SPIN THE BOTTLE WINE STUDIO
CHEERS TO TOLUCA LAKE WINE SHOP & BAR
Toluca Lake is an interesting neighborhood. It’s Burbank adjacent yet way more sleepy (if you can imagine something sleepier than Burbank). If you can wrap your mind around Burbank being a busy town—it is home to two major movie studios and celeb heavy—then Toluca Lake comes off like the small town in Pleasantville. And on busy Riverside Drive (think Main Street), beside the scene that takes place at the Bob’s Big Boy, there’s a refined wine shop and bar that locals with a palette for vino have adopted as their own.
Spin The Bottle Wine Studio is a hybrid retail wine shop/wine bar that showcases small production artisanal wines from around the world. The by-the-glass program features six wines on tap and 15 or more poured from bottles, with many of them available for retail purchase. Each wine is tasted and handpicked by the owner and reflects a priority to keep inventory creative, interesting and well-priced.
The intimate shop carries a small menu of snacks, including artisanal charcuterie, salumis, cheeses and more. A few times a month local food trucks are invited to park out front to create a great opportunity to pair wine with a variety of different cuisines.
The casual midcentury modern space features winemaker hosted tastings, special wine flights, and wine related art showings for wine buyers looking for a unique wine shopping and tasting experience. The powers that be like to say the environment is relaxed, friendly and encourages conversation, providing the best way to discover new wines: word of mouth.
During our recent visit, I was taken by the charming setting, noticing how locals knew one another and the staff. It really seemed like friends getting together to drink wine. I made myself at home at the bar and enjoyed a wonderful wine flight paired with Herbed Ricotta Crostini; a cheese and charcuterie plate, as well as delicious Rosemary Marcona almonds.
A wine flight of three pours costs $15. We opted for a white wine flight followed by a red wine flight. Why not get the best of both worlds? After starting with a glass of Michel Olivier sparkling wine, we let the staff choose our wines. The white wines we sampled included Giornata “Il Campo” from Central Coast, as well as a Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon, and a Pinot Blanc from Mendocino County.
Our red flight started with a Banshee Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, followed by a “Cuvee Le Bec” blend of Grenache/Syrah/Mourvdere from Santa Ynez, and a Syrah from the Central Coast. We also tasted a delicious Mobius Zinfandel from Alexander Valley in Sonoma. I also enjoyed the delightful Mythic Malbec from Argentina. While a glass costs $9, the entire bottle retailed for only $15. I love how affordable many of the wines are. This is really a great way to get introduced to a variety of wines you may not otherwise know.
Tuesdays at Spin the Bottle includes Tappy Hour where all tap wines are only $5. That’s another great way to get introduced to new varietals or revisit a favorite. Either way, you’ll be in for a good time.
Spin the Bottle Wine Studio is located at 10139 Riverside Drive in Toluca Lake. Hours: Tues & Wed 1pm – 8pm; Thurs 1pm – 9pm; Fri & Sat 1pm – 10pm. Closed Sunday and Monday. Call 818-509-7813.
Story by Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy of: Spin the Bottle Wine Studio