There’s A Secret Wine Garden In Little Italy!

You haven’t really lived until you’ve enjoyed the slow pace of drinking wine in a beautiful courtyard in Italy.

While flying to Italy daily for your glass of wine isn’t an option…there is a new wine garden in Little Italy that will do the trick!

With its third location, Carruth Cellars dives into the world of wine and cheese pairing set in a beautiful garden, and gives San Diegans an opportunity to slow down and enjoy ‘la dolce vita’ in our own backyard.

Carruth Cellars

Credit: Megan Edmiston

The Venue

Founded in 2006, Carruth Cellars has tasting rooms in Carlsbad and Solana Beach, but the Little Italy wine garden is a unique experience.

The new location on Kettner Street includes an indoor lounge and bar and a large outdoor patio with plenty of shade and community tables.

There’s also a serve yourself water station with both flat and sparkling water, which was a much-appreciated feature on the hot and humid afternoon I found myself on their patio one Friday ready to indulge myself.

It’s the perfect place for conversation over a glass of wine with friends to end the day.

Wine & Cheese = Divine

The new location in Little Italy is the first Carruth Cellars location to dive into a pairing experience

If there was a contest for the most diverse alcohol, I’m certain wine would stomp the competition.

You can cook with it, bake with it, and pair it with nearly everything.

For me, I will forever be married to wine and cheese.

When I heard Carruth Cellars was opening a wine garden in Little Italy focusing on wine and cheese pairings, my heart beat a little faster.

The experience is designed for both novices and pros alike. There are three wine flights that coordinate with three cheese flights, but you’re also welcome to design your own flight or opt for the winemaker’s custom selection.

Every wine has a cheese and every cheese a wine, but if your heart is calling to mix it up, you can select from 11 wines and 11 types of cheese.


Carruth Cellars

Credit: Megan Edmiston


I opted for the Bordeaux wine flight, a red-centric flight, but swapped the Sauvignon Blanc for a Rosé. The corresponding cheese board was their Old World, which included Queso Leonora, a goat’s milk cheese from Spain selected to go with the Malbec.

I like to claim that I love all cheese equally and it is true that I have yet to find a cheese I haven’t loved (except Casu Marzu, which has live insect larvae and I won’t even humor that idea) but goat’s milk cheese is my true love.

As a child, and by that I mean I did this until I was well into my teenage years, I would go to the Farmer’s Market and get countless samples from the goat cheese stand, buy a few different kinds, and eat most of it by the time I get home.

The point is, I love goat cheese, so when I say Queso Leonora is some of the best goat’s milk cheese I’ve had, you know you can trust me.

You can further customize each cheese board with charcuterie, fruit, spreads, nuts, and bread. Margeaux, the manager, strongly urged I try the honeycomb, and I am forever indebted to her for the recommendation.

By the time my plate was empty, I was finding any scrap I could to get every last drop of the sticky goodness. I also added fig and salumi, which was a delicious compliment to the Manchego Al Romero, a salty sheep’s milk with rosemary.

For those who don’t like wine, there are also four craft beer taps and kombucha. Both the wine and cheese selection will rotate, giving you plenty of reasons to frequent this Little Italy haven, open from 4-10pm daily.

See You There!

Every moment of my time at Carruth Cellars was enjoyable, from the friendly staff to the cozy atmosphere.

I chose to dive into a book, but by 4:30, the place was already filling up with groups and couples looking to celebrate the end of the week…so I guess my secret wine garden may not be so secret after all.

You’ll find me on the patio, probably in the shade, with enough cheese for three people.

Come say hi, but don’t even think about asking to sample my plate.

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