So. Cal. Scene
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  • 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. Continue Reading

    March 5, 2015 • Reviews, So. Cal. Scene, Tasting • Views: 4395

  • WineShouts – 02/27/2015 Edition

    Happy weekend wine lovers!  We’ve put together a few spots where you can get your wine on this weekend in L.A.  and points North.  Know about another great spot or event this weekend?  Please let us know in the comments or send us an email (see below).  Cheers!

    Los Olivos Wine Fest (Santa Ynez)

    If you live in SoCal, love wine, and haven’t been to Los Olivos yet, then get off your duff.  Now’s the time to go discover the best place to spend a day drinking wine in SoCal.  This charming little town just a few minutes up the road from Solvang is home to dozens of tasting rooms in a two block stretch pouring some of the best wines from the Santa Ynez Valley and the great local appellations and vineyards like Santa Rita Hills, Bien Nacido, Happy Canyon, and Ballard Canyon.  This Saturday take a beautiful, 90 minute drive up the coast and check out the first annual Los Olivos Wine Fest, with special tastings and food offerings along with music and other events.  Tix still available using the link above.  Anytime you’re in Los Olivos, stop in and see our friends at the Kaena Wines tasting room on the corner at the flagpole.  They make some of the best Grenache you’ll find this side of the Rhone.

     wineexpo – Italian (and more!) Wine Bar (Santa Monica)

    @LAWineGal turned us on to this spot in Santa Monica.  Sounds like the perfect hang out for our kind of people.  Taste flights of wine or beer.  Shop for wine.  Cork a bottle you bought in the shop for only $4 at the tasting bar.  And they specialize in Italians!!!  Home run.  We will be visiting presently.  They regularly do food truck events and private parties as well.  Check out their website for details (click on their name above).

    Wine Camp – Introduction to Wine (Los Angeles)

    Ian Blackburn runs killer wine education and events for all levels through his learnaboutwine.com and wineLA brands.   This event is a fun and tasty way to indoctrinate beginners into the wine life and you might learn something too!  And as always, you get to taste a bunch of delicious wines.  Get your Uber app warmed up and go have a great dinner Downtown afterwards.

    North American Sommelier Assn.  SBC Day Trip (Santa Barbara)

    Hosting the first of their “Traveling Master Class” series for 2015, this trip includes transportation, a couple of meals, wine and education galore.  Learn, meet cool wine lovers, taste and eat.  All set in beautiful wine country?  What’s not to like?

    The Stonehaus – Wine Bar (Westlake Village)

    We haven’t given a shout out to the Stonehaus in Westlake yet.  But they deserve one.  They have a great setting on the grounds of the Westlake Village Inn.  They serve a great variety of wine flights, or you can just buy a bottle and enjoy with friends.   There’s an excellent patio and outdoor fireplace to enjoy.  They even have tables with built in firepits in the middle.  It’s all very cozy and charming.  Dogs are welcome and even get their own dedicated fountain to drink from.  Charcuterie and other nosh are available.  It’s a really great place to relax with some good friends and your pups.  But beware, as with many Westlake haunts, the Cougars are out in force on weekend nights.  Women, guard your men.  It’s a jungle out there.

    To add your event to WineShouts, please email wineshouts@couchwine.com

    February 27, 2015 • Wine Shouts • Views: 3587

  • WineShouts – 02/20/2015 Edition

    Happy weekend wine lovers!  We’ve put together a few spots where you can get your wine on this weekend in L.A.  and points North.  Know about another great spot or event this weekend?  Please let us know in the comments or send us an email (see below).  Cheers!

    Oregon and Washington Tasting at Wades + Beer + Tequila?! (Westlake Village)

    Wades Wines is tasting a variety of wines from the Pacific Northwest this weekend.  Head into their awesome tasting room and check it out.  Need bonus motivation?  Bring your favorite beer drinker for a tasting flight of Stone’s Bastard beers.  Want to put your liver to the test this weekend?  It’s #NationalMargaritaDay on Sunday, and Wades has hundreds of Tequila’s to choose from.  Talk to Marty and he will show you the ropes and slip you a taste or two.

     Moe’s Fine Wines – Italian Tasting 2/21 (Brentwood)

    Moe is a nice guy with a great little shop on San Vicente.  He offers in store tastings on many Saturdays.  Check out the newsletters section of his website (linked above) for details.  This weekend it’s Italian wines.   Molto bene!

    New wine bar “Augustine” in Sherman Oaks

    Promising new spot, which according to this article in the L.A. Times has 75 wines by the glass with a focus on rare and vintage wines.  Also a restaurant.  Looks like a must try for the Valley wine lover.

    Wally’s Beverly Hills Vinoteca – Crazy Glass List! (Beverly Hills)

    Wally’s new Vinoteca on Canon serves up a redonkulous selection of wines by the glass thanks to the very cool Coravin system which lets you pour a glass from a bottle without opening and exposing the wine in the bottle to oxygen.  Wanted to try a glass of that cult status wine but don’t want to spring for a bottle?  Have just a glass…if the price is right!  Click the Wally’s link above to see a recent glass list.

    Ventura County Wine Trail Tours – (Ventura)

    The Ventura County Wine Trail offers tours each weekend that include tasting room visits, meeting wine makers and lunch.  Check out their website for this weekend’s tours.

    To add your event to WineShouts, please email wineshouts@couchwine.com

    February 20, 2015 • Wine Shouts • Views: 3457

  • WineShouts – Valentine’s Edition 2015

    Happy Valentine’s Day 2015 to all you lovers of wine.  Still looking to hook up a special last minute event for your sweetheart?  A few great events below with spots still available.  Going stag this V-Day and just want to get your wine on?  We have a few options for you and your crew as well.  Enjoy the weekend!

    The Cave – No Reservations Required for V-Day Dinner! (Ventura)

    The Cave has a new chef and a lovely 3 course dinner menu planned for Valentine’s Day, which you can eat while tasting from their well-stocked enomatic machines.   Click the link above to read about it.  See our review of the Cave and the Ventura Wine. Co retail store here.  Check it all out on their Facebook page.  Great spot to take your sweetheart in Ventura County.

    Valentine’s Wine dinner at Terroni (Downtown Los Angeles)

    The always excellent wineLA is hosting two sessions of this high-end Valentine’s dinner (and one lunch!) with a Wine, Cheese and Chocolate theme.  Four course meal with flights of wine paired with each course.   Ian Blackburn at wineLA never fails to bring out some amazing wines for these events.  This is a sure thing, home-run way to treat your sweetheart right.  We know a few seats are still available as of Friday.  Grab ’em fast!

    Valentine n’ Wine on the Ventura County Wine Trail

    Buy a passport from the Ventura County Winery Association which includes tastings at 11 different wineries with special Valentine’s food, chocolate and wine pairings.  Also includes special rates at several VC hotels.

    Other Non Valentine’s Opportunities to Imbibe

     

    Silver Lake Wine – Game Changing California Wines (Los Angeles)

    “Game Changing California Wines” paired with food from Camille’s Kitchen.  This Sunday (2/15) from 3 to 5 PM.  Part of their Sundays at 3 monthly tasting series.  Sounds delicious!

    Barrel Tasting of 2013 Burgundy at Wally’s (Beverly Hills)

    At the new Wally’s location, they are doing a barrel tasting of 13 different 2013 vintage wines from Burgundy on Tuesday (2/19).  This sounds like a no brainer for any Burgundy lover wanting a sneak peak at this vintage.

    Too add your event to WineShouts, please email wineshouts@couchwine.com

    February 13, 2015 • Wine Shouts • Views: 3437

  • WineShouts – 02/06/2015 Edition

    The Cave at the Ventura Wine Company (Ventura)

    Has just released their new small plate menu for February.  Always delicious bites to go with their great wine tasting.  See our review here.  The Cave has also announced a Valentine’s Day dinner.  Check it all out on their Facebook page.  Great spot to take your sweetheart in Ventura County.

    Wine and Cheese (& Chocolate!) @ Fancifull Gift Baskets  (Hollywood)

    Sounds like a fun event with lessons on pairing cheese and chocolate, and drinking some Bubbles.  Free if you RSVP or $10 at to door?  Nice!

    Taste California Rhone style wines at Wades Wines (Westlake Village)

    Wades is tasting Rhone style wines from California producers in their featured flight this weekend.  We, on the Couch, are devotees of the Southern Rhone style, and will certainly be partaking.

    Spanish Wine and Tapas at Terroni (Downtown) – 2/10/2015

    For you Urbanites hanging Downtown on a Tuesday night, check out this tasting of Spanish wines hosted by the North American Sommelier Association.  Tapas served.  There is a member and guest price listed.  Call ahead to make sure you can sneak in as a guest if you don’t have a member with you.  Otherwise, just act casual and pay the guest fee at the door and say you’re with René.  Safe bet.  Or insert name of the Somm from your favorite restaurant.  Just be cool, man.

    Too add your event to WineShouts, please email wineshouts@couchwine.com

    February 6, 2015 • Wine Shouts • Views: 3432

  • WineShouts – 01/30/2015 Edition

    Beaujolais at domaineLA (Los Angeles) – 2/1/2015

    If you’ve never been a fan of Beaujolais, go get your mind changed by the folks at domaineLA, pouring some top notch wines from the Morgon appellation.

    Taste Italians at Wades Wines (Westlake Village) – All weekend

    We are particularly enamored with Italian wines on the Couch right now.  From delicious Barbera or Montepulciano, to hearty Barolo and Super Tuscan wines.  There’s a lot of ground to cover in Italian wines and the best way to learn is to get drinking!

    Wine Camp – Introduction to Wine (Los Angeles)

    Ian Blackburn runs killer wine education and events for all levels through his learnaboutwine.com and wineLA brands.   This event is a fun and tasty way to indoctrinate beginners into the wine life and you might learn something too!

    New Restaurant – The Pearl District (Westlake Village)

    Just finishing their first month open, this new spot is getting a lot of good buzz.  A nice selection of stand out West Coast wines and beers, plus a full bar.  Corkage is available but we recommend grabbing something you haven’t had off their list, as it looks quite solid.

    Heads up for Upcoming Events

    Valentine’s Wine dinner at Terroni (Los Angeles) – 2/14/2015

    wineLA is hosting two sessions of this Valentine’s dinner (and one lunch!) with a Wine, Cheese and Chocolate theme.  Four course meal with flights of wine brought with each course.   They never fail to introduce you to some new and delicious wines at these events.   Join Mr. &  Mrs. Couch at the 2nd session.

    Too add your event to WineShouts, please email wineshouts@couchwine.com

    January 30, 2015 • Wine Shouts • Views: 3403

  • WineShouts – 01/09/2015 Edition

    domaineLA (Los Angeles)

    domaineLA is a great shop, frequented by Somms from all around the city.  A very deep selection of hard to find gems with a focus on small batch winemakers.  Sunday they are tasting wines from Arnot-Roberts and they’re pairing it with charcuterie from Downtown hot spot, Bestia.  This is a win-win.  Beware, hipsters flock to this place in droves.  Don’t feed the hipsters.

    Wades Wines (Westlake Village)

    Winter Beer tasting flight, and Three Counties Pinot Noir tasting flight (Sonoma, Monterey & Santa Barbara).  If you haven’t been to the tasting room at Wade’s yet, get busy.  Hard to find, it’s like the speakeasy of the suburbs.  Awesome wine and beer bar, and a huge selection of wine, spirits and beer for sale.

    The Cave at the Ventura Wine Company (Ventura)

    Has just released their new small plate menu for January.  Always delicious bites to go with their great wine tasting.  See our review here.

    Wally’s Beverly Hills Vinoteca (Beverly Hills)

    Wally’s opened up this spot in December.  Great for tasting and small plates.  150 wines by the glass.  Using the Coravin to offer a greater variety.

    The Wine House (Los Angeles)

    Nice self serve tasting room with enomatic machines with a nice selection of wines to choose from.  Great way to try some new labels.

    Heads up for Upcoming Events

    Local Food & Wine Challenge (Westlake Village) – 1/18/2015

    13 local chefs and 13 local winemakers compete with food and wine pairings.  Plus a silent auction to benefit the great Ventura County based Hopes’s Haven Children’s Charity

    Stars of Santa Barbara (Beverly Hills)

    Our friends at wineLA host this annual mass tasting of Santa Barbara county wineries at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills.  wineLA does a great job with all of their events.  Not to be missed.

     

    Too add your event to WineShouts, please email wineshouts@couchwine.com

    January 9, 2015 • Wine Shouts • Views: 3509

  • Ventura Wine Co. and The Cave

    To kick off our So. Cal. Wine Scene section, I am not going to take you to the heart of hipsterville in the city, but instead up the coast to the city of Ventura and one of my favorite wine spots, the Ventura Wine Co. and their wine bar The Cave.  This spot is a true gem and I’m excited to share it with you.

    These guys pack a triple-punch of awesomeness into a small package:  1) Great wine prices.  They are very possibly the best priced retail wine shop in So. Cal.  2) The Cave, their wine bar, has 32 wines up on self-serve enomatic machines that you can taste at will.  3) The food served in The Cave is consistently good and well priced.   As a small store, the selection isn’t huge, but they always have a good selection of essentials as well as interesting new finds. Continue Reading

    August 2, 2014 • So. Cal. Scene, Tasting • Views: 4135