Estancia Hotel & Spa in La Jolla debuts Trinitas Wine Bar

Patrons gather at Trinitas bar.

Photos and Story By Kelley Carlson

A new pairing between a winery and a local resort has come to fruition. Trinitas Cellars and Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa have collaborated to open a freshly redecorated wine bar on the resort’s property with varietals from Trinitas’ Napa Valley vineyard. It’s an expansion of the relationship between Trinitas and Estancia’s sister property, The Meritage Resort and Spa, where the flagship tasting room and 7-acre vineyard are located.

Previously known as the Bodega Wine Bar, the new Trinitas Cellars Wine Bar has a bit more character. Rather than seeming like an extension of the hotel lobby, it now has a rustic-classic feel to it with wood floors, tables fashioned from barrels and photos of La Jolla in its early days on the walls.

The Beef Short Rib, served with a rich Stilton fondue made of blue cheese and a stack of house-made truffle chips, is paired with Trinitas' 2010 pinot noir.

Next to the bar is a barrel straight from the Jack Daniels’ distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn., the establishment’s source for whiskey.

The dining room is dim with light emanating from candle centerpieces wrapped in wine labels. Background music is soft with a bit of Spanish flair.

Additional glow comes from a TV in the corner, which is usually dialed in to a sports channel.

The clientele varies, from locals on romantic dates filled with wine and chocolate to international business travelers sitting at the bar and chatting with the bartenders. Children play with corks from wine bottles, while the young at heart smile and sip on the contents from those bottles.

Just outside the main dining room are two tables (on split levels) framed by foliage and flowers. During one of La Jolla’s typical balmy evenings, guests breathe in scented candles while sampling pairings of wine and cheese.

Comparable to a vineyard tasting wine room, Trinitas presents 13 varietals in its Estancia establishment. Flights of four or five are available and patrons can get discounts if they opt for pairings during the happy hour, lead bartender Cory Jacklyn said. Some daytime vintages he recommends are the 2010 sauvignon blanc, a light wine with aromas of Meyer lemon and vanilla; and the 2011 Rose’ary with a hint of sweetness and strawberry and cranberry aromas.
Among other whites are the 2011 chardonnay from Carneros — the restaurant’s “pride and joy,” Jacklyn said — which is buttery and oaky; and the sweet and smooth 2010 moscato dessert wine.
Executive Chef Kimberley Kramer creates comfort cuisine to accompany the drinks. One appetizer that goes particularly well with the whites was a recent Special of the Week: toasted French bread spread with fig jam, brie, arugula and prosciutto — much like an open-faced sandwich, with sweet and salty flavors that balance each other out.
For those who prefer reds, the 2010 pinot noir (which at first taste is reminiscent of strawberry rhubarb pie) is Trinitas’ best offering, Jacklyn said. Other options include the 2009 old vine zinfandel, El Dorado with spicy, peppery notes; and the full-bodied 2007 cabernet sauvignon.

The Mac N’ Cheese N’ Fried Chicken with greens. Photos by Kelley Carlson

They can be enjoyed with entrees such as the Beef Short Rib served with a rich Stilton fondue made of blue cheese and a stack of house-made truffle chips; the delicate Chicken Pot Pie, consisting of a flaky puff pastry top and filling of Mary’s Farms chicken breast pieces, celery root, carrots and peas; and the Mac N’ Cheese N’ Fried Chicken, featuring pasta covered with three cheeses and a baked topping of panko and Parmesan, chicken with a crispy, golden skin, and greens.

Those who still manage to find room for dessert and a cappuccino may consider the hot Peach Cobbler that is garnished with berries and a cup of vanilla gelato; or the popular Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake with molten lava chocolate sauce, berry coulis and Tahitian vanilla ice gelato.

While Trinitas is a wine bar, other libations are served, as well. The cocktails are classic, All-American concoctions (the Tom Collins and American Mule are two examples) with house-made simple syrups and bitters. In addition, there are local craft beers from companies such as Stone and Green Flash, giving out-of-town visitors a taste of San Diego.

Guests who desire more in-depth knowledge about the food and wine may sign up for private tastings and pairing classes.

Trinitas Cellars Wine Bar and Private Dining
Address: Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, 9700 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla


Phone: (858) 964-6516
The Vibe: Upscale casual, relaxed
Signature Dishes: Mac N’ Cheese N’ Fried Chicken, Chicken Pot Pie
Open Since: 2013
Reservations: No
Patio Seating: Yes
Takeout: Yes
Happy Hour: 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday

Hours: 4-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 2-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

On The Menu Recipe

Each week you’ll find a recipe from the featured restaurant online at Just click Get The Recipe at the bottom of the story.

This week: Trinitas’ Chicken Pot Pie

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Posted by Staff on Sep 27, 2013. Filed under Food, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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