With a mission to educate consumers on the mystifying subtleties of wine, Learn About Wine hosts more than 100 classes, trade tastings, and consumer events each year. Since its beginnings in 1995, the organization has helped more than 50,000 students deepen their appreciation and understanding of the old-world drink through socially centered programs and refined, but approachable wine-education classes. Wine Camp ? An Introduction to Wine, the company's introductory course and one of its most popular offerings, encourages guests to absorb wine-drinking terminology and critical lessons in storing and serving. Regional tours lead groups through various growing regions, allowing visitors to observe processes such as fermenting and picking bottles at the peak of glossiness. Click here for a complete listing of program types.
As the years have led to urban expansion, only one Los Angeles winery has stood the test of time. The San Antonio Winery and Restaurant in Lincoln Heights is so beloved as a local drinking institution, it was given cultural monument status in 1966. Since then, the hidden-away winery, down a few side streets in an industrial part of the downtown area, has been quietly serving up glasses of fine wine from their Italian-style villa. Terracotta roofs and tall greenery line the exterior of this operational winery, which has been bottling since 1917. Free wine tastings and tours are available daily, and the attached Maddalena restaurant serves homey Italian food.
City Sip tempts guests with a globally focused wine list featuring more than 40 wines by the glass, complemented by a thoughtful menu of cheese, small plates, panini, and more. Swirl, sniff, and sip your way through potable pleasures such as an Alsatian gewürztraminer from Klipfel ($11/glass), a Felino malbec ($12/glass), or another pick from the encyclopedic selection of bubblies, whites, reds, roses, and other vine-based beauties. Like the three-fisted men who harvest the grapes, wine flights provide a one-two-three palate punch, while dessert wines such as a Landskroon morio muscat ($11/glass) gently slap tongues with sweetness. A selection of craft beers including Allagash Curieux ($8) and Eagle Rock Brewery Solidarity ($7), plus a handful of nonalcoholic options, round out the liquid luxuries.
Koreatown has become a hive of interesting eateries and karaoke bars, as well as a growing commerce district. This highly diverse neighborhood is a veritable melting pot of cultures - foodies will find themselves with an array of choices as they encounter offerings of Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Mexican and Indian fare. The Garden Suite Hotel provides a comfortable base from which to explore this burgeoning neighborhood, with proximity to the Wilshire and Western Metro station opening up a whole range of car-free exploration. Rooms are stylish and soothing and have recently been remodeled, and guests can nosh on breakfast or cocktails at Purple Wine & Coffee, the hotel’s on-site restaurant. The Wiltern concert venue is close by, and the hotel is conveniently located across the street from a supermarket.
Even though it's nestled inside Garden Suite Hotel, Purple Wine & Coffee has its own distinct vibe. Its cushy, wine-red booths perch beside a display of large wine barrels, and the walls boast wine bottle decor that blends seamlessly with the modern, softly lit ambiance featuring purple lights. Patrons can take it all in while savoring a glass of wine, sipping on an espresso, or munching on a sandwich or a light appetizer of cheese or shrimp tempura. They can also head to the private dining room for small meetings or birthday parties for a perfectly aged bottle of cabernet.
Cozy candlelight and flickering lanterns cast soft shadows in 55 Degree Wine?s cellar, where waiters eagerly pair customers? palates with weekly rotating wines. Featured on Best of LA Weekly in 2012 for its wine program, the winery stocks more than 2,000 labels, of which up to 60 are spotlighted in the cellar?s monthly lineup of pours. Though most vintages are Italian, ambrosias from Europe, South America, and other far-flung climes find homes in the shop after being tasted and approved by store owners. The thermostat, appropriately set to 55 degrees, helps keep elixirs fresh and patrons comfortable, but guests may wish to bring a sweater or particularly affectionate bear.