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looking for a new wine store...

We used to spend all our money at The Wine House but, due to the recent treatment my husband received from an extremely rude staff member, we have decided to take our business elsewhere.

We saw a flier from another store advertise a certain wine for a price, and since we were going to go and do our shopping at The Wine House anyway, we took the flier to see how much The Wine House charged for the same bottle. It turned out that they were charging just a little bit more so, we decided to ask someone about perhaps a price match. The one staff member we asked glared at my husband, took the case in question from our hands, and just walked away. How unbelievably rude. All he had to say was, "Sorry... we don't do that." We will not be going to The Wine House again.

What we used to like about The Wine House was the knowlegeable staff, nice service, great variety (it was like a candy shop for us!) and on top of it all, great prices. We also love WineExpo on Santa Monica but, they just don't carry some stuff (you know what I mean). We also love Wally's but, their prices are a little bit high (however, their tent sale is one of the best wine sales in the L.A. area).

I'm sure there is another shop in Los Angeles that is just as good if not better... help us find our new wine shop!
Thanks :)

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  1. Well, if they don't price match what were you expecting him to say other than "sorry...we don't do that"? I understand that his tone made a difference but I wouldn't write off a store I love based on something as small as that.

    You've already mentioned it, but I like Wally's in Westwood. They are super-nice and have a great selection. When is their tent sale?

    4 Replies
    1. re: hrhboo

      I didn't know whether or not they price matched or not... that was the question. All he had to say was, "Sorry, we don't price match" instead of taking the stuff from our hands and walking away without even a word. Wouldn't you say that is rude?

      1. re: banquisha

        I agree that it was rude but if you love the place and have consistently received great service there with the exception of one minor incident then perhaps it isn't worth completely avoiding the place.

        1. re: banquisha

          That's almost (almost!) laughably rude. But if it's only happened once I would complain about that person rather than write off Wine House completely.

          1. re: banquisha

            At least he should have had the decency to say, "No wine for you!!"

        2. Well, Twenty Twenty is just north of the Wine house on Cotner at that address, and while Bobby may not endure you for life with his personality, he really knows wines, has a huge collection of older vintages from seemingly everywhere, and will probably provide a good alternative to the Wine House.
          LA Wine Co. in Marina Del Rey has good prices on the items it carries, and it is always a good place to look around, although small by Wine House/2020/Wallys standards.
          Duvin on San Vicente just below Melrose near the PDC has a very hospitable owner who loves and knows French wines.
          Further afield if on the east side, you might try Silver Lake Wines on Glendale Blvd. just west of the Golden State Fwy. Also, Topline in Glendale, owned by the brother and father of the owner of LA Wine Co. has quite a good selection of both wine as well as spirits with very good prices.

          1. You won't get the same level of service, but you'll get great prices at Cost Plus and Costco. Both have good wines at competitive prices. I also like Greenblatt's. Jeff has a great selection. Some of his wines are on the high end cost wise....but he has great specials. Get on his e-mail list. I've always liked what he recommends.

            1 Reply
            1. re: perk

              I find the wines at Costco largely focused on cabs and chards, with very limited anything else. Prices are great if the item is what you want. Cost+ is more expensive and, like Costco, needs to obtain wines that can be carried by every store in the chain, and thus only carries the larger distribution wines, not the smaller boutique ones.
              For the smaller wines, the likes of a Greenblatt's will serve the needs, and thus you need to know several different wine shops and their owners to get the entire spectrum of wines you are interested in.

            2. I assume you are over on the Westside, but if you find yourself in the Studio City area I highly recommend the Flask Fine Wines. Price competitive and an excellent selection. Not nearly as big as the Wine House but nonetheless an excellent selection.

              1. I've always liked Woodland Hills Wine Company.

                2 Replies
                1. re: SauceSupreme

                  I must put in another vote for Woodland Hills Wine Company. If you don't mind the drive, this is the place to go. They have a huge selection of wines, and they always steer me to great finds. Unlike the Wine House, when I ask for recommendations for inexpensive wines, they are just as enthusiastic as when I'm searching for expensive wines.

                  It's located on the south side of Ventura Blvd., a ways west of Topanga, near
                  La Frite restaurant.

                  1. re: brandygirl

                    Brandygirl, I love wine and you just had described the experience I have had at the Wine House. "Unenthusiastic" would sum it up!! QPR is not in their vocabulary. Just a little uppity tude in general.. I think that they are catering to the expense account limited knowledge crowd IMO..

                2. Moe's Fine Wines on the west side -- San Vicente near Bundy. And Silverlake Wine on Glendale in Silverlake.

                  1. I second woodland hills wine company. they have a great selection, but more importantly the staff is friendly and extremely knowledgable. ask for Mark, he's great. last time I went there to buy wine for a party he opened three different bottles for me and did a comparison. It's definitely worth the trip.

                    1. Colorado Wine Company in Highland Park- I promise you will never have bad service. The couple that owns this store are great people.

                      Not that it's a bad thing, but the majority of the wines they carry are under $35. In fact, I think that low-cost, high-quality is their mission statement.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: julietg

                        I second Colorado Wine Comp. in Eagle Rock. Great, well priced selection. Kind, cool couple. Very Knowledgeable.

                      2. A great new shop I discovered last month by chance is Rosso Wine Shop in north Glendale. They are a neighborhood shop but have a great knack for reasonably-priced import wines. The owner is very knowledgeable and has spent a good amount of time with me the few times I've gone. Their selection is primarily Italian, French, California and Spanish. They do tastings on the weekends to preview some of their wines. And their website lists the inventory.


                        1. I'm a regular at Silverlake Wine -- they have a website and do orders over the phone (at least that's what it looks like when I'm waiting in line).


                          1. You all are about to inherit the newest branch of a great SF Bay Area wine store, K&L Wine Merchants. At the end of this year, they will be celebrating 30 years in business; their website is amazing. I buy futures, or wines that I don't want to fly out the door, off the web via a hotlist I maintain with them - and then go pick up the bottles at my leisure (not sure how they will manage this portion of the business as the big warehouse is up here, but I bet if the need is great enough there will be a truck run a couple/few times a week). They direct import quite a few wines, so they can have some really outstanding finds. My BF used to work in the industry so we had access to good selections and prices, and K&L stacks up against the best.

                            I do not know what kind of tastings they will do in LA, but go to the "local events" part of their website to see how they do it in SF and Redwood City (mid-Peninsula location). I have found many, many fabulous wines via these tastings - and gotten to know the staff and their palates, and visa versa, so when I drop in quickly for a bottle they can steer me to something perfect right away. They send the folks up here to their regions every year, so they meet the growers, producers, and lock in value pricing.

                            If you visit the website, you will see the accolades. Great site, even if you just want to use it for research! And in person - very knowledgable people, and very friendly.... hope you get the same kind of joint in LA as we have up north. My Mom lives in Westwood and cannot wait for them to be open. I'm sure it will take K&L a little bit to get off the ground, but give them a chance to get settled because they ARE really good. They were hoping to open this past fall, but permitting being what it is, I see that the new target date is February... "We're expecting to have our Hollywood store open in February 2007 at 1400 Vine Street, just south of Sunset Boulevard."

                            One of the main people opening the store is a gentleman named Greg St. Clair. He has been THE Italian wine expert in Bay Area, so we are losing a great resource... tap into his wealth of knowledge.


                            Good luck!

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: SFfoodette

                              Predictably, that Feb. 2007 estimate is already later than the "end of this year" I was told when I called this past summer. I know, sad for me.

                              K&L was my go-to store in SF, so I can't wait for them to open up here. I've already finished the "Good-bye SF" case I purchased in May.

                              1. re: Pei

                                Where is the K&L outpost supposed to be? I looked on the website and couldn't find any information. THANKS!

                                1. re: banquisha

                                  from SFfoodette's post above:

                                  "We're expecting to have our Hollywood store open in February 2007 at 1400 Vine Street, just south of Sunset Boulevard."

                              2. re: SFfoodette

                                We often visit SF and this is our go-to place when we're up there... how exciting!!! Thanks for sharing the good news :)

                                1. re: banquisha

                                  I believe it is the building across from the ArcLight complex that formerly housed the Music+ store years ago, and more recently was a AAA sign/banner store.

                                2. re: SFfoodette

                                  Greg @ K&L is awesome. I just met him last month at the Vine K&L. Really knows his Italians, does the buying for K&L in Italians, and is not wine geeky at all unless you want to be. Quite the gentleman. K&L is one of the best large format wine stores.

                                  Silverlake on Glendale is also one of my favorites. The owner there is always there, and he clearly is doing what he absolutely loves. Their Monday tastings are a great way to connect with friends for an hour while sampling some off the beaten path stuff.

                                3. Du Vin, San Vicente just south of Melrose. Not anywhere near as large, but a great selection and they are very knowledgeable. If I'd received bad service in a small store, I might not go back. But in a place as large as the Wine House, I agree with others... report the staff person.

                                  1. This may be too far afield for you, but Wine Country in Long Beach is terrific. Knowledgable, friendly staff -- very down to earth but also adventurous if that's what you're looking for. If it's too G.U. to become your regular shop, consider a visit for one of their Saturday afternoon tastings, it's a good deal and good scene. Their tasting area is small, though. Depending on what's being poured, it can get pretty crowded. Their monthly newsletter is surprisingly well-written (amusing & engaging) as well as informative. We actually fight over it when it comes. http://www.thewinecountry.com.

                                    1. Thanks for the info about Rosso and K & L. Always love to hear about new places to sip and buy! I second (third?) the recommendation of Colorado Wine Store as well. Really nice people. Good selection of interesting wines. And I find the selection of Red Carpet in Glendale to be very good. Their tastings get a little crowded for me....but I always end up with an assorted case of interesting things whenever I stop in. And I also like Silverlake Wine. I had a "rude" experience in a wine store as well....it was Wally's. A friend asked me to select the wines for his wife's birthday party. I went to Wally's and told them I needed a couple cases of champagne, a case of white wine and two cases of red. I knew I wanted Schramsberg for the champagane, a sauvignon blanc and some sort of red blend. I selected the red....and told him I was leaning towards a Cakebread sauvignon blanc. He suggested Kenwood, which was on sale. I agreed it was a good price, but knew my friend would be happier with the Cakebread. He snarled at me (yes, really, snarled) and said "just because it's more expensive, doesn't mean it's better) Yes, this was a salesperson! They told me it was his first day. I never saw him there again.

                                      1. I go to Wine House but also sometimes to Beverage Warehouse in Marina del Rey which is on McConnell nr. Culver blvd & the 90 fwy. They don't have as wide a selection, but it's worth checking out. I also think if an employee is rude you should let the manager know and give them a chance to make it right. They may not be aware of it and would appreciate knowing. I recently complained about the sales help at my pet supply store and not only did I get a gift certificate as an apology, but the issue seems to have been addressed and I haven't had another problem.

                                        1. Silver Lake Wine for great customer service. They choose everything personally. Selection is a fraction of what Wine House does, but it's boutique-y and people there are nice. Great weekly wine tastings, too.

                                          1. Silverlake Wine. I've dealt with shoddy service elsewhere (seriously, salespeople at specialty stores need to realize that a youthful appearance can belie the customer's age and ability to see through their bs), but never there. In addition to fair service, the prices and selection make the place a very attractive alternative.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: PseudoNerd

                                              know this is an old thread but the wine exchange in orange is great.. go to their web page. a 50-60 page mailer every month. I buy all of my bordeaux there and many others. In fact I love their futures program.. I drive from Manhattan Beach there. Just my choice. And In MDR Los Angeles Wine if a fun spot.. I prefer it over Beverage Warehouse..

                                              1. re: Foodandwine

                                                here are the links..

                                                Beverage Warehouse
                                                4935 McConnell Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                                                Wine Exchange
                                                2368 N Orange Mall, Orange, CA 92865

                                                Los Angeles Wine Co
                                                4935 McConnell Ave. Unit #8, Los Angeles, CA 90066-6756

                                            2. Best wine store for Budget, Selection and Service is Topline Wines in Glendale.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: PurpleTeeth

                                                Absolutely correct on budget and selection but you have to know to talk to Charley or Mike the owner for best info. Also great booze selection at great prices - Costco competitive.
                                                Of course, while in that area, go to Silver Lake Wines as their selection tends to vary considerably from that of Topline, although items do overlap from time to time.

                                              2. Manhattan Fine Wines - 1157 Artesia Blvd #A, Manhattan Beach CA

                                                Small space, wide selection & competitive prices; responsive staff but you have to ask.


                                                Manhattan Fine Wines
                                                1157 Artesia Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                                                1. A vote for Du Vin. It's on San Vicente just south of Melrose in West Hollywood. Their staff is great at steering us in the right direction, and they'll show just as much energy into helping select a less expensive bottle as anything. We're not quite at the point where we're spending the big dollars on wine. We've had great $5 bottles and great $30 bottles from there, and everything in between.

                                                  1. Flask Fine Wines which I commented on earlier is at 12194 Ventura Blvd. and I was advised yesterday that they have obtained their permit to have a wine tasting bar, and they plan to have it up and running in a week or two. I will post when I am acually certain the wine bar is open.

                                                    1. Another vote for Topline in Glendale. Great selection and the best prices I've found. They basically run the place out of a garage and "pass the savings on to you."