I found my wine spot for this summer—The Cellar in San Clemente. After a humid hike along Strands Beach and the Dana Point Headlands, my daughter and I headed south to San Clemente in search of lunch and refreshing wine. With the windows down, tunes blaring, and views of the turquoise waves, our spirits were high. When we pulled right into a free parking spot on Del Mar, we feared things were too good to be true.
Walking into the The Cellar, we spied two teens quietly playing chess while munching on grilled cheese sourdough sandwiches on the deck. And there was a trio of friends laughing in the sun while sharing an amazing cheese plate and bottle of bubbly. This was our kind of place.
Just a few minutes later, I was diving into a grilled peach and burrata salad while enjoying a flight of crisp white wines called 1000 Cranes. My flight included a gavi from Piedmont, a French chardonnay, and a weissburgdunder or pinot blanc. The gavi and the weissburgunder were my favorites as I sipped before my food came. But the chardonnay stole the show once paired with the burrata, which was accented with nut brittle and caramelized citrus vinaigrette. Not wanting the experience to end, we ordered the Cellar Cookie Skillet, which is topped with sea-salt flakes and the chef’s choice of ice cream. Our friendly and fun server, Max, helped me pair the dessert with a glass of Cremant D’Alsace. We giggled that we had just experienced a SoCal day that you usually only read about—a coastal hike in the sunshine, a spectacular summer drive, a scrumptious meal, and a thoughtful wine list complemented by genuine hospitality.