Wine Talk

Snooth User: Cest La Vie

Is there any wine tasting group in Los Angeles?

Posted by Cest La Vie, Sep 30, 2009.

With all my wine buddies gradually moving out of the area, I am left with no one to even share a good bottle of wine without the 3 fold mark up in the restaurant. Is there any existing wine tasting group in Los Angeles that anyone know of??? Don't even know where and how to look for this kind of stuff. With this desperation, I don't even mind starting one of my own if there isn't any already.


Reply by joss, Sep 30, 2009.

i believe there are quite a few. there's the restaurant/winebar/retailer avenue, where they have frequent wine-tasting nights/specials. you get to meet fellow wine lovers, wine industry people, and make friends.
There's "Bottlerock" and "Corkbar" in downtown LA, "55 Degrees" in Atwater Village, "WineCountry" and "Morry's" in Long Beach, "Wally's" in Westwood, to name just a few. WineCountry and Wally's, you're paying no restaurant mark-up, there's tons of classes and people (employees, owners, customers) to get in on.

Then there's the innumerable groups to find on social networking: the facebooks, the ICQ's, etc. endless, really...

you might sign up to a few sites like TastingTable (LA), where you can daily updates on local wine events in the area, as well.

hope this helps. have fun...

Reply by TheFoodieTraveler, Jan 3, 2010.

I have been looking for a wine tasting group for more than a year. I go to plenty of tastings listed above, but that is not the scene I am looking for. I am seeking friends who enjoy sharing high-end wine paired with tasty food together at people's homes or corkage-friendly restaurants. If anyone out there is interested, please respond.

Reply by joss, Jan 3, 2010.

hey foodie, i just did a search on facebook for "wine tasting los angeles" and it came back w/ 19 hits, some of which are commercial groups. but there were a handful of real social groups who gather for wine tasting GTG's in LA ('poetry in a bottle' and 'santamonicawineclub' looked like what you were searching for). I might even join some, as a couple i looked at seemed interesting. why not give it a look-see. As for corkage-friendly restaurants, there's tons of restaurants that have no-corkage BYOB nights. Fora in Long Beach has fab gourmet food w/ Tue no-corkage. Also, another one that comes to mind is The Park Restaurant in Echo Park which has Tue and Fri no-corkage. Plus they have special set menu and family style dinners weekly, where you're bound to find fellow wino's.

and the obvious way to do it, as you said, is to start one here yourself on snooth. start a new thread and call on local angelenos. i'd be interested, as 2 of my closest wine-drinking buddies have recently moved as well. good luck!

Reply by TheFoodieTraveler, Jan 3, 2010.

Hi Joss,

Thanks for the taking the time to do the research and write up your thoughts. I haven't searched FB in a number of months, and you are right, there are a few new ones. I belong to all of the local wine groups on Meetup, as well. One of them is my group:
I have more than 100 members, but most never come to events or respond to emails. I created a similar group on FB as well with similar (lack of) response, but maybe I will try again as FB's demographic has shifted quite a bit since I started it way back when.

Here is my FB Group: Los Angeles Vino and Victuals

I don't know about you, but I find most of the (non-commercial) wine tasting groups that get publicity tend to be geared for large groups of people who all go to a party setting at someone's house. I do participate in a few of these. Everyone brings a bottle and a food item. As an example of the caliber of wine I typically see at these events, I recently attended one such tasting where the theme was "Italian wine at least $20 bottle." There were no less than 5 bottles of Ruffino Chianti that 5 separate people carefully and thoughtfully acquired at Albertson's on the way to the party. This is just not what I am looking for.

I am really looking to do something more sophisticated, both food and wine. Which is another dilemma as I find many people (But certainly not all!) I ask are either foodies or winos, ne'er the both shall meet. The foodies are fine with ordering the typical $50-$75 restaurant-marked up wine when the place has a high corkage. Or they bring current vintage common stuff to the restaurant when they are paying corkage. The winos never don't like paying corkage and just want to go to steakhouses and/or mediocre restaurants that do not charge corkage and are very willing to give everyone multiple glasses.

I am looking for people who are really focused on the pairings. For example, one event I hosted with a few friends at a sushi bar involved pairing a number of different whites with each fish to find the best match. Yes, the mature CA Pinot Noir and the Rhone white performed at least as well vs the WS Top 100 Chablis, surprisingly enough.

I am familiar with tons of corkage-free and corkage-reduced restaurants around town as well. I especially like some of the really good ethnic places for this experience, although sometimes we have to bring our own glassware.

I am hoping that this thread elicits more responses of others interested in these kind of get-togethers.

And yes, last night when I posted this response I did also post a new thread suggesting a los angeles wine group - so great minds think alike... :)

Reply by joss, Jan 4, 2010.

wow, you cracked me up w/ the 5 bottles of ruffino chianti story! that sounds terrible. i guess when i think about it, it shouldn't really be that surprising. like everything else in life, you'll have to sort of sift through a lot before you find the niche/group you're looking for. i am a little confused, however, if you're "c'est la vie" or "foodietraveller" (also, i clicked on the link for your meetup group. the organizer seems to be another person?) not that it matters...
anyways, your meetup group is santamonica-based; one of the FB wine groups was santa monica based as well, n they seem to be more in the wine range you're interested in...
i think back and now consider my original response to your thread to be somewhat naive of the efforts required (and what you've already gone through) to find such a specific group focused on pairings. that certainly seems like you have your work cut out for you. myself as an example:
1) i LOVE my wine (you can look at my profile to see some of my wine experience/history), 2) i LOVE to cook, 3) i LOVE exploring cuisine. yet i don't spend much time/effort on pairings. don't know why; i guess it already seems involving enough just to suss out/experiment w/ each individual pursuit (when i go to a sushi bar, i'm most focused on the quality and choices of fish. i'm not even considering their sake collection, which is something i'm actually into. i pursue my sake interest entirely separately. see what i mean?). my most wine-experienced friends are foodies as well, but are not focused on pairings either. that's a fairly select and sophisticated group. i wish you all the best luck. keep me/us posted; you've got my interest. you also might try asking greg for advice n see what he says. if you lived in NY, you'd just go to all his GTG's... :)

Reply by BeverlyA, Jan 4, 2010.

My husband and I like going to a couple wine bars one in Uptown Whittier called Vinatero Wine Bar off Greenleaf they are fantastic. Another one we are members they have fantastice winemaker dinners is Winestyles in Seal Beach, another one in Brea they don't do any winemakers dinners. Check them out on their websites. Like mentioned above go to thats where I find lots of wine tasting events. Hope this helps.

Reply by Darrelll, Jan 4, 2010.

Join We have weekly wine tastings with a local vendor and with them, we do a wine 101 which was about 6-7 sessions and this year, we'll be doing a more advanced series.Our members receive a big discount on these workshops. We have about 2,000 members. Check us out.

Reply by mbvino, Mar 3, 2010.

If you are interested in trying some really rare bottles of wine there's a little wine shop in Calabasas in the Valley that has a tasting once a month where they open up everything from Insignia, Screaming Eagle, Chateau D'Yquem, DRC etc... They also do regular tastings and some nicer tastings with food. Their collection is pretty amazing. Definately worth checking out, if you feel like driving over the hill. Cheers!

Reply by dmcker, Mar 3, 2010.

You talking about the Wine Cask shop which reincarnated (to a limited degree) the grand Santa Barbara institution which was both shop and local gathering-point restaurant? Or Bernard's Wine Gallery, or something else in one of the neighboring towns (Woodland Hills, Agoura Hills...)?

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