It's easy to dismiss Vino Volo at John Wayne Airport–it's a chain, it serves wine, and the only people there seem to be mid-level managers putting the finishing touches on their PowerPoints. But if you're looking to booze, it's the best bargain at the airport. Nearly all the other spots serving alcohol either have unimaginative cocktails or gouge the hell out of you. Vino Volo, on the other hand, offers reasonable, delicious flights. Consider the World Value Reds.
Anything putting Spain, Argentina, and Italy on the same drink list is already a winner–and then comes the actual wines. Italy weighs in with a fruity 2009 Principi Di Butera Nero d'Avola; a 2013 Cambalache Malbec provides body. And Spain finishes the ensemble with a strong 2013 Castillo Monjardin Tempranillo. You get small, tasteful pours for $10, and trust me: that's all you need to knock you out for a good hour or so. And if you like any of them in particular? Buy a bottle for the flight, and be the toast of your cramped row.
Vino Volo at Terminal B at John Wayne Airport, (949) 955-1115; www.vinovolo.com