Wine was once so expensive that the rich conspicuously spilled it on their golden capes instead of wasting it invisibly in their stomachs. Afford enough wine to braggadociously spill it with today's Groupon. For $20, you get $40 worth of dangerously good wines and explosively flavorful appetizers from The Nose Wine Bar in Pasadena. The Nose superbly sniffs out small-batch wines from family-owned, single-vineyard, and organic wineries, according to the LA Times.
Like birds assigned to Saturday-morning detention, The Nose's wines come in flights (flocks of four or five) and are grouped by character. Drink to the times—or the hope they're passing—with the Recession Flight, featuring Carma Vineyards Chardonnay from Chile and the Old Ghost Zinfandel from Cienega Valley (three for $16, four for $19). Or drink to drinking with the Connoisseur Flight, headlined by an Uruguayan Petite Verdot and Tanner Vineyard's Syrah (three for $22, four for $25). Two master sommeliers attend the flights, which change every few days. Elegant small plates' piquant flavors complement the grapen goodness; snap up grilled cheese with brie and cranberries ($10), a duck and fig sausage with sauerkraut ($10), or an uncorked-at-your-table crab cake with truffle tartar sauce ($11).
Decked out as either the secret dungeon of a revolutionary aristocrat or the lair of a debonair seducer who is secretly a revolutionary aristocrat, The Nose uses exposed stone walls and swimming schools of wine bottles to bathe its guests in a bubble bath of chic. The down-to-earth staff of former private eyes is expert in tracking down incognito vineyards and busting their chops until they spill all about the pinot noir's involvement with the merlot. Check online for upcoming events and to see what flights The Nose has scheduled.
The LA press calls The Nose Wine Bar one of the best-kept secrets in Pasadena, with everyone from the Los Angeles Times to Gayot to LA Weekly blog Squid Ink acknowledging its hidden and heretofore unheralded charms. Yelpers give it four stars.
- It’s easy to miss this exceptional Arcade Lane wine bar even though it’s practically under your, well, nose…design elements like angled bottles displayed as wall art and loose corks piled in recessed centerpieces remind you that wine is the central pleasure here. – Los Angeles Times
- Hidden in a quaint shopping arcade, this delightful discovery offers a moderately priced wine list, with nearly every wine producing region from Croatia to Burgundy represented, and interesting flights are regularly assembled. – Gayot
- This wine bar is our little neighborhood secret. – Joanne P., Yelp
Nose Wine Bar
The Nose Wine Bar collects rare and unusual vintages from across the globe, pairing bouquets with a range of hot and cold small plates amid the soft light of flickering candles. A rotating wine menu culls the creations of French, Italian, and Californian vintners and includes three-wine-tasting flights to tempt indecisive diners and three-headed wine critics alike. Rows of gleaming bottles line the walls as creamy leather seating surrounds intimate two- and four-person tables. On Friday and Saturday, live musicians vibrate wineglasses and awaiting eardrums with solo melodies.
696 E Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, California 91101Get Directions