Augustine Wine Bar – Sherman Oaks

Opened in February, Augustine Wine Bar is a must visit for Valley wine lovers looking for a great spot to indulge themselves.

Brought to the Valley by the team from Bar Covell in Los Feliz, along with their new partner at this location, Dave Gibbs, who brings to the table an extensive collection of vintage wines that they pour by the glass daily at Augustine!  There is a lot to like about Augustine, but the changing list of vintage wines available to taste by the glass each day is awesome.  Want to know what all the fuss is about vintage wines and if those prices are really justified but don’t have any 1938 bottles in your rack?  Now’s your chance.

AugustineBackBarReduced

Behind the bar at Augustine

The ambiance at Augustine is great.  Dark and cozy, surrounded by wine bottles and vintage radios.  A marble bar, an old upright piano and great wood, beam ceilings make for a rustic bistro feel.  Belly up to the bar and chat about the wines with the knowledgeable team, or snug into a two person booth with your date.

 

 

 

Augustine Glass List

Augustine Glass List

My favorite part of the Augustine experience was the excellent glass list that offered a wide variety of wines and styles, allowing you to taste and learn about the wines you don’t drink every day.   This is what I want from a sommelier.  Opportunity.  We all know about the wines we love and that we rack at home for regular enjoyment.  Teach me something new.  Let me take my taste buds on a wine safari.

The wine director at Augustine is one of the partners, Matthew Kaner.  Matthew was listed as one of Food & Wine’s 2013 Sommeliers of the Year for his work at Bar Covell.   Lucky for us, as we rolled in on a rainy Sunday evening, Matthew was behind the bar and was quick to ask what we liked and answer our questions about wines on the list and and guide us to our first round.

I went with an old vines Garnacha from Spain.  We are Grenache addicts on the couch and this wine didn’t disappoint.  Mrs. Couch went with a deeply delicious Mouvedre, Grenache, Cinsault blend from Bandol, one of our favorite appellations.

 

I'll Blau your Frankisch, baby.

I’ll Blau your Frankisch, baby.

 

For our second round we took advantage of the list and went looking for something to learn.  There were no less than three Austrian reds on the list and we had only tasted whites from Austria in the past.  We asked Matthew to take us on a tour of Austria and he gave us a quick education on the three wines (all different varietals) and what to expect from each.  I went for the Blaufrankisch and wasn’t disappointed.

As I said before, this is the kind of experience I look far from a good wine list and a good somm.  Education, exploration and adventure, all without leaving the bar stool.

 

 

 

Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie Board

Oh, and did we mention there’s food too?  Of course.  What kind of wine bar isn’t going to provide some nosh to keep you rollin’, right?  Augustine has a little something for all takers, from small plates to entree portions.

 

We tried the small plate of Tater Tots, which were delicious.  They also have a selection of meats and cheeses which you can mix and match.  We bought a plate of three with a sopressata and two cheeses, served with a compote, some whole grain mustard and pickled peppers served with some fresh, crusty bread.  We were happy campers.

 

Bottom line, Augustine is an excellent addition to the SoCal wine scene.  We had a wonderful first visit and plan to return regularly.  Watch their Facebook page for regular postings about what vintage pours are being offered.

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Published on: March 5, 2015

Filled Under: Reviews, So. Cal. Scene, Tasting

Views: 4396

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