Carlsbad’s New Wine Shop, Wine Birds, Hosts Sonoma’s Jeremy Riddle Wine Tasting

Carlsbad’s New Wine Shop, Wine Birds, Hosts Sonoma’s Jeremy Riddle Wine Tasting

Apr 22, 2024

Story by Rico Cassoni

Frank and I had the opportunity to check out Carlsbad’s newest wine shop, Wine Birds, owned by Rod and Katya Skorik near Prager Brothers Artisan Breads bakery off Faraday Drive.

Our visit was timed with a Riddle Wines wine tasting with owner/winemaker Jeremy Riddle. I suspect that some might be thinking, huh, another wine store in North County or at least this was a question that I had. Specifically, I asked Rod about his strategy of how he will differentiate Wine Birds from other wine stores in the area including big box stores such as COSTCO, Total Wine, and BevMo. Rod shared, “We focus on organic and biodynamic wines from France, Italy, and Spain. We also plan to open our store to a courtyard where guests can buy a bottle of wine to enjoy.”

I would add, perhaps a loaf of Prager’s bread and some charcuterie, that Rod is looking into offering customers once the store opens to the courtyard. Rod also added, “Our plan is to serve both customers and other businesses with business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) models.”

Customers can come in with a menu and Rod, a Sommelier, and his team are happy to come up with pairings for dinner parties. He also looks forward to working with restaurants that are seeking great value, organic, and biodynamic wines to add to their menus. I really enjoyed the modern looking entry way with wines in cabinet shelves from the floor to 12 feet high.

I also appreciated the diverse number of varietals, countries, and price ranges that Wine Birds offered as well as Rod’s requirement that wholesalers ship wine to Wine Birds in temperature-controlled containers. 

Entry way of Wine Birds great value worldly wines that include organic and biodynamic wines. Photo by Rico Cassoni.


Riddle Wines was established out of Jeremy Riddle's desire to craft wines that authentically reflect the essence of the vineyard, the season's harvest, and the unique climate. Eschewing additives and heavy-handed techniques, Jeremy's approach is grounded in a commitment to purity. He immerses himself in the intricacies of winemaking, often spending nights near the aging barrels.

Collaborating with vineyard owners who share his dedication to organic practices, he selects grapes cultivated without herbicides or pesticides. Embracing holistic methods that consider the entire vineyard ecosystem, Jeremy values the interplay of roots, birds, flora, and microbes.

Continually seeking growth and collaboration, he embodies the spirit of an old-school, wine-loving enthusiast on a quest for vinicultural perfection. His favorite wines to produce are sparkling and Rhone varietals.

Jeremy Riddle, Owner/Winemaker, Riddle Wines pouring his 2020 Sparkling Grenache. Photo by Rico Cassoni.


Jeremy, in collaboration with Rod and Katya, was pouring seven wines for the tasting. There was also charcuterie available to enhance the flavors of the wine. The first wine poured was a 2022 Chardonnay exclusive to Wine Birds. The fruit was sourced from Carneros and aged for one year in neutral oak sur lees (with the lees), with a native fermentation. It was a crisp Chardonnay with ripening tropical fruit on the nose and lemon zest on the palate.

A 2020 Sparkling Grenache was poured next. I loved the creamy mouthfeel with subtle bubbles that tasted like a creamsicle with pomegranate notes. This bubbly wine was naturally aged without sugar or yeast for 22 months in neutral oak and would be a perfect mimosa replacement.

Katya (left) and Rod Skorik(right), Owners, Wine Birds, with Jeremy Riddle (center), Owner/Winemaker Riddle Wines. Photo by Rico Cassoni.


A 2020 Grenache sourced from the El Dorado AVA was the third wine poured with Bing cherry, anise, and hints of herbs of the nose and palate. The Grenache was unfiltered and aged for 10 months in neutral French oak. Fourth was a 2020 Vermentino fermented with macerated skins for 14 days. It was a lively wine with peach, lemon, and orange rind and hibiscus notes on the nose. The palate also had fruit flavors with lemon zest and apricot along with a tea leaf on the finish. Next up was the 2021 Counoise sourced from Mendocino, specifically Eagle Point Ranch. The small cluster Counoise mountain fruit had perfumed notes of lavender and pomegranate and bright fruit on the palate with a cracked pepper finish. The Counoise is aged for 13 months in neutral French oak, sur lees, and without sulfur.

The last two wines were my favorites. The 2020 Syrah had a full nose of violet and a variety of red fruit on the palate along with a nice long finish. The most intriguing wine of the lineup was the 2020 GSM blend sourced from David Girard’s vineyard in the El Dorado AVA. Jeremy co-ferments the 41% Grenache, 39% Syrah, and 20% Mourvedre blend at the same time and all three varietals are picked on the same day! This is impressive considering three different varietals. The GSM blend is one of Riddle Wine’s most produced wines along with the Syrah. Get more information on Riddle Wine’s at

Great event Rod, Katya, and Jeremy. I look forward to seeing how Wine Birds evolves. At three months old, it is already impressive. See everyone in the courtyard this summer. More information on Wine Birds at

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