Vino Volo Wine Lounge, Restaurant, and Wine Shop San Francisco Airport Review

By Eva Leonard on 1 November 2011
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Looking for something different to do before boarding a recent American Airlines flight out of SFO’s Terminal 2, I headed to Vino Volo, the wine lounge, restaurant and boutique wine shop, located opposite the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge, just after security. Branches of the Vino Volo chain can be found at airports in cities including Baltimore, Detroit, Newark, Washington, D.C.  (Dulles), New York (JFK), Oakland, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Seattle, San Francisco, Sacramento, and at Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, with more locations in the works.  The name “Vino Volo” is, according to the company’s Web site, derived from the Italian for “wine flight.”

To call it a chain, though, seems unfair, as Vino Volo offers travelers a unique airport sanctuary. The décor is streamlined and modern, yet accented with warm, colorful artwork and furnishings with soft jazz filling the room. Alongside Vino Volo’s impressive wine selection, delicious gourmet small plates, like smoked salmon served with crabmeat on crostini, and braised pork tacos, are served.

Vino Volo offers both bar and table service, and since I had a couple of hours before my flight, I took a table seat along the wall of wines for sale. Plentiful power outlets along the base of the banquettes allowed me to charge my laptop and cell phone, and Wi-Fi was also available.

Vino Volo customers may purchase wine by the glass, or sample flights of two or three wines (flight sampling ranging from $7 to $22). Customers can buy a bottle to take on their flight, or open their bottle at Vino Volo for a $12 corkage fee. From the wine list, focusing on California and other New World wines, plus Italian, New Zealand and Spanish varietals often from smaller, hard-to-find wineries, I enjoyed a full-bodied, with peppery notes, 2008 Chilean Calu Carmenere ($8 per glass).

I’ve also spent time before flights at JFK’s Vino Volo and found the quality of both food and wine to be as high as that which I enjoyed at the SFO location, and the atmosphere just as relaxing.  And by joining Vino Volo’s Passport Wine Club (, you can have select wines from around the world shipped to enjoy at home.


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