DISCOVER LOS ANGELES - MAY 2018

Sip and Shop at Los Angeles Wine Stores

Wine tastings for a wide range of palates and budgets

Wine tastings seem to be the new happy hour, with the addition of trivia and knowledge thrown in for good measure. Tastings can even be found at grocery stores, such as select Gelson’s, Whole Foods, and the Trader Joes on La Brea for free or nominal fees. Wine shops like the independent K & L Wine Merchants in Hollywood and The Wine House in West L.A., or corporate spots such as Total Wine also offer tastings. Some of the most interesting tastings are held at small, boutique wine shops, often located in strip malls or hidden in places you least expect, with eclectic food choices that often differ from the basic crackers and cheese.

To mix up your wine game with a new take on tastings, here are wine stores across Los Angeles with a wide range of vibes and personalities, from elegant French, to earthy Mediterranean, to boutique sustainable, organic, biodynamic, and natural wines.

L.A.'s first wine shop spotlighting global women winemakers arrived with a “beastly” theme in September 2017 on a developing stretch of Silver Lake’s Virgil Village. Sommelier and restaurateur Coly Den Haan (who opened Perch DTLA) and developer Dean Harada teamed to create this new concept featuring over 180 specialty wines (all but 5% are made by women) handpicked from around the globe. Organic, biodynamic, and natural wines are displayed in a fun and lively atmosphere, punctuated by an 11-foot wine bottle and Zoltar Fortune Telling machine. Also on display are customizable “Beast” wine gift boxes, as well as grab-and-go gourmet bites, including chocolate treats. Tastings are scheduled when winemakers are available to personally pour their wines - however, personal tastings are available by appointment in-store or at another location. A whimsical wine tasting chart uses animal characteristics as flavor descriptions: Purple Ape (cheeky and vibrant), Silver Fox (elegant and refined) and Pink Pony (frisky and flirty). It’s all about personality, fun and defining taste.

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