Sip and Shop at Los Angeles Wine Stores

Wine tastings for a wide range of palates and budgets

Vinovore | Instagram by @vinovorela

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.

Wine tasting at Bar & Garden | Instagram by @glougloudmagazine

Bar & Garden

This creatively designed Culver City wine and spirits store, accessorized with greenery and fine wood elements, is located in the center of the gallery district in a renovated liquor store. Owners Lauren Johnson and Marissa Mandel specialize in unique wines, predominately from Europe and small producers who do not use herbicide, pesticide, chemical fertilizers, or fungicide in their vineyards. Tastings are held weekly on Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Included for $12-$15 is cheese, charcuterie, bread from nearby Lodge Bakery, and other bites. On Fridays, there is a “Five for Five at Five” until the wine runs out. Stay after to peruse giftware and gourmet treats.

Colorado Wine Company in Eagle Rock
Photo: Colorado Wine Company

Colorado Wine Company

This Eagle Rock store is as much a wine shop as it is a wine bar with two weekly tastings, plus there are always “tastings” going on, just not in the formal sense. The casualness of the shop lends towards a small town vibe where “everybody knows your name.” The shop has some of the most reasonable regional and European wines on the shelves at under $25. The Friday Night Flight features four complimentary wines from their collection (two whites and two reds). All of the bottles poured in the flight are available for retail purchase with a 10% discount. The Lazy Sunday Flight features premium wine selections at an incredible bargain. The usual is two whites and two reds, and sometimes bubbly as well. Choose a full cheese plate to accompany ranging from $8 to $12. Any bottle in the store can be opened for a $5 corkage. Also offered is a daily pour at $7 to $12 a glass.

Partida Creus wine tasting at Domaine LA
Partida Creus wine tasting at Domaine LA | Photo: @domainela, Instagram

Domaine LA

Jill Bernheimer opened her small, stylish wine store at a Melrose Avenue strip mall in 2009. Domaine LA carries approximately 400 natural, organic, biodynamic wines with a concentration on grower-producers predominantly from Europe, Australia, and Chile, plus local boutique wines as well. The cheery space includes a ceiling filled with mod, round light fixtures, and a wrap around chalkboard that lines the walls. Wine pairings are always a lively affair - they're generally on Sundays from 2-5 p.m. for $15, and accompanied by a food pairing, such as cheese and crackers. Local chefs may make an appearance with creative pairings such as oysters, bahn mi, lasagna, and Spanish tortillas. Donuts and ice cream have even made an appearance.

Wine tasting at Heritage Fine Wines
Wine tasting with chocolate | Photo courtesy of Heritage Fine Wines, Facebook

Heritage Fine Wines

From the outside, this corner shop dedicated to French and European wine in the heart of Beverly Hills might seem intimidating, but take a walk inside and you’ll be welcomed with a smile by Parisian owner, Jordane Andrieu, who has a MBA and a degree in oenology and manages a vineyard in France. Along with the retail shop carrying top-flight wines, accessories, and tableware, a special highlight are the wine tastings. Stop by on Friday evenings from 7 – 10 p.m., taste six wines poured by professionals along with live music. The cost is $15 in advance, or $20 at the door. Casual wine tasting is also offered from 11a.m.- 6 p.m. on Saturdays. The tasting flights include an individual cheese plate with freshly imported Poilâne bread from Paris. Advance tickets are $20 and $25 at the door. There’s also a weekday happy hour 4-7 p.m. with wine and champagne for $8-$12, and a food menu that includes cheese, charcuterie, bruschetta, and various toasts for $10 each, as well as three oysters for $6. Special events are held on the rooftop.

Naoussa wine tasting at Lou Wine Shop in Los Feliz
Naoussa wine tasting at Lou Wine Shop | Photo: @dwfredman, Instagram

Lou Wine Shop

Lou Amdur has been heralded as one of the first to bring natural wine to Los Angeles, initially at his now-closed Hollywood wine bar, and now at the eponymous shop he opened in a Los Feliz strip mall in 2014. Lou Wine Shop carries approximately 400 wines, with the greatest percentage coming from small European wineries and vineyards. Whether you’re an oenophile, or a newbie, this is a shop where you’ll discover unique wines and receive an education at the same time. Lou has a magnetic personality and will joyfully provide the full history of the people who produce it, turning to his computer to further share details. There is probably no other place in Los Angeles who is as detailed oriented as Lou—and that’s what make this shop special. Thematic wine tastings are held three days a week for $10-$15 —Tuesday and Friday, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; and Saturday, 3- 7 p.m.

San Antonio Winery Maddalena Restaurant

Get a taste of history and wine at the oldest urban winery in Los Angeles, located in Lincoln Heights, just a mile from Downtown L.A. Although the San Antonio Winery once maintained an on-site vineyard when it was established in 1917, all the wines are now produced at their vineyards in Paso Robles, Monterey, and Napa Valley. Designated L.A. Historic-Cultural Monument No. 42, the winery is especially recognized for its Riboli Family Vineyard in Napa, which includes exciting replanted variations of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot grapes. Complimentary tours covering the winery’s history, as well as a special peek at barrels and fermentation tanks, are offered on the hour Monday - Thursday from noon – 4 p.m., and Friday - Sunday from noon – 5 p.m. Wine tastings are available for groups under 8 daily—and include four tastes for $5. For larger groups, just give a call. And should you feel peckish or want to purchase bottles, there’s a full service restaurant and a wine store on hand, featuring award-winning wines.

Triple Beam Pizza pops up at Silverlake Wine
Triple Beam Pizza pops up at Silverlake Wine every Monday | Photo: @silverlakewine, Instagram

Silver Lake Wine

This is the little shop that could—and grew—only to start a wine movement in Los Angeles. When owners Randy Clement, April Langford, and George Cossette first opened their Silverlake Wine store in 2003, the Glendale Boulevard area was a relatively empty stretch. From the get-go they started selling small-production, boutique wines when most shops at the time only carried big name brands. The team is now behind several L.A. ventures, including the second Silver Lake Wine location and Everson Royce Bar (aka ERB) in the DTLA Arts District, Everson Royce Wine & Spirits in Pasadena, Marche Burbank, and the latest, Triple Beam Pizza, partnering with Nancy Silverton and Matt Molina.

The $15 tastings at both Silverlake Wine locations are among the most fun and eclectic in L.A. In Silver Lake, tastings are held on Mondays and Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. Triple Beam pops up at Silverlake Wine every Monday. Thursday is flight night with themes for red and white, served with Cookbook bread and farmhouse butters. The DTLA tasting is on Tuesday evening from 5-8 pm. They pour three wines, along with cheese and bread. If that’s not enough, the Guerilla Taco truck can be found in front. The wine shop also pairs with independent food shops, including Heirloom LA, Friends & Family, and Let’s Be Frank. On days without tastings, you can bet that a bottle is open waiting to be tasted

Vinovore | Instagram by @vinovorela


LA'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 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.