The Best Places To Taste Wine In Los Angeles
You don't have to waste gas driving to Sonoma or Santa Barbara to get your wine on. Los Angeles has a multitude of wonderful and relatively inexpensive wine tastings that should satisfy your palate, whether you're a wine aficionado or novice.
Silverlake Wine touts itself as the best wine store in Los Angeles, and judging by their massive and exhaustive list that expands all across the globe (and their ultra rare five-star rating from the finicky people on Yelp), it would be very hard to dispute it. Silverlake Wine is the wine shop Angelenos suggest to friends and relatives from out of town who are looking to get a fantastic glass of top notch wine. In addition to their home base, Silverlake Wine also hosts Friday night wine tastings in Barnsdall Art Park all summer for those of us who would rather enjoy the shop's selection while sprawled out on a picnic blanket in the shadow of a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Silverlake Wine is located at 2395 Glendale Boulevard in Los Angeles, 323-662-9024
The two BottleRock locations, one in Culver City and the other in Downtown L.A. by the Staples Center, have incredible arrays of the finest wines the city has to offer. The DTLA location boasts over 800 labels, featuring enough unique labels to please the snobbiest wine enthusiast, and also tons of budget labels for the wino with a tight wallet. Any guest can pop open any bottle they want, provided they agree to a two-glass minimum.
BottleRock is located at 3847 Main Street in Culver City, 310-836-9463, and at 1050 South Flower in Downtown Los Angeles, 213-747-1100
Covell, Los Feliz's uber popular watering hole for wine connoisseurs, has a decidedly unpretentious way of doing business. Contrary to many establishments in the city, Covell embodies a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere, with a knowledgeable staff and a enviously massive selection of wines. One of the more interesting elements of Covell is that there really is no wine list; the expert staff will suggest a specific wine for you based on your personal preferences, leading to a more adventurous and charming experience.
Covell is located at 4628 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Feliz, 323-660-4400
Malibu has a well-deserved reputation of being the mecca of Southern California wine culture, and Malibu Wines is arguably the first place everyone thinks of when talking about the region. Malibu Wines boasts an exciting outdoor dining area that is perfect for a relaxed afternoon or evening under the Malibu sky. Their two Malibu-specific labels, Saddlerock and Semler (the latter of which is grown and produced right across the street) provide an excellent array of first class wines that won't break your bank. They also let you bring your own food. Malibu Wines also hosts live music and entertainment every night, and private events and parties can be held on the sprawling grounds.
Malibu Wines is located at 31740 Mulholland Highway in Malibu. 818-865-0605
MALIBU AND VINE
If you can survive the extended cruise up Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu, then Malibu and Vine has a special treat in store. The wine bar has an incredibly intimate outdoor seating area that sets the perfect mood for wine connoisseurs and aspiring sommeliers. Local labels Saddlerock and Semler flow freely here, which provides an excellent opportunity to taste what this quirky little region has to offer. Malibu and Vine hosts a Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. that features a mouthwatering array of breakfast treats served with an extensive collection of the finest vino Malibu has to offer.
Malibu and Vine is located at 901 Encinal Canyon Road in Malibu. 818-889-6680
Domaine LA is a wine shop that deserves the respect it has received from fellow Angelenos. Founded in 2009, Domaine strives to be the go-to destination for those of us hopelessly in love with European wines. Their wine clubs come in two distinct forms: "The Gastronomist" focuses on wines with a more classic taste to them and is stocked with smaller labels that are prime examples of their respective regions, and "The Naturalist" offers wines that have been created with an "ultra-minimal-intervention approach" and are usually more organic and/or biodynamic than the usual wine fare. Both clubs cost about $50 a month for two to three bottles.
Domaine LA is located at 6801 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, 323-932-0280
LEARN ABOUT WINE
Ian Blackburn is on a mission to strip wine culture of its mysterious veneer and bring it to the masses. His group, Learn About Wine, aims to do just that. Since 1995, Blackburn and his associates have staged hundreds of classes and wine tastings events in an effort to spread the good word about wine. With classes such as L.A.W. School, C.U.L.T. (California Ultra Luxury Table Wine) and Wine Business 101, Ian has a class for anyone, from aspiring somms to future business owners. Have a look at their calendar to see if an event is happening in your neighborhood.
You can contact Learn About Wine on their website or by calling 310-451-7600