Friday night, after a long week, Steve, my husband, and I went out to eat. Dinner was delicious, the wine was good, but the night wasn’t long enough. I’d heard of a new place in Old Town Temecula called The Collective. Other than the name I knew nothing about it. I always want to try new places, so off we went.
The Collective is a wine lounge for several area boutique wineries that do not have tasting rooms of their own. Some of the wineries represented by the Collective are Atwood Estate Vineyards of Temecula, Middleridge Winery of Idyllwild, Fazeli Vineyard, soon to be open on De Portola Road in Temecula, and Woodworth Estate wines of De Luz.
They carry whites and reds, both single varietals and blends. All the wines are served by the bottle, a few are served by the glass. There is also a tasting flight option, which Steve and I chose. Bryce, the server was charming, and Jonathon, the manager was an old acquaintance of mine. They were both passionate and excited about the wineries represented by The Collective. Steve and I were both able to pick out favorites from the wines we tasted. I liked the Fazeli Cab which had firm but not overpowering tannins and nice cherry tones. Steve preferred the Syrah from Atwood Estate. It has a distinct chocolate taste, and heavy texture.
It was easily one of the prettiest wine bars I have ever been to. It is chicly decorated with dark wood and an under lit bar. Downstairs is casual and open lending itself to groups. Upstairs feels more intimate with couches, and tables and chairs. There are two patios, one upstairs one down. The upstairs patio overlooks Front Street. The music from the restaurant across the street filtered over to us as we enjoyed our wine. It felt private, but like we were part of what was going on in Old Town at the same time. We noticed that The Collective offers a ‘Small Bites” menu from the neighboring The Edge restaurant. I look forward to going back with friends. I would not do the tasting again. It would have been more relaxing to simply have a glass of wine and sit. I would go before dinner next time to take advantage of the appetizer menu.
The Collective rivaled any wine lounge in San Diego. It is exciting to try boutique wines that are difficult or impossible find. I think it will be a welcome addition to the expanding downtown area.