Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wine Shopping at the Wine House

On my way to pick up the parents at LAX, I was running early (what? in LA?) and so had time to stop at The Wine House, tucked in next to the 405 just north of Pico Blvd. on the west side of town, among the car autobody shops and some dog grooming establishments.

This was my first time at the Wine House, but it definitely won't be my last. It is a large, open store with racks upon racks and boxes upon boxes of wine--and not the wine you see everywhere else. I spotted an excellent selection of Spanish and German wines, so many Italian wines they were divided into regions, and a whole back section of Burgundy, Bordeaux, and yes, Beaujolais wines. This was in addition to a wide range of US wines from California and Oregon, a good selection of spirits, and a small (but choice) area of the store dedicated to gourmet nibbles. Upstairs is a wine bar, which I didn't get to try out because of time constraints. But I'd love to hear from anyone who's been up there.

The Wine House clearly prides itself on its expertise and friendly, approachable staff, and with good reason. The shelf-talkers were excellent, independent, and informative. There were staff all over, and you never had to go far if you had a question. The Wine House also offers wine classes which run for around 2 hours in the evenings (rooftop guarded parking provided).

Since it is the third Thursday in November I was there for a bottle of beaujolais nouveau. They had three options, all prominently displayed by the front register. I left with one of each, of course, since I lose all willpower in wine stores: the 2006 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau ($9.59), the 2006 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau Chateau des Vierres ($9.99), and the 2006 Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau ($13.99). Tasting notes to follow tomorrow. As I wandered around I saw a 2005 Owen Roe Sinister Hand ($23.99) and threw that in as well!

Don't be afraid to venture out and visit this improbable location next time you're on your way to LAX to pick someone up at the airport. LAX is only 15 minutes away (estimated non rush hour time), and wouldn't you rather buy wine than drive around the airport in circles waiting for your friends and family to land??

7 comments:

zinFAN said...

The Wine House rocks! It's like a giant supermarket of fine wine, stocking everything from Kendall-Jackson to DRC. It's my "go-to" store when I need a wine but don't have the time or energy to be running around hunting for a particular label. Plus they've got this auto chiller machine by the registers that will cool down your white wine or beer in 10 min. flat! Perfect when you're on your way to a party :-)

In years past I would drop-in on Friday nite tastings, but it's turned into more of a trendy Westside social/pickup spot now that they've remodeled upstairs.

Just fyi, Beverage Warehouse and LA Wine Company (both on McConnell off of Culver) are even closer to LAX and definitely worth a stop too.

zinFAN said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
zinFAN said...

The Wine House rocks! It's like a giant supermarket of fine wine, stocking everything from Kendall-Jackson to DRC. It's my "go-to" store when I need a wine but don't have the time or energy to be running around hunting for a particular label. Plus they've got this auto chiller machine by the registers that will cool down your white wine or beer in 10 min. flat! Perfect when you're on your way to a party :-)

In years past I would drop-in on Friday nite tastings, but it's turned into more of a trendy Westside social/pickup spot now that they've remodeled upstairs.

Just fyi, Beverage Warehouse and LA Wine Company (both on McConnell off of Culver) are even closer to LAX and definitely worth a stop too.

drdebs said...

Hey, Zinfan! Thanks for the tips on Bev Warehouse and LA Wine Company. How did I miss the klller chiller by the registers? I agree, Wine House rocks and next time I will go with more time on my hands!

ppelous said...

Just to add that I'm familiar with the Wine House in SF and it's a good place to find good wines and sometimes good deal by the case. I used to gat their monthly Dirty Dozen which sounds like a nice sampler but found in it too much crappy ones :-(

drdebs said...

That's the problem I've found with mixed cases, unless you get them from a winery where you pretty much know you like absolutely everything they make. Thanks for the link to the SF branch, and for your comment.

johng said...

The Wine House is without a doubt the best wine shop I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.