West Hollywood now has a new place to enjoy the finest California wines, V the wine bar. V is nuzzled in a cozy location which is soon to be a Los Angeles hot spot. I was able to chat with V’s owner Mikey Consbruck about his new adventure. Enjoy.
How did the idea for a wine bar in West Hollywood happen?
I came up with the idea for V about 2 and a half years ago. I was working as a wine broker for unrepresented boutique California winemakers in my spare time (both for fun and for a little extra income) when I got tired of competing with the large multinational brokerages like Youngs Market, Southern, etc where all the restaurants, bars, wine shops and other retailers seemed to buy their product. They were either trimming down their wine lists due to the economy, or not interested in unique offerings from local boutique winemakers. I could not compete with the large brokerages, so I decided to do a tasting room where people could come, taste and see the difference first hand between mass produced wine and boutique wine.
What type of wine do you server?
We serve all California boutique wines. Some winemakers make as little as 50 cases of each varietal per year, with 100 cases being the norm. We have true varietals as well as interesting blended selections.
How have you chosen the wine list to serve?
The wine list is based on the winemakers I represent. All of their wines available for sale are on the general wine list. Again, I don't buy from a national broker, but I get my product direct from the winemakers. It is much more personable that way. I can speak about their products from the stories they have told me rather than a tasting tear sheet. I know each winemaker personally and talk about why they started making wines, their philosophy, and what makes them unique amongst all other winemakers. What I do decide on is the weekly flights. I choose them based on my mood! Actually they are chosen to go from light to most intense, and I try to change them weekly to display a lot of our different offerings.
V is located at the old West Hollywood Library - how did you find such a unique space?
I found the library by accident. I actually wanted to be located on Robertson or Melrose, but all the rental spaces there were not right for the project. I saw the old library and immediately fell in love with the space. It took a lot of money to get it up to snuff as it had numerous structural problems, but we go it where we want it.
Tell me a little what are "Flights"?
Flights are single ounce pours of multiple different wines. They generally start from the lightest white or red wine and work up in intensity. It is a way for people to experience a number of different wines, learn the complexity of each varietal and learn about the winemakers story in the process.
Is V available for private parties or birthday gatherings?
V is available for private parties, and we encourage it! We would like people to see V as a laid back venue for an after work glass of wine, an afternoon tasting experience, a unique wine merchant as well as a space for private gatherings.
What is your favorite thing about V?
I love meeting new people at V and teaching them what I have learned about wine, our winemakers and their stories.
Is V a good place for those who are new to wine or wine connoisseur?
V is a great place for the novice wine drinkers as well as the seasoned wine professionals. There is something for everyone to learn or take away with them
What is the price range of your wine?
The price range per bottle is as low as $18.00 and ranges as high as $100 per bottle. We have an abundance of wine in the $29 - $45 range. Glasses range from $7-14 per glass.
What do you hope guests go away with from visiting V?
I hope guests take unique experience away when they leave V. Meeting a new friend, learning about new wine, discovering a new winemaker or finding a new wine they like.
V is located at 903 Westbourne Drive (at Santa Monica Boulevard) and is open daily from 10 AM to 9 PM (10 PM on weekends) .