Today’s recipe comes from one of the trendiest wine bars in Southern California. Located in downtown Long Beach on Linden Ave., District Wine is owned and operated by local Long Beach residents Mark and Angela Dunton, who started it from scratch in April 2010. In the three years it’s been opened Angela and Mark have been carefully and thoughtfully crafting a space where the wine and foodie aficionado or the novice can come to enjoy over 30 small-lot wine by the glass selections, along with heavy appetizers and gourmet flatbread pizza. Imported beer is also on the menu, so whatever you’re thinking of, it’s all here for you.
There is a choice of inside and outside seating. The inside décor gives off an upscale but comfy vibe. Chairs, couches and traditional tables and chairs are set in private sections around a wall of wine and engaging art. You’ll like the extensive list of carefully chosen wines by the glass, tasty small plate options and beers. The staff is interested in what makes you happy. You may guide them in your choices, or sit back and let them choose for you after answering a few questions. If you enjoy people watching, take the patio service option.
My experience at District Wine occured during "Cheese Week," a promotion created by the Visit CA folks, and organized by the Downtown Long Beach Associates. I brought a friend with me to give me a local’s perspective. I have been to many wine bars around the world. I thought this one ranks right up there with anything I’ve experienced in New York, Italy, or Atlanta. My friend Adrianne loved the atmosphere, the wines, the food, and the attentive service. We both thought it would be the perfect place to meet business friends, a blind date or a group of friends. It would also be fine to show up solo. It’s a place that seems to accommodate any one wherever they are on their wine journey.
A big shout out goes to the owners for their Cheese Week pairing. Truly superb, they used a local cheese shop and hit all the right notes. Just another example of how well the Dunton’s do what they do.
Cheese Week Pairing - $25 per person (a bargain!)
Think about adding the roasted nuts plate ($6)
Course 1: Ken Brown Pinot with Musette cheese
Course 2: Saint-Esprit Cote du Rhone with Boont Corners, Penny Royal Farmstead
Corse 3: Alp Draeckloch Switzerland with Opolo Summit Creek Zinfandel
Course 4: Azul de Bufala Spain with Juve Y Camps Natura Cava
It’s not often I purchase wine anymore. I receive samples in the mail every month from wineries and distributors all over the world. I have stacks of wine in my house waiting to be reviewed. But on this night, I gleefully pulled out my credit card to purchase the Ken Brown Pinot. Yup, this is a special place indeed. Make time to visit as soon as you can. Parking can be a bit of a challenge, so add in some extra time to find a close-by spot. Streets are flat and safe.
Pinot braised pork belly w tapenade
Compliments of District Wine
Mark & Angela Dunton
3-4 lb pork belly
2 cups red wine
2 cups olives
2 garlic cloves
2-3 anchovy filets
1 lemon, juice and zest
1/2 c evoo
1/4 c parsley
Pressure cook belly with wine, rosemary, thyme for 30 minutes on high pressure. let cool and cut into large cubes.
For tapenade, puree remaining ingredients until coarse. Season.
144 Linden Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90802