Many people tend to default to big chain stores when they do any shopping, and I imagine buying wine is no different. Here in LA, people tend to default to BevMo!. I am not trying to talk trash on BevMo! because I haven’t had a bad experience there; truth is I don’t have much experience with the store at all. I think that most people go to places like this for cost, but I think that people would be surprised to find that other places might have more to offer.
For those of you looking to find good wine in Los Angeles, I have two suggestions for you. Now, anyone who is into wine will have their favorite spot, and I am not trying to say that other places in the area aren’t worth while, but for me and from my experiences, I will give you my top two!
Coming in second is 55 Degrees. It is located in Glendale, so for those of you on the east side, this might be the perfect place for you. It is a tiny little shop but has a lot of character. The fun part comes in when you go down the stairs to their wine cellar. You go down to the cellar if you are interested in tasting some wine. They also have cheeses and a small menu to order from if you are looking for some food with your wine. Check out their website for their weekly tastings and events. A friend of mine also had an engagement party down there, which was a lot of fun and is highly recommended. Be sure to bring a coat because it can get chilly down there!
Without question my favorite wine store is K&L Wine Merchants. K&L is located on Vine just south of Sunset. There is a BevMo! super close to where I live, and as most Angelenos would agree, most people try to stick to their neighborhoods and avoid the drives. This is a major exception for me. Any time I need a bottle of wine, I drive over to Hollywood. No matter who you ask in this store, you will get great wine advice, but I am not going to lie, Steve is my favorite. He is my go-to person for great wine advice and suggestions (and also just an all around great guy!). K&L also does tastings each week, but not every day, so you have to check the schedule to make sure you go on the right day and time. The thing that I love the most about this place is that it doesn’t matter if you are looking to spend $8.00 or $80.00, I always get great suggestions and never, ever get pushed to spend more.
When my fiancée and I were looking to pick out our champagne for our wedding, we went right to K&L. We told Steve our budget and he gave us some suggestions. He never pushed us to spend more, but actually even gave us a couple that were less than what we had budgeted. He even covered them with bags and set them up for us to do a blind taste test. Steve helped us figure out how many bottles we would need and placed our order for us. He is even holding them there for us until we get closer to the date so that they won’t clutter our place and stay in their temperate environment.
I highly recommend you give this place a try, and if you have a different favorite place, please feel free to share it!