Venice Beach Wines is a tiny spot in a row of converted homes tucked away on Rose Ave in Venice. Everything about the physical setting is snug, from how the wine bar & boutique nestles between its neighbors to how cozy patrons have to get when enjoying their libations on the small street-front porch. Drinks may only be imbibed on the porch. Perhaps two dozen people can fit in it at any given time. Inside the walls are lined, floor to ceiling, with wines by the bottle, available for purchase. There is a small deli for preparing the excellent cheese plates, charcuterie, paninis and more.
By Friday evening the porch is stuffed to the gills and latecomers must enjoy each others' company standing up. The waitstaff squeezes through with a smile and listens carefully through the numerous voices all speaking at once. Heatlamps (and likely the press of flesh) ward away the chill of the marine layer.
There are a number of wines to investigate, if one should like to try something different from the usual. But like any good neighborhood bar, Venice Beach Wines also keeps crowd pleasers ready to go. Every wine is available by the glass or bottle. There is also a considerable selection of beer and a few non alcoholic drinks.
A sense of adventurousness led to trying (among others) a white syrah from Babcock and an albariño blend called "trajarinho" in its native Portugal. The white syrah is one of the better blushes a person who doesn't like blushes might drink, but it probably won't end the hate. It was dry with a faint fruit-forward mouth, so at least it wasn't cloying. It would probably pair nicely with whitefish. The trajarinho was light and almost fizzy with flavors of peach and green apples. It would make a great summer drink, or a match to a fruit salad.
Venice Beach Wines is located at 529 Rose Ave in Venice, CA. Hours are 1130am-11pm Sunday-Thursday, open until 12am Friday & Saturday. Call (310)606-2529