Five Best Wine Lists in LA, According to Sommelier Coly Den Haan
When it comes to food and drink recommendations, there’s nobody we trust more than culinary professionals—and when on the hunt for the best wine lists in LA, there’s no better source than Coly Den Haan.
A third-generation restaurateur originally from Santa Barbara, De Haan became one of the first female sommeliers in 2008 and emerged as a force within the local beverage scene with DTLA institutions The Must and Perch. Most recently, she partnered with Dean Harada to open Silver Lake’s Vinovore, a female-driven wine shop that focuses on female winemakers.
As a wine industry insider and a pioneer in the female-driven wine space, few people know the Los Angeles wine scene better than De Haan. We asked her about her five favorite wine lists in the city—keep reading for her recommendations.
Somm says: “Courtney Kaplan’s wine list is probably my favorite in the city, but not just for its outstanding wine—the sake options are downright inspiring! I love being able to pair both wine and sake throughout the course of my meal in total harmony. Oh, and their after-dinner list is equally as exciting.”
We say: This Japanese izakaya restaurant is all about blending modern creativity with classic flavor profiles—and that mission doesn’t end with the food selections. Kaplan’s wine and sake list, known as one of the most inventive in the city, expertly harmonizes the old with the new.
Somm says: “Wolfdown’s wine list is straight to the point with no unwanted fillers or fluff. Every wine is carefully selected and with full purpose with regard to their food. I love this style of wine list that can cater to every level of wine lover.”
We say: Wolfdown gives New American an Asian edge both in dishes like Korean fried chicken and Pork Toro, and in the curated wine, sake, and beer list. With 15 reds and 11 whites and roses, the list is diverse without being overwhelming.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES
Somm says: “[Beverage Director] Mary Bartlett’s wine choices are funky and fresh, just the way I like it.”
We say: Named after the first film screened at The Theatre in 1927—Mary Pickford’s My Best Girl—and opened exactly ninety years later to the day, Michael Cimarusti’s Best Girl at the Ace Hotel was one of the best surprises of 2017 when it opened without prior announcement on October 31. With fresh seafood and bright flavors on the food menu, Bartlett takes a similarly fearless approach by featuring under-the-radar grapes, including a Moschofilero from Greece and Blaufrankisch from Paso Robles.
Somm says: “What’s exciting to me about Christina [Cortivo]’s list is that it totes traditions over trends. Their all-Italian wine offerings are packed with the many indigenous varietals of Italy.”
We say: From original ingredients to la famiglia hospitality, Osteria Mamma is an authentic slice of the Veneto Region right here in Los Angeles. While Loredana “Mamma” Cecchinato’s traditional recipes are left untouched, daughter Christina keeps things classic with a wine list that pays homage to the many AVA regions of Italy.
Somm says: “Caroline Styne is a legend in the Los Angeles wine scene and, as a fan of females taking charge in this business, her list obviously makes my list.”
We say: Styne isn’t the only female running the show at acclaimed wine bar A.O.C., the brainchild of three-time James Beard Award-winning Chef Suzanne Goin. In many ways, A.O.C.—which opened in 2002 after the roaring success of the duo’s first concept, Luques—forged the way for other local females working in wine.
Click here to read the original post.