Natural wine has slowly taken root in L.A., but it is still the domain of the small: handmade by small producers in small batches, championed by indie wine shops, and ruling the list at bold little restaurants. Nothing on a label
or on most wine lists even identifies bottles as natural, leaving their discovery up to curious drinkers. The rewards are great: these wines are wilder and funkier, more individual and alive than any conventional bottle.
Bar & Garden
SHOP: Find 75 to 100 organic and natural wines, mostly European, at this charming Culver City spot.
TASTE: 5-8 p.m. Tuesday and Friday; 2-5 p.m. Sunday.
TOP BOTTLE: Domaine Sébastien David St. Nicolas de Bourgueil 2015 Hurluberlu Cabernet Franc ($24).
6142 Washington Blvd., Culver City
SHOP: This Melrose Avenue mainstay o ers 400 organic, biodynamic, and natural wines, mainly from Europe but also from the U.S., Australia, and Chile.
TASTE: 2-5 p.m. Sunday, plus midweek.
TOP BOTTLE: Noëlla Morantin 2015 Mon Cher Gamay ($23).
6801 Melrose Ave., Hollywood
Lou Wine Shop
SHOP: 300 to 500 natural wines, about 75 percent European, beckon in this Barbara Bestor-designed Los Feliz store. TASTE: Usually Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.
TOP BOTTLE: Dario Prinčič 2013 Ribolla Gialla ($50).
1911 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz
Stanley’s Wet Goods
SHOP: A few dozen natural wines, mainly from California with some from Spain, France, and Mexico, are on hand at this spacious new Culver City emporium.
TOP BOTTLE: Onward 2015 Malvasia Bianca Pétillant Naturel ($24).
9620 Venice Blvd., Culver City
Red, White, & Orange
Sure, there are reds, whites, and rosés. But orange wines and pét-nats are natural’s distinct eccentrics. Savory orange wines are made by fermenting white grapes with their skins; bubbly, even beery pét-nats are fermented in the bottle with no added sugar. Both pair surprisingly well with food—and the usual rules don’t apply. Experiment freely.
Dining & Drinking
Jon & Vinny’s
Each of Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s restaurants o ers a strong selection, but only this red-sauce spot on Fairfax Avenue includes a pocket-size wine shop—Helen’s—tucked in the back.
412 N. Fairfax, Fairfax
Night + Market Song
How many wines work with Thai food? Kris Yenbamroong, chef of this Silver Lake restaurant and two other Night + Market locations, seems to have found all of them for one of the city’s most admired natural-wine lists.
3322 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Hatchet HallAt this Culver City standby, Brian Dunsmoor’s wood-fired Southern cooking is paired with an impressively large list of natural wines, many of them from up-and-coming California producers.
12517 Washington Blvd., Culver City
BestiaThe downtown spot, one of the city’s first to fully embrace natural wine, features a changing daily selection to match
the rustic Italian menu.
2121 E. 7th Place, downtown
Taste the spectrum at a wine bar with a good natural list: Bar Bandini in Echo Park, Everson Royce Bar and Mignon downtown, Esters Wine Shop & Bar in Santa Monica, Marvin on Beverly Boulevard, and Tabula Rasa Bar in Thai Town.
This article was featured in our 2018 Dining L.A. Guide