If you know where and when to shop, you can score some great deals on wine in Orange County. Here are a few insider tips I’ve recently learned.
Cucina Enoteca in Irvine Spectrum and soon in Fashion Island: 10 percent off retail price of wine in the restaurant’s wine store(s) on Thrifty Tuesdays. On Sinful Sundays, no corkage fees (normally $8) on all wines over $20 from the restaurant’s wine shop.
Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine, Irvine: Enjoy a bottle of Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet for $49 (regularly $125) on Silver Oak Saturdays 5 to 10 pm.
Sea Legs Wine Bar, Huntington Beach: happy hour Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. at the bar, $5 wines by the glass. Wine Wednesdays offers half-off all bottles of wine with purchase of dinner. Nominated for Best Wine List in Orange County by Golden Foodie Awards.
AnQi Sommelier Sunday: Every Sunday a special wine, normally sold by the bottle only, will be available by the glass. Receive 30 percent off when you order the Sommelier’s Sunday Pick. No corkage fee on Sunday with purchase of Sommelier’s Sunday Pick or a bottle of similar value.
Bonefish Grill, Irvine: Corkage $10 every day.
Wine Exchange, Orange: Pinotpalooza, Feb. 22, 12 to 5 p.m., a tasting of pinot noirs from California and Oregon from the outstanding 2012 vintage. Only $29.
Hi-Time Wine Cellars: Femmes Vignes Due Monde at the Wine Bar Feb. 15; women winemakers from North America, $25. On March 5 at the Wine Bar, Frederic Barnier, the head winemaker at Maison Louis Jadot, leads a tasting of Jadot Burgundies.
The following O.C. places have no corkage fees (If your wine is not on the wine list; this should be common courtesy anyway): The Playground, Pinot Provence, Leatherby’s Café Rouge, Tangata at Bowers Museum, Catal Mediterranean Grill, Three Seventy Common, Shuck Oyster Bar, Arc Restaurant, Ways & Means Oysters, Memphis (with any dinner purchase), Delizie Ristorante Bar, Hanna’s Restaurant and Bar, R D Kitchen, Nick’s Laguna Beach (first two bottles), Juliette Kitchen & Bar (if bottle is purchased at wine store adjacent to the restaurant), The Alley, Café Tria, Fish House Market & Grill, Mama D’s Italian Kitchen, Prime Cut Café & Wine Bar, Buon Gusto, Roman Cucina, Golden Truffle (every Wednesday), Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s (every Monday), Motif at St. Regis Monarch Beach (every Tuesday).