline.

He reminded me that “Poseidon offers a blend of menu items that come together for unique flavors combining a strong seafood and farm bond.” He went on to say that “Poseidon enjoys the freshness and quality of sustainable seafood, meat and produce.

We source all of our seafood in accordance with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood watch guidelines.”

You want to get what this is all about by ordering two menu items.  The first is the Crispy Calamari with blistered Shishito peppers, lemongrass dipping sauce and Fresno chili glaze. That’s just for openers.

The best example (and my personal favorite) is the Chilean Sea Bass with a lemon pepper crust, parsnips silk, chilled heirloom cherry tomatoes and fava beans relish with lemongrass beurre blanc sauce. Wash it down with Trione Pinot Noir, a 2016 vintage from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma.

This wine has accentuated fruit components with 20% whole cluster in the fermenter for bold full-bodied goodness ($15./glass).  For Trione, visit  For Poseidon, visit

Wine Bytes

— An Italian Weekend Brunch highlights Saturdays and Sundays at Flora Bar & Kitchen in Carmel Valley, from10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  On Saturdays, it’s live music with the “Dirty Martinis” band.  Top your entrée selection with Bottomless Mimosas for $14. Make a reservation at 858-461-0622.

— Carruth Cellars Urban Winery in the Cedros Design Center Solana Beach is celebrating its 11th annual Barrel Tasting Party Sat. March 20 and Sun. March 21.

Taste your way through the best wines in the cellar straight from the barrel. Reserve a private time slot (4 to 6 people per slot) to enjoy 10+ wine varietals, a souvenir glass, live music and food trucks. Purchase wine before release at a generous discount. This is a 21+ socially distanced experience and mask-wearing will be enforced. The cost is $56. for members, $70. public. Tickets at Phone 858-847-WINE.

— Gianni Buonomo Vintners, named Best San Diego Winery the past two years by San Diego Magazine, is inviting the public to have their artwork on a wine label ($100 winner). Submissions accepted through 4/23.

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