Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Apr 23, 2007 09:44 AM

Anyone know the name of wine bar with...?

Hi all,

I have only heard about this place, but it's kind of wine bar where you pay money to put points on a card and you go around trying wines from the bin? I'm having serious amnesia about the name of the place.

If anyone's been is it good? Other similar wine bar recommendations?

Thank you!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've been to a place like this called Taste, but it was in SLO, maybe there's one in LA too

    2 Replies
    1. re: smile81

      The one I know of in LA is Vinum. Be careful, the automatic spouts sprayed me with grape juice. But that was after a few "tastings". A good idea for shy neophytes or sommelier class, but I prefer being served by a knowledgeable staff .

      1. re: Mr. S

        Yes, Vinum Populi in culver city has that system.

        I have enjoyed Primitivo on Abbot Kinney in Venice a lot. My favorite wine bar in town. Comfortable atmosphere and knowledgeable bartenders/sommeliers.

        Bottlerock in Culver City has gotten a lot of press.

        Bin 8945 in West Hollywood is no longer a wine bar, per se, but does have one of the best wine by the glass lists in the city.

        AOC can fun a fun but expensive restaurant to treat as a wine bar. Had a great glass of Austrian dessert wine, an Auslese, at the bar there last week. Excellent. I think it was $11.

    2. Vinotecca in Los Feliz is my neighborhood haunt. Great wines by the glass and food is really good as well.

      1. Yeah I was there once and thought it was a fun system, we did $10 per person, but since I'm not a huge fan of Italian wine I didn't love it. Other negs = it was hard to find a seat, and when mixing all those tastes eventually everything tastes the same. I had a better time at Bottle Rocket, where if you get a group it's easy to find a seat and with many bottles in the mid 20's to 30's range, it's easy to afford a bottle or two to split instead.

        1 Reply
        1. My favorite wine bar (other than AOC) is Red White + Bluezz in Pasadena. Also up the street on Raymond is Vertical, so it's possible to visit both. A fun selection of flights at both, I prefer the food at RWB better, but if you're just going for drinks, both are very good. Vertical has a bit more of an hip/martini bar atmosphere, whereas RWB is (obviously) more of a blues bar atmosphere.

          7 Replies
          1. re: SauceSupreme

            And I've also heard that RWB's got their wines on tap in a special pressurized system...

            I went to Vertical a couple nights ago.... and althought I liked the vibe and the service was remarkably accomodating, the space is too loud to talk comfortably (though I was sitting in the lounge). Not so much the people, but the design-- it just feels like the noise is clattering off the walls and floors at every corner.

            IMO, a place has got to be loud and bright or darkish and quiet. Vertical was darkish and loud. It just doesn't work.

            Though I adore the many flights arranged on their menu-- lots of potential for the patron to learn a thing or two about a particular varietal or region. I would go back, but not before checking out some other wine bars in the area (notably BottleRock in Culver and RWB in Pas)

            1. re: amandine

              Yes, it's on tap. It's actually quite impressive to see the bottles on display with these tubes siphoning them up and out of a spigot. Don't forget to ask about the "other" room in the back (entrance is on Green, giving it sort of a speakeasy feel to it), as it has a longer wine bar. Be forewarned: it gets loud back there.

              1. re: SauceSupreme

                The back room (where the jazz/bluezz is done) is only open part time--Thurs-Sat or Sun.
                If you want quiet, are serious about wine, and don't need food, go to The Nose on Colorado near El Molino.

                1. re: mc michael

                  Ah, I was wondering about where the jazz was, we missed out on it.

                2. re: SauceSupreme

                  I've noticed another wine shop on Raymond north of Holly (across the street from the park) called Heirloom wine shop? maybe? i can't remember. anyone been? do they serve food?

                  1. re: amandine

                    HERITAGE WINE. they do serve snacks. good wine tastings. fun, congenial crowd.

            2. Vinum Populi in Culver City is the only one I know of that has the "debit card" system. I thought it was nice to be able to taste the more expensive bottles, but overall, I don't think it's a good value. The menu looked just ok, we ended up going elsewhere for food. Also, the place is really small.

              Bottle Rock, a block away, has nice wine selections but a very limited menu. And if you order a panini, be sure to bring your set of steel teeth, the bread was overtoasted, tough to bite into, and required lots of chewing.

              Upstairs 2 at the Wine House is great! Very nice wine selections offered in a couple of different pours, and the food is excellent.

              1 Reply
              1. re: slacker

                there is another wine bar with the "debit card system": Barrel in Malibu. It's next to Ralphs, passing Malibu Canyon