Where and What to Sip in Los Angeles Tonight: Four Wine Bars To Know

Photo: Courtesy of Barbrix

Happy Saturday, oenophiles. It’s spring time–no other reason is needed to start the evening off with a well-picked glass of wine. Whether you’re in New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles, we’ve got expert selections at hand. Enjoy the sommelier picked selections and the stellar ambiance at these wine bars and toast the weekend.

A.O.C. Wine Bar and Restaurant
8700 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

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Photo: Aaron Cook|AACK Studio

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Photo: Aaron Cook|AACK Studio

Owner and Wine Director Caroline’s Styne’s spring wine selections from A.O.C include:

2014 Cassanova della Spinetta, Rosato “This rosé is a blend of 50% Sangiovese and 50% Prugniolo Gentile, made by one of my all-time favorite winemakers, Giorgio Rivetti,” Styne says. “The wine is a pale salmon color (perfect for Spring!) (ed note: we’ll come back to this!) and is clean, bright and fresh with delicate melon notes and vibrant acidity. It makes the perfect accompaniment to dishes made with the season’s early produce and can hold it’s own through a light outdoor lunch or more serious dinner.”

2012 Patrick Baudoin, Anjou, “Effusion” “This Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley is the epitome of elegance and really speaks of the clean, freshness of Spring. It is bright and lean with hints on the nose and palate of apples and pears and delicate hazelnut. It is at once forceful and elegant showing soft fruit notes alongside a vibrant and racy acidity,” Styne says.

2012 Soliste, Pinot Noir, L’Esperance, Sonoma Coast  “This is an absolutely gorgeous Pinot Noir, from Claude Koeberle of Soliste. This is my kind of Pinot, lean and elegant with pretty pure red cherry and pomegranate fruit notes on the nose and palate, a striking mineral component, silky texture and balancing acidity,” Styne notes. “It is the perfect embodiment of the season.”

Barbrix
2442 Hyperion Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

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Photo: Courtesy of Barbrix

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Photo: Courtesy of Barbrix

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Photo: Courtesy of Barbrix

Barbrix sommelier Claudio shares his seasonal selections:

Reisling “Stein. Terassen,” Salomon 2012 Austria  “Spring means my favorite, fava beans, are around and fava & reisling is just a terrific combination. This wine pairs so nicely with the produce this time of year brings” he says.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, La Quercia ’13 Italy  “This medium to full fruit wine pairs great with spring lamb and meats, and complements grilled items too,” Claudio notes.

smoke.oil.salt
7274 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046

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Photo: Courtesy of smoke.oil.salt
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Photo: Courtesy of smoke.oil.salt

Stephen Gelber, the Owner and wine director of smoke.oil.salt. suggests these two wines for the warmer seasons:

Ameztoi Rubentis Txakolina “I love the Txakolis from the basque region all year-round, but especially the rosés for summer. The Ameztoi Rubentis, from the Getaria region in Basque, is very fresh and lively, with notes of strawberry and melon. It finishes with just a touch of salinity, and is a great food wine,” Gelber notes. “We pour this at smoke.oil.salt. out of a porrone from height, which activates a slight frizzante, and also serve it by the glass. It’s a fun wine.”

Bodegas Bernabé Navarro Tinaja de la Mata “This is an organic white wine, a blend of Merseguera and Moscatel, fermented in amphora without sulfites, rendering it ‘orange,'” Gelber explains. “The result is a wine with bracing acidity, and oxidative tones that give it a structure solid enough to match seafoods or meats. Navarro is a very creative winemaker producing very cool artisanal wines in Alicante. We serve this one by the bottle and by the glass at SOS.”

Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen
1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Rustic Canyon - Interior 4 - Emily Hart RothPhoto: Emily Hart Roth

Rustic Canyon Bar - Photo Credit Emily Hart Roth
Photo: Emily Hart Roth

Rustic Canyon’s Wine Director and General Manager Steve Infield shares his picks:

2014 Robert Sinskey Rose Vin Gris Los Carneros “This is a very vibrant rosé with a lot of bright, red fruit quality like strawberry and watermelon that pairs great with the seasonal produce available,” Infield says. “It will also be one of the best wines to drink all through the summer!”

2013 Leitz Dry Riesling, Rheingau, Germany “A great Riesling for those who don’t want sweetness or something too tart,” Infield notes. “Just the right amount of acidity makes it a great wine to drink on its own as the weather gets warmer, or even as a nice white with barbecue.”

Toasting Spring: Five Wine Bars to Check Out in San Francisco

Photo: Press Club

We’re putting a cork (literally) in deep reds of the colder seasons and raising an expertly-curated glass to sunshine, a nice breeze, and the end of a long day’s work. We chatted with the sommeliers at some of our favorite wine bars in the whole U.S. of A. (see San Francisco here, and check back later for guides to Los Angeles and New York City) and have here, their exclusive picks for your springtime orders right here.

ENO

320 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

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Joel Kampfe, Certified Sommelier, and ENO Brand Wine Director makes the following recommendations for spring sipping:

Floral whites such as Viognier, especially 2013 Kivelstadt Viognier, Roussanne blend from Lake County, Ca.

Light, bright and aromatic reds like Nebbiolo, such as 2007 La Castellina Valtalina Nebbiolo.

District

216 Townsend Street at 3rd. San Francisco, CA, 94107

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District’s sommelier and wine director Caterina Mirabelli recommends the following picks for spring:

County Line Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, Napa, CA 2014. Of this pick, Mirabelli says, “It is a 100% Pinot Noir Rosé from the producers of Radio Coteau. It has notes of raspberry, key lime, lemon zest, lemon verbena an a touch of cherry on the nose and palate. It’s crisp and fresh with a bright acidity and a lively, dry finish.”

Tournage Riant, Grolleau Noir Blend, Touraine, France 2013 “This wine is your traditional, provence-style rosé, blended with malbec, cabernet franc and gamay. It has notes of sour cherry, lemon curd, cherry liqueur, and lemon zest on both the nose and palate. For a rose, it’s somewhat full bodied, with a mild acidityand a long, lingering and dry finish,” says Mirabelli.

IdleWild winery is home to the only Grenache Gris in the states. It has 110 year old vines. “Their Grenache Gris, Mendocino County, CA 2013 is not a red wine and yet, not quite a rosé–it pushes rosé to the brink of being a light red wine. A truly esoteric glass, it has intense notes of orange spiced tea, cinnamon sticks, blood orange, raspberry tart, and cherry cordial are found on both the nose and palate. It’s medium bodied with a refreshing acidity and a long, spicy finish,” Mirabelli notes.

The Hidden Vine

408 Merchant Street, San Francisco, CA, 94111

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The Hidden Vine’s sommelier, Jessica Jamison, makes the following wine recommendations for spring:

Alex Kaufman Riesling, Central Otago, New Zealand 2013. “This crisp and dry Riesling has aromas of gardenia, honeydew, and green apples. A perfect pairing with sunshine and a friendly game of bocce,” says Jamison.

Triennes Rose (Cinsault), Provence, France 2013, “Nothing says Spring like Rose! Light bodied and dry with hints of unripe strawberries and orange peel. This wine pairs perfectly with pulled pork sliders,” Jamison says.

Press Club

20 Yerba Buena Ln, San Francisco, CA, 94103

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Photos: Press Club

The head sommelier at Press Club, Mauro Cirilli, notes that every spring their menu focuses on fresh green ingredients from local farmers and the wines are chosen to match.

His top three picks for spring include:

2014 Turnbull Sauvignon Blanc of which he notes that, “the acidity brings out the fresh flavors of the springtime ingredients.”

Ampelos Viognieror or the red Italian Parpiniello Monica di Sardegna have “aromatic, fruity, and floral components,” Cirilli notes.

Stoller Pinot Noir from Oregon is “smooth and elegant and won’t overpower even the most delicate of spring dishes,” says Cirilli.

RN74

301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA, 94105

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David Castleberry, Lead Sommelier at RN74, makes the following wine recommendations for the season:

2014 Arnot Roberts Touriga Nacional Rose from Clear Lake, CA. “It’s bright, red fruited and delicious,” he says. “The kind of wine that screams to be drunk on spring afternoons.”

2011 Chablis from Moreau-Naudet “A 100% Chardonnay coming from Burgundy in France and a nice departure from the oaky-buttery interpretations of the grape,” Castleberry notes. “It’s got loads of citrus and fresh apple, stony minerality and more acid than Burning Man. Oysters? Yes please!”

Check out our guide to what to sip where in NYC here.