Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Where to Drink: Indulge @ The San Antonio Winery

Washington, D.C. may have its politics, and Miami may have its nightclubs, but Los Angeles has its wineries. Wait a minute. Did I just say…wineries? I did. Aside from celebrity sightings, sunny beaches and awesome weather all year long, Los Angeles offers one of the quaintest, most historical wineries in California: the San Antonio Winery.

Although the winery has been around for more than 90 years, I recently discovered it when my good friend Helena hosted her birthday party there. I was a bit skeptical at first as I drove through an isolated, industrial section of Downtown, wondering where I was. But the confusing twists and turns were worth it, as I finally stumbled upon a pretty oasis of mission-style buildings amidst wine barrels, blooming flowers and green foliage.

The winery is divided into two sections – the wine tasting room and the Maddalena Restaurant. I recommend visiting the wine tasting room first, where you can enjoy up to five complimentary tastings (and you didn’t hear it from me, but if you really want more, just ask from a different wine assistant or return at a later time). If you choose to purchase any wines, the store will kindly hold your order while you visit the restaurant.

After a few tastings under your belt, you should have no problem selecting a wine to accompany lunch or dinner at the Maddalena Restaurant. The difficult decision will be which hearty, Italian meal to choose, as there’s a vast selection of dishes, ranging from vegetarian pastas to succulent steaks, suiting all budgets. My favorite was the Chicken Marsala, covered in a rich tomato sauce with buttery pasta and sautéed spinach.

The San Antonio Winery is a great destination for groups of friends. Not only can you bond over wine tastings, but each person can pick whatever they want to eat at the price range that’s suitable for him (or her). Everyone can then reunite to enjoy a festive feast in a spacious yet quaint ambiance. Thank you, Helena, for introducing me to this Los Angeles landmark!

Pictured below: The wine tasting room and the wine store. The more wine you buy, the more of a markdown you get on the already discounted prices. In fact, many of the wines here are cheaper than even BevMo prices.

Pictured below: While the menu changes frequently, the mouthwatering selections of the day delicious are conveniently displayed in the front of the Maddalena Restaurant.

Pictured below: My good friend Helena celebrating her birthday. The San Antonio Winery has large tables and semi-private rooms to gather for any special occasion.

San Antonio Winery
737 Lamar St.
Los Angeles, CA 90031

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure how I have never visited this winery. It is definitely on my to do list.