Do you know Rob and Monica Trautwein? When they lived, not that long ago, in Santa Clarita, they frequented All Corked Up and I met them at Valencia Wine Company for a Grape of the Night tasting. Taking their wine knowledge to their new home in the Westside, I got an e-mail recently from them and asked permission to reprint it here. Figured we all need to know a little Outside of Our Own Box. And heck, it’s not like I’m asking you to drive to Maryland (yet). It’s only 40 minutes away. (For me in Happy Valley that is, for those of you in North Valencia, aka North Awesometown, it’s another 5 or 10.)
Saw your post on Facebook about your full time devotion to all things wine. As you probably heard, Monica and I are out here in Santa Monica / Marina Del Rey which would explain our absence from “Grape Of The Night” with Rusty out at Guy’s place. As Monica and I seem to always be networking our way around, I’ve had the opportunity of meeting a lot of interesting people out here including some collectors as well as some distributors, so I’ll definitely ask around and keep my ears and eyes open for you. As always . . Ageless through time, uncork a fine wine (occasion permitting of course) . . Cheers!
Rob and Monica Trautwein
Rob and Monica,
So nice to hear from you guys.
I grew up in Mar Vista. I applied for a wine blogging gig in Venice today. And, I made Facebook friends with Stephen Abronson awhile ago, owner of Pourtal, and am thinking of visiting some of the wine bars whose press I’ve been highlighting. Have you visited any you like, or, been to Pourtal?
Thanks for reaching out! How do you guys like it there?
Yours, in wine and out,
I remember Stephen out at Pourtal . . We’ve been there a couple of times. Pourtal has an interesting business model catering to mostly tourists from what I could see. Some of the staff are a bit reserved unless approached as this place appears to be somewhat of a high end do it yourself. Not to bash this particular wine bar as I’ve met some interesting people here, mainly out of towners. It does have its place though as the location seems to set the pace for the aforementioned.
There are also a number of restaurants that staff full time sommeliers that we’ve adopted as well. Via Veneto (Santa Monica), The Sage Room (Malibu), GJelina (Venice) are all great places to mingle and chat with locals and staff about the go-tos with respect to wine.
Rustic Canyon off Wilshire in Santa Monica is an interesting place, a bit of a price though. Air Conditioned is also another fun place off Pico in Santa Monica, but its niche is really beer and wine together. A few people have told me about this place called Bodega Wine Bar off Broadway at Lincoln in Santa Monica, but I can’t say that I’ve tried this place yet. If you go, let me know how it turns out.
Wine Expo off Santa Monica Blvd and Wally’s off Westwood Blvd. are my usual suspect for purchase. The staff are always friendly and full of info on good finds at standard prices. They occasionally put on a few wine events which are always a great opportunity to meet and greet.
Monica and I have bought some incredible Rosso and Brunello from Nicolas Souofflet (Local Wine Distributor) at Casa Torelli Imports. Really nice guy who seems to have a pretty good finger on the pulse out here beach side. His number is 714-625-7482.
Hopefully this is a good start for you, and we’ll definitely keep you in mind for further potential opportunity.