September 18th, 2018

Where to Toast California Wine Month In and Around Marina del Rey

California Wine Month is underway and if you haven’t been sniffing, swirling and sipping your way into grape-style deliciousness, you’re missing out. Even with the devastating fires affecting the Northern Cal wineries last year, our state continues to be a force in the wine world—and raising a glass to not only the award-winning wine, but also amazing resilience is definitely in order. So, get out and about this month and enjoy some of our state’s best whites, reds, rosés, oranges and sparkling! The wine lists in and around Marina del Rey are filled with California wine goodness by the glass, by the bottle and by the flights. Here are a few suggestions to get you started on your own special Wine Month tasting tour.

Café del Rey
4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey

Café del Rey doesn’t just dazzle with great food, they also have an impressive wine list with some exquisite California options (remember, the restaurant earned Wine Spectator’sAward of Excellence in 2017) . If you want to go all-in on the tastings, order one of their Wine Flights for $13 or $15 (depending on the type of wine).  Most of the flights have at least two Cal selections, such as the Red Bordeaux flight featuring a 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles and a 2014 Merlot from Napa Valley (plus a 2015 Argentina vintage).


Cast and Plow
4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey

The Ritz Carlton’s Cast and Plow restaurant also boasts a fine wine list with lots of California options, each handpicked by their gifted sommelier. Cal Wine Month is, once again, a great excuse to go the Wine Flight route with superb tasting choices and prices ranging from $23 to $68. Each flight features three two-ounce pours, and the ones that are pre-dominantly California-based are the Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. If you’d rather just sit back with some appetizers and a glass of California red, no problem—the “by glass” list is well-stocked.


13534 Bali Way, Marina del Rey

SALT has a spectacular wine list with a horde of California wines to tempt your palette. And here’s a little tidbit, they use the Coravin method for pours (instead of removing the cork, they use a thin, hollow needle to extract the wine, allowing the bottle to continue aging between pours). Pretty interesting, right? If you love reds and feel like splurging, order a bottle of the rave-worthy Napa Valley Opus One “Overture” (amazing flavors and texture thanks to its extended barrel-aging process).


Plant Food + Wine
1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice

Fabulous plant-based dining spot, Plant Food + Wine, is an enchanting place to honor California Wine Month—especially if you enjoy it out on their beautiful patio. Their organic wine list is overflowing with Cal vintages, giving you a great opportunity to try some of the best vegan wines around (yep, not all wines are purely plant-based—some manufacturers use a variety of non-vegan methods in the fining process). Try the 2013 Rhys “Horseshoe Vineyard” Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay for a serious treat, or one of their Orange varieties like the 2014 Ryme Vermentino Hers Las Brisas Vineyard from Sonoma’s Geyserville.


The Malibu Wine Hikes
32111 Mulholland Hwy., Malibu

This is a bit of a drive but such a fun excursion, especially during wine month. Choose from their Open Hike ($35) or Giraffe Hike (where you hike and stop to feed giraffes—$65) and enjoy a stunning two and one-half-hour-hike, followed by a flight of five carefully selected wines at the Malibu Wines tasting room. Book now and remember to bring a reusable water bottle. You can bring snacks or purchase their scrumptious cheese and crackers baskets!


What are your favorite California wines? What Marina-area restaurants have your favorite wine lists? Let us know!