It’s finally fall in L.A., and although it doesn’t always feel it, the subtle changing of the seasons is upon us. Soon the dry hot summer days will start to feel a bit shorter, the nights a bit cooler, and we’ll all be reaching for something new and unique to sip. No, we don’t mean a pumpkin spice martini. We’re talking wine. Bold reds, cool orange wines, funky Pet-Nat, crisp whites — something fun you’ll want to pour for a nice dinner or small get-together in your slick new apartment.
Downtown has no shortage of excellent places to buy and sip wine, whether it’s a shop or restaurant and bar. But thanks to new rules, you can also get bottles of wine for delivery or curbside pickup. To help point you towards the best seasonal sips, we asked four DTLA experts on their favorite wines to drink this fall, what to serve them with, and how to get them to your own table.
Andrea Borgen, owner of Barcito
While the South Park restaurant and wine bar remains closed for dining in, this is the optimal time to take advantage of the natural wine selection. For the fall owner Andrea Borgen likes the Meinklang Mulatschak Skin-Fermented Pinot Gris ($23) from Austria, a perfect “gateway orange wine.” These white wines have been fermented on their skins, yielding a rounder body and darker almost copper color. “It’s such a crowd pleaser, has an approachable price point (for orange wines), and is really perfect to drink in the fall,” Borgen says. “Full-bodied, it can be drunk ice cold or at room temperature. It’s really complex.”. For a red, she likes Stolpman’s “Love You Bunches” Carbonic Sangiovese ($20) from the Central Coast of California. “A super easy drinking, chilled red. Nothing like the classic Sangiovese or Chiantis out of Tuscany, these grapes are fermented carbonically (in the presence of CO2) and give a slight effervescence to the final wine. Tart, and tannic, and so, so chuggable. Also, the label is tooooo cute!”
Order the wines (and delicious food) for takeout or delivery here.
Amy Luftig Viste, co-owner of Angeleno Wine Co.
Amy Luftig Viste and Jasper Dickson opened Angeleno Wine Co. to push the boundaries of what SoCal wine can be, and produce natural and 100% vegan wines made with grapes sustainably grown in L.A County. In normal times, you can visit the winery across from the Los Angeles State Historic Park and enjoy a tasting. Until it can open to guests again, you can take advantage of the free delivery or contactless pickup. Viste suggests the Sierra Highway GSM ($30) for cooler days and nights, a blend of three Rhone varietals: Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. “These wines are rich, full bodied and characterized by dark fruit, herbs and spice,” she adds. “I find the aromatics of this red wine really pretty and calming. And I am going to need a lot of help with calm this fall.”
Contactless deliveries and pickups are available from the winery, plus there’s a discount when you buy six or 12 bottles.1646 N. Spring St.
Kristin and Emmanuel Dossetti, co-owners of Zinque
The Arts District wine bar is known for it’s lovely leafy garden, which is open for dining in, along with a marketplace for wine, beer, prepared food, and pantry items. It almost feels like you’re in the Mediterranean, which is why the Dossettis choose the splurge-worthy 2016 Châteauneuf-Du-Pape Domaine du Vieux Lazaret ($76) for autumn sipping. “The region has long been home to my husband’s favorite wines, and this one is bold, spicy and full of luscious berry flavors,” Kristin says. She adds a reminder that rosé isn’t just for summer, and says the organic 2018 Domaine De Fontenille Lubéron ($56) is phenomenal this time of year. Try it with grilled branzino.
All the wines are available by the glass or bottle at the restaurant, but also available for takeout.
Skylar Hughes, wine director at Rossoblu
The Fashion District spot has expansive outdoor patio for dining and sipping, but it still does a robust takeout and delivery menu so you can enjoy the fantastic Italian menu from chef Steve Samson anywhere. Wine director Skylar Hughes is big on the famed and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco this time of year. “One of my favorite early fall wines, when the evenings finally cool off our warm days in LA is the light, bright, and almost effervescent Claret J.C. ($68) from Vajra, a lively Nebbiolo. Another food friendly wines is the Cascina Val del Prete’s 2017 Bricco Medico ($85), a standout for its cherry, crushed flowers, and even smokey, dried chili aromatics.” There are some great under $30 wines on the to-go list as well.
The wines are available for dining al fresco at the restaurant, or available for pickup and delivery.
Feature photo by Kelsey Knight/Unsplash