Going to be in SoCal next week

I'm going out to Pasadena for a wedding, and will only have 1 day to
myself, probably Friday. I'd like to visit at least 1 good wine shop
while I'm there, one that is easily accessible to me, as I won't have a
car, only public transportation. I might be able to convince someone
to drive me to a wine shop if its within 20 minutes or so of my
friend's house, but that's all.
I'm looking for a store that has a good selection of wines that aren't
exported much beyond the state of California. I'd be interested in
some Turley Zins, which are unavailable in Maine. I don't really know
what else to look for though.
So in addition to a wine shop suggestion, what are some essential
"California exclusives" that I should look for? My tastes are quite
varied, so pretty much anything goes in regards to varietal and style.
Thanks for any input,
- Chris
Reply to
Chris Sprague
I'm sure that the So Cal locals will have some suggestions, but I've always had good experiences at the LA Wine Co Palm Desert Store. They also have an LA store.
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Reply to
Mike P
In article ,
I am a Pasadena resident. You are in luck, because there are some good wine shops (although perhaps not the best in the LA area) right here.
In no particular order:
1. The Chronicle Wine Cellar
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No frills wine shop famous for bargains. You won't find Turley here, but the staff is very knowledgeable and the bargains are great. Last week, they had Phelps Insignia for under $60. More emphasis on cheap French producers, though.
2. Le Petit Vendome
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Formerly Pasadena Wine Merchants, this is part of a chain. If they do not have it then they can get it. This is walking distance from The Chronicle Wine Cellar. It's fun to hit both. The manager is very personable and will not steer you wrong.
3. Heritage Wine Company
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Lots of emphasis on mid-priced California wines here. Nothing too exciting, but you will find staples like Alban and the staff is friendly.
4. Gerlach's Drive-in Liquors
Not much to look at from the outside, but inside they have some stunners like Screaming Eagle. Selection is small, but sometimes surprising. Go here if you think you might want to find a Marcassin or similar.
5. Mission Wines
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This is in South Pasadena, but that's just a few minutes from Pasadena. Owner Chris used to be sommelier at Patina. Lots of great selections here with more at the top end. Probably the best destination for what you want, although Le Petit Vendome is similar.
6. Bristol Farms
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This is an upscale grocery store, but the wine selection is very good. It has the added benefit of being on the way to/from Mission Wines. I have found some rare wines here, although the focus is on quality wines from big producers like Stag's Leap, Heitz, and such. You will find that pretty much every grocery store here stocks a good selection of wine compared to most places I have been. The more upscale chains (Whole Foods, Bristol Farms, Gelson's - all with nearby locations) have more upscale wines.
7. Mission Liquors
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Not to be confused with Mission Wines (above), this place is probably only worth stopping in if it is close for you. You don't say where in Pasadena you will be, but it's worth it to go if you are in walking distance. Otherwise, I wouldn't.
8. JKI/Waves
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Distributor of wines from Italy and Germany. They have an office on Walnut that is open occasionally. You will find German and Italian wines from small producers. Call them if you decide you don't want to focus exclusively on California. You will definitely find wine here you will not get anywhere else.
9. Red Carpet Wine
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This store is in Glendale, the next city over from Pasadena. You definitely need a car. It is the closest place I can guarantee you will find Turley wines, however. Decent selection of wines on par with Le Petit Vendome.
These are the local stores to check out. There are many, many more including in nearby Monrovia, Sierra Madre, and La Canada. The biggest and best are going to be a bit of a drive - Wally's, Woodland Hills Wine, HiTime, 2020 Wines, Wine Club, and Wine House. However, just in Pasadena you can have a lot of fun.
There is also a good wine bar called Halie
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. Right now they are pouring over 20 pinots by the glass. I always have a good time there. Ambience is great, food is good, and the wines are not typically those you find poured by the glass.
Have fun!
Reply to
D. Gerasimatos
I forgot to add...
Not in the same league as some of the others, but there is a Bevmo (Beverages & More -
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here in Pasadena as well. Again, you will mostly find mid-priced wines like Pine Ridge and Trefethen. Nothing boutique. However, it is worth knowing about. Probably not a stop for someone on a tight schedule, but worth mentioning.
Reply to
D. Gerasimatos
In article ,
Since you mentioned some of the Orange County shops, don't forget about Wine Exchange over by the Orange Mall. I actually find the prices and selection are better than Hi Time's which is 15 minutes away. They're a close enough drive to conveniently hit both plus Wine Club if you're in "the OC." Just like when I'm in the UCLA area I tend to drop in on Wally's, Wine House, and 2020 in succession.
Reply to
Max Chuang

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