For me, the idea of wine tasting conjures up images of quaint country roads, gravel pathways and endless rolling hills covered with grapevines. With Santa Ynez, Paso Robles and Napa within a reasonable drive from Los Angeles, wine tasting means a weekend get-away to sample the fruit of the wine. The problem is that in in the busy hustle bustle daily life of ours, there is not much time for getaways, and this is especially true if you are planning your wedding. You’ve got endless errands, appointments and chores.
But what if there was another way to experience great wines? I’d like to introduce you to Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar in Santa Monica. At any given moment, you can sample 40 handpicked wines from around the world, representing most interesting, innovative, boutique and vintage offerings. There is a common theme connecting all the wines – they are all produced in a sustainable and organic fashion, which means that the grapes are grown in a manner that respects the earth and the people associated with its production. Similarly, the ingredients that end up in the scrumptious menu items at Pourtal come from the renowned local farmers market in Santa Monica. What attracts many loyal fans to Pourtal is the spirit of the place – it’s different here. The comfortable patio outside is designated as a dog friendly zone, which makes Pourtal a great place to stop for late afternoon refreshment after a vigorous walk along Santa Monica beach. You get to enjoy the happy hour selection of wines while your best canine friend sips fresh water. Last week, we met a couple that came from the Valley to celebrate their dog’s birthday and enjoy the beautiful day. At Pourtal, they believe that any time is the right time to sample great wine, so you are welcome to bring your laptop along and do some creative writing, or pay your bills online or connect with your Facebook friends, whatever you want – the wireless internet access is on the house. Why drink coffee when you can drink wine?
To top it off, Pourtal has invested in an innovative Enomatic system for storing and dispensing wine. Yes, those crafty Italians came up with this great concept that puts the wine tasting control in your hands. You start by getting a tasting card, a sort of a credit card, then insert the card and select the wine of your choice by pushing a button. The Enomatic system dispenses the perfect taste – one ounce of wine maintained at the ideal temperature. This gives you access to a wide variety of wines at a very affordable price.
Wedding planning tip – stop by Pourtal and let Rachel, Kasey or other knowledgeable staff help you find the wine that matches your style, personality, taste and budget. Chances are that you will be just as impressed with the story of the wine as with its taste. My favorite was the Kogl “Mea Culpa” Rose, made from 100% Pinot Noir from Slovenia – crisp and refreshing, it would be an ideal wine to serve on a warm California afternoon.
By the way, Chef Peter does amazing food creations out of the tiny Pourtal Kitchen. The Tomato and Burrata appetizer is exceptional, as well as the roasted beet salad. The Pizzas look incredible and we are already planning our next outing to Santa Monica so that we can do more tasting.
Take a tour of Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar with me!