From Natural Wine to Artisanal Goods, These Eclectic Wine Shops in Los Angeles Offer More Than Just Red, White and Rosé
When it comes to LA’s female- and non-binary-owned wine shops, it’s hard not to feel like the glass is half-full. (Sure—that’s a little cheesy, but step into any of the stores and try not to be in a good mood!) Gone are the days of somber and snooty sommeliers lecturing what makes a good wine; these are outfits that spotlight small, passionate winemakers that make LA’s wine scene friendlier, more colorful and infinitely more delicious. Wine Shops Near me
It’s impossible to talk about the women-led wine revolution (or the natural wine revolution) in LA without mentioning Domaine LA , which led the charge when it first opened in 2009. Then came Jill Bernheimer—and her wine wiz team, many of whom have gone on to spearhead other natural wine projects in the city. Domaine is more a journey than a wine shop; blackboards lining the walls direct you to different regions. All bottles are natural but showcase how wide-ranging “natural” is, as you receive an education in wine and learn more about your own tastes. The entire store was designed by Jill’s brother, architect Andrew Bernheimer, with a central space meant to resemble a living room, where customers are invited to sit, chat and geek out over vino. And chatting is a large part of the Domaine experience. “My hope is that when people come here, it will be a conversation,” explains Bernheimer.
Local Insight: Follow @domainela to find out about regular tastings.
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What kind of vinovore are you? You might not know, but sommelier Coly Den Haan does. At Silver Lake’s Vinovore—a women-owned natural wine and goods store that features women winemakers from around the world—you’re greeted by a breakdown of your wine spirit animal, ranging from the Pink Pony (for rosé fans) to the tannin-hungry Bronze T-Rex. Each bottle of wine is labeled with what vinovore will love it most. “It demystifies some more unusual wines that you might be afraid to try,” Haan says. “I was hoping to give people the tools to figure out what they like.” Need gift ideas before the holiday (or just want to give yourself a well-deserved treat)? Pre-made gift boxes feature the perfect wine-food-and-read pairings, and a section of the store is devoted entirely to badass female authors. And if you think something is missing from the shelves, Haan wants to know. “I like to think of this as a living place. I always try to stock the things that people are looking for. There’s always a dialogue here,” she says.
Location: Silver Lake
Jon & Vinny’s is an institution for Italian comfort food—and it’s also home to Helen’s, the self-proclaimed “dopest wine shop in LA.” It’s a title that’s hard to argue with. Helen’s is a testament to small vineyards and natural, biodynamic and organic wines. “We champion small producers who are really like artists,” owner Helen Johannesen explains, “coaxing the best fruit from the wine in the most natural way possible. Johannesen, an acclaimed sommelier, seeks to change the wine world person by person, starting by connecting each customer with the right bottle for them. “The key is to listen and pair wine with people,” she says.
Local Insight: Keep an eye out for a Slauson location, opening soon.
Location: Fairfax, Brentwood
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Charming and bright with a checkerboard floor, cherry shelves and a vibrant blue ceiling, Monica Navarro’s Wine + Eggs almost feels like your dream kitchen packed with everything you could crave. It’s both a wine shop (she’s a fan of local, low-intervention bottles) and artisanal market, featuring delicacies from gluten-free pastas to seasonal produce. And if you’re in the mood for something stronger than wine, there’s a compelling section of locally made liquors. There are no words to better describe Wine + Eggs than a sense of joy, enhanced by the in-depth, and often cheeky, tasting notes that accompany the bottles. Navarro also owns the Wine and Rock Shop in Joshua Tree, which offers a range of—you guessed it—wine and rocks (along with incense and local facial serum, aka everything you might need for a trip to the desert).
Location: Atwater Village
Downtown LA’s Flask & Field is the passion project of former entertainment attorney Miriam Woo, who imagined a life not of stress but of simplicity and one which brought enjoyment to others. Woo, who is nonbinary, wanted a space that blended design and good drinks, eventually cultivating a place that perfectly integrated both. The barrier of entry for wines to appear on Flask & Field’s shelves? Woo says they just have to be really, really good and made by people who care. The shop also offers artisanal goods (read: chocolate), small-batch spirits, garnishes and a wide variety of glassware to meet any and all hospitality needs.
Location: Downtown LA