Los Angeles Oktoberfest invites visitors to celebrate the changing seasons with two days of traditional Bavarian revelry. Hosted by Bob Guiney from ABC's The Bachelor, the festival invites attendees to fill their glass steins with any of the 19 available German beers and purchase hearty platefuls of bratwurst, giant pretzels, and strudel. Live bands lead traditional, sing-along drinking tunes, a Bavarian dance group performs for joyous audiences, and a strolling accordionist weaves through the crowds while playing familiar German melodies. In addition to bidding on sports memorabilia at the silent-auction table, patrons can also test their arm strength by competing in the stein-holding competition, which rewards the winners with lifetime admission to the Los Angeles Oktoberfest and a brand new pair of steel biceps to replace the old, used-up ones.
After purchasing a stretch of property in Ramona in 1998, William Holzhauer and Tammy Rimes finally fulfilled their dream of owning a winery. Along with the equine facilities they built for their peruvian paso horses, the pair planted vineyards and erected a winery modeled after a 16th-century mission Spanish mission in California. That nostalgic theme continues in the tasting room, where staffers adorned in historical attire greet guests from behind a hand-carved pinewood bar. Once inside, both visitors and tasters for paranoid CEOs sample wines concocted from California grapes while milling among wine-barrel tables, a bubbling fountain flanked with planted bulbs, and windows overlooking the plaza. Along with its local wine-sampling soirees, the tasting room accommodates microbrew tastings and private events for up to 40 guests.
Drinking wine often makes people believe they’re funnier, smarter, and two feet taller than they were when they first saw Matthew McConaughey star in Scorpion King. Heighten up with today’s Groupon: a three-wine flight of your choosing for $9 at Unwined Wine Bar (worth up to $22). Surround yourself with live music and 50 different wines while you learn about the lives and times of society's treasured squashed grapes.
Noeteca‘s owners spent their lives looking forward to running their own restaurant, so it’s no surprise that the French-inspired tapas spot feels comfortable in its own skin from early morning meals until late into the night. During the day, Noeteca seems like a cafe, where patrons sip on international coffees from local roasters brewed by the cup or for personal-sized French presses. At brunch menu, familiar dishes share space with ambitious French-inspired offerings—the croque monsieur becomes a croque Napoleon with slices of bread pudding layered with black forest ham and emmantaler. When the weather is nice, guests can wander out to a patio colored by a flower and herb garden to learn the sun’s secret handshake.
As evening falls, candlelight fills the dining room and guests switch their focus to wine. The award-winning list includes more than 30 varieties, each available by the glass or half-glass. For dinner, patrons can build their own cheese plates or share a tarte flambèe, Alsatian flatbreads the San Francisco Bay Guardian said have “a lovely thin, blistered crust that was a bit softer and more luxurious than a typical pizza crust”.
To make the search for fermented grapes almost as enjoyable as drinking them or throwing them at passing busses, Vino 100's friendly and knowledgeable staff of winetrepreneurs assists customers in making informed wine selections without the need for clunky vinometers and high-powered wineoculars. Vino 100 stocks more than 200 wines priced at $25 or less and more than 200 wines priced at $26 and up, as well as dozens of bottles costing equal to or less than the square root of the daily NASDAQ index. Amid its charmingly rustic décor, visitors can grab a bottle of Seven Hills Riesling ($15), De Tierra Merlot ($18), and more. The type of bottle all depends on whether they want to massage taste buds during dinner or inject a giggly romanticism into an evening that's usually spent playing Yahtzee and watching dance-contest recap shows. You can also peruse a wide selection of craft beers and savory meats and cheeses.