Splash is a unique wine bar in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego that attracts the smart and beautiful crowds to lounge in deep leather couches, or hang out at the bar. It is unique in that all the wine is dispensed in self-service Enomatic machines. There are 72 wines available with new varieties constantly added to the mix.
Using the Italian-made machines is half the fun of going to Splash. You start off by ordering a debit card, loaded with as much or as little as you feel like spending. Then you insert the card, and dispense your 1 oz portion of wine. If you find one you like, you may buy a bottle—at retail prices no less—and drink it there, or take it home with you.
The wines available tend to range from $0.75 to $16.00 a taste. One of the nice things is that Splash is just accommodating to a poor university student, as they are to the well-heeled crowd. A good-tapas style menu and excellent little selection of beer round out the mix.
Enomatic what is it?
Splash was the first wine bar in Southern California to employ the Enomatic wine dispensers, owner Traci Smith purchased the unites directly from Italy, a shrewd move as she accepted delivery just as they exploded on the scene. Enomatic wine dispensers while at first glance are extremely expensive have major benefits:
- an inert gas such as nitrogen is used which allows the wine to stay fresh-tasting for up to three weeks. Carbon Dioxide can be used to keep sparkling wine fresh for a few days.
- The business can run smoothly with just one or two people working the entire establishment.
- The layout of the machines forces people to mingle and interact, leading to the inevitable; “what are you drinking”, “how was it”, or “you have to try this wine”.
Splash Wine Bar is one of my favorites in Southern California, this obviously was not my first trip. Owned and operated by Traci Smith, a San Diego State University, Business of Wine alumni and former classmate.
If you are going to San Diego, do yourself a favor and visit Splash. Whether you are looking to mingle with the in-crowd, or just chill out in a leather couch that sucks you in for the count, Splash will make you happy.
3043 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104