When it comes to good wine stores, you’d think the wine is what keeps people coming back but in reality it’s the people. The best wine stores in Los Angeles arm themselves with a staff that knows a thing or two about grapes and wine making. In fact, LA-based wine publicist Sam Dependahl recommends making friends with the staff at your favorite wine store as they’ll become a good resource for all of your wine-buying needs. “Wine is complicated and it is a risk to lay down money for a new wine that you’ve never tasted,” says the publicist. “Even if the wine is recommended by Wine Spectator or the LA Times, there is no guarantee you will like it. People have different palates.” Whether you’re new to wine or have been an avid collector for years, LA is home to some of the best wine stores in the region.
2311 Cotner Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Located right off the 405 freeway, The Winehouse has one of the largest selections in the country including more than 7,000 domestic and imported labels for nearly every wine-producing region in the world. This 18,000-square-foot facility features a tasting room downstairs and a restaurant lounge upstairs where you can enjoy a complete wine and food experience. The Winehouse offers a unique wine-shopping experience which makes it among the best wine shops in Los Angeles. Dependahl says this is a good place to start for most people just getting into wine.
2107 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
For wines that will impress your boss or someone special, Dependahl suggests Wally’s in LA as does “wine guy” Gary Vaynerchuck. Known for its large selection of wine and celebrity clientele such as Diane Keaton, Danny DeVito and Jack Nicholson, Wally’s has become arguably the best wine store in town. Wally’s can be found in West LA with convenient access to a decent-size parking lot. Wally’s carries the best of the best and features a knowledgeable staff to make stellar recommendations for any occasion or price range. Founder Steve Wallace recently sold the top wine retailer in Los Angeles to its co-owner Christian Navarro and the Marciano brothers, founders of the Guess clothing brand.
Silver Lake Wine
2395 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Silver Lake Wine features a great $15-and-under selection as well as rare, hard-to-find collectible wines. Located in the hip and trendy neighborhood of Silver Lake, this neighborhood wine pub specializes in artisan wines at all price ranges from various regions throughout Europe. With weekly wine tastings paired with cheeses and hors d’oeuvres, Silver Lake Wine is definitely among some of the best wine stores in Los Angeles. These tastings are so popular, you may want to make reservations in advance. And like any great wine shop, the staff here is great at making you the center of focus.
Colorado Wine Company
2305 Colorado Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90041
This wine store doubles up as a wine bar and is open every night of the week with much of its selection on display. Colorado Wine Company hosts weekly wine tastings in a spacious room with barrel-vaulted ceilings and a wrap-around bar with beers on tap. The vast selection from all over the world available at this wine store feels like a trip to the wine country. There’s no need to stop by the local grocery store for a quick bottle of wine under $25 when you can get quality wines for the same price from a staff that really knows wine.
Buzz Wine Beer Shop
460 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Tucked away in what used to be known as the bank district of downtown LA, there lies a fun new wine shop created by two restaurant guys exclusively for wine geeks. The expert staff at Buzz Wine Beer Shop acts as wine curators, featuring only 4,000 of the world’s most unique wine blends as well as over 200 of the world’s most sought-after beers. Most of the selections available at Buzz Wine Beer Shop are made by non-traditional winemakers specializing in organic or biodynamic wines. Buzz Wine Beer Shop is a unique concept that aims to redefine the way most people think about wine by turning your usual retail-buying experience into an adventure.
Niki Payne is a freelance writer covering all things Entertainment in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.