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Top Wine Stores in West LA?

After hearing a lot about The Wine House I checked it out--not bad, but I found it overpriced and the wines I ended up with weren't terribly impressive (Cloudline Pinot is bad enough I discovered, but Cloudline Pinot for $20 is awful).

I've been to Moe's in Brentwood which, again, was solid enough but a bit pricey. Maybe a bit impersonal?

I'm looking for a place where I can build a relationship with whoever is selling me wine. One of the things I miss about being back east is my wine guy Joe at The Grape d'Vine in Tappan, NY. Joe knew what I liked in a wine, was an educator, and was always excited about getting new stuff in.

Anyone think they might have a good suggestion?

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  1. I love Wally's in Westwood. Very personal service and everyone there seems to be passionate about wine.

    1 Reply
    1. check out los angeles wine co and beverage warehouse in cc/mdr.

      1 Reply
      1. Du Vin on San Vicente is my favorite.
        Wine Expo on Santa Monica for Italians.
        Venokado on Fountain impressed me with the couple of selections they made.
        Back Eastside I like Silverlake Wine more and more.

        Silverlake Wine
        2395 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

        Wine Expo
        2933 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

        Du Vin Wine & Spirits
        540 N San Vicente Blvd West, Hollywood, CA

        7714 Fountain Ave West, Hollywood, CA

        3 Replies
        1. re: cls

          I second Du Vin. Rene realy knows what he is talking about, will steer you towards a better wine for a lesser price and his recs are always spot on.

          1. re: cls

            I always get good service and high quality wine at Wine Expo.

            1. re: anothernotch

              I've had wines EXTREMELY highly recommended by the guys at Wine Expo, not cheap, that I hated. 2 or 3 times. Won't go back.

          2. Absolutely Wally's. Right now I like Thomas there.

            1. Fireside on Montana and Duck Blind (both of them)

              1. Didn't really have time to go into it before, but I've lived in L.A. for about 14 years now and have tried every single wine store (of merit) many times. I've had good bottles from everywhere and good service, at least on occasion, from most places. But Wally's, consistently over time, has employed more people who have genuinely gotten to know my palate and helped me out than anywhere else. Their prices across the board are not the lowest, but a) you are paying for service and b) they have plenty of great buys all the time on very interesting, quality, not famous wines, so I tend to think of them as very price-competitive. I know it's a cliche to say Wally's is best, but I think for good reason.

                1. On the west side I shop at:

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

                  Wine House
                  2311 Cotner Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                  Wally's Wine & Spirits
                  2107 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                  2020 Wine Company
                  2020 Cotner Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                    1. re: RicRios

                      Ric - there's a reason no one mentioned K&L.
                      K&L still has not figured out the LA market. Some truly dreadful selections, and the help still does not understand the questions to ask to be truly helpful.
                      They have a long way to go to catch up with those already more established, meaning almost every place already mentioned.
                      Wally's and Wine House go through so many employees that developing a relationship is very difficult
                      Silver Lake, Topline on the east side seem to do a good job, as does Chris Meeske at Mission Wines in So. Pasadena.
                      Still not one place in the valley that is any better than any other - all are fairly dreadful, or so full of themselves, aka Woodland Hills Wine Co, that you should not venture near the front door.

                      1. re: carter

                        One thing that I do like about K&L though, is that if you order from their website, you can order bottles from any of their locations and they will ship them to Hollywood (no extra cost) where I can pick them up. I usually order a few bottles here and there, and then stop by about once every other month or so to pick them up.

                        I also disagree with you about Woodland Hills. I'm nothing on their bottom line, yet I've received excellent service and attention there each time. Great people, that really know wine.

                      2. re: RicRios

                        Yep. I am in the wine biz, and will only give my business to K & L, Wine Expo, LA Wine co or Silverlake. The rest, no way.

                        1. Lincoln Wine Shop on Lincoln. Great place and great people to help you.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: anons

                            Good call anons, agreed. Surprisingly good prices.

                            1. re: la tache burger

                              yup. better prices than the wine house, and hard to find wines.

                              1. re: anons

                                +1 on LWS. They don't do case discounts b/c he says their markup is only 15%. I think they're a little nervous about the Whole Paycheck just opened on Rose but LWS prices and selection are waay much better. I hope Venetians support them.

                                1. re: hobomike

                                  I'm much more eager for Venetians to support newly reopened Venice Beach Wines on Rose. It's owned and run by a lovely couple and they now serve food too.


                                  1. re: hrhboo

                                    How is it? It's not a very inviting storefront and never appears to have anyone in it.

                                    I do like the 'Staff Pick's and In N' Out burger-like prozaked employees at Wally's....much more personal than Wine House. Just today I told Jeremiah I would be back for his head if his recommended Brunello doesn't work out:)

                                    I guess we should all feel fortunate to have 2 of the biggest wine distributors in the US within a few miles.

                                    1. re: ElJeffe

                                      It's been closed for several months while the patio was being renovated and a kitchen put in. It just reopened and has been getting busier.

                                      It's tiny but wonderful. The people who run it are super friendly and accommodating.

                                      1. re: hrhboo

                                        I went friday eve, as my friends literally live across the street, and it was bustling. The food was just a'ight and the staff, friendly but very slammed. But it was their first week... My only issue is the pricing on the wine, which I found to be high (400% on some glasses). Granted, they need to make $ in a very tiny space but it didn't really feel like Venice. In fact, it felt much more like the gentrified Lower East Side. It's not affordable enough for everyday, which I think they will need to be, to weather this coming storm.

                          2. Jacques at K&L is very good: knowledgeable and helpful, especially with champagnes.

                            1. Wally's tends to have the most passionate and knowledgeable help in addition to the widest inventory. Although there prices tend to be a little higher I find the process easier there. They also have a decent online store. www.wallywine.com

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Biazarro

                                Wally's has the widest inventory? I asked for a Gruner and they sniffed at me that they don't really carry Austrian wines. I guess they have a wide inventory of what they think you should drink.

                              2. Even though it is a little bit of a drive (definitely not Westside) Woodland Hills Wine company is one of my favorite places to go. They ave tastings every weekend, send great email newsletters, have great prices and know their stuff. It's worth the drive.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: jjlevine91411

                                  Interesting what a difference a few inches make!

                                  See carter's comments a few inches up ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5669... ) :

                                  "Still not one place in the valley that is any better than any other - all are fairly dreadful, or so full of themselves, aka Woodland Hills Wine Co, that you should not venture near the front door."

                                  1. re: jjlevine91411

                                    I agree. Woodland Hills Wine is my favorite place for wines. I much prefer it over Wine House and Wally's. They have a huge selection. The staff knows their stuff, and they never try to sell me something over my budget--in fact, they usually come in a few dollars less! They take pride in finding great inexpensive wines, but they also have the expensive wines. So far, I've liked all the wines they've recommended.

                                    Wally's is too expensive. At the Wine House, no matter what maximum price I give them, they always show me something that costs more. For instance, the last time I was there, I wanted a ChDP between $50-75, and they showed me $85 bottles. Once they sold me a $50 bottle that tasted like chalk--no one at the dinner table would drink it.

                                  2. Did anyone mention 20/20? Are they still around? I used to say that if the end of the world was coming, I'd spend my last minutes there: they had amazing verticals of most of the famous Bordeauxs, DRCs, etc. That said, I never gave them much business as the stuff was usually troppo caro. I heard the owner was a krabass too. Comments?

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: hobomike

                                      I will never be able to get the business concept underneath 20/20.
                                      All I know it's an excellent market gauge:
                                      I stopped buying at winebid.com when I noticed their auction starting prices were higher than 20/20's retail !

                                      1. re: RicRios

                                        Bobby's selections to the rear of the current releases section are purchases from personal wine cellars,and thus have aging already in place, yet you have a caveat - how well was it stored, and of course is a bottle at or over the hill.
                                        Caveat Emptor.
                                        As to his new releases, he gets some things that are not often seen, yet other stuff you wonder why he carries it, which as Ric says, makes for an odd business concept, yet by now, he really must know his customers and their buying needs.

                                        Will not deny any comments regarding his personality though - needs improvement.

                                      2. re: hobomike

                                        Owner and prices suck. Selection great if you want to get ripped off. Avoid.

                                      3. I shop at The Wine Country in Signal Hill, LA Wine and K&L

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: annapurna7

                                          wine country info:

                                          Wine Country
                                          2301 Redondo Ave, Signal Hill, CA

                                        2. A relationship is very important but so is what you drink and where it is from. Are you looking for current vintages or older stuff? I don't drink a lot of new world stuff except CA, so please forgive the inherent bias in my comments:

                                          Bordeaux? Wally's is by far the best option. Wine Expo's forte is good italian, sparkling. LA Wine Co: Relationship place for sure. Not a place for labels. Great place for someone who is looking for that little "something special" for a good value. K&L: Great place to buy a case of whatever - their prices are good. Because of the SF headquarters, they have a huge inventory. I find their staff is much more helpful and friendly than Wine House. Great for Older Burgundy, Premium California, and other areas around the world. WHWC: non-champagne sparkling.
                                          I see no one has mentioned Wine Exchange. It is worth a trip to irvine just to see the place. It is HUGE, the cellar seems to go on for blocks. Great selections in white burgundy, rhone. Wine Country is closest to me logistically, but I really find their inventory superficial and their staff not as helpful/knowledgeable in comparison to other places on the list.

                                          Overall, if your priority is truly relationship-only, I would say LA Wine Co or Sepulveda Wine Co (in manhattan beach.) Don't expect much in older vintages, and they have very limited selection. It was handpicked with love, but is limited.

                                          Wine Exchange
                                          2368 N Orange Mall, Orange, CA 92865

                                          Sepulveda Wine Co
                                          917 N Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA

                                          1. I've always had a great experience at The Wine House. Wally's is good too, but I find the selection and service and prices at the Wine House to be generally better. I have a relationship with two sales people there and find that they have come to know my palate and always recommend great stuff. The knowledge of the staff at the wine house is the best I've found in LA and the service they offer trumps Wally's and the rest.