Whereas Los Angeles is overrun with wine bars and establishments that are trying to cash in on the L.A. vibe, nearby Long Beach is home to a well-established wine culture that turns at a slower pace. No wine bar guide would be complete without mentioning four local venues in particular.
CA Wine Room: The Antithesis to the Sports Bar
94 Marina Drive #101 in Long Beach, 90803
Open Friday from 6 p.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday from noon to 1 a.m. and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.
The CA Wine Room is open only on weekends. This wine bar serves exclusively California wines, so you will be looking for out-of-state vintages for naught. This place thrives on atmosphere. It is small, intimate and great for truly enjoying the wine as the centerpiece of the experience. A meat and cheese platter acts more as a palate cleanser than a main course. Do not look for a wall-mounted TV; instead, hope that you arrive on one of the weekends when live music plays.
District Wine: A downright friendly Place
144 Linden Avenue in Long Beach, 90802
Open from noon until 9 p.m. on Sunday, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Thursday, and from noon until midnight on Friday and Saturday
Thirty – mostly small production – wines are on the menu. Peruse a list of imported beers. Gourmet flatbread pizza and appetizers are the food choices. Tuesday through Friday, there is a lunch menu in effect until 4 p.m. There is a convivial atmosphere in the place. Do not be surprised if the group next to you will consist of some of your best friends by the end of the evening.
4th Street Vine: Pair great Wine (and Beer) with live Music
2142 East 4th Street in Long Beach, 90814
Open weekdays from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and weekends from 2 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.
If you enjoy wines from across the globe in a casual atmosphere with occasional live music, then this is the Long Beach wine bar to choose. This is not your grandpa’s stuffy establishment. The atmosphere is fun, quirky and – occasionally – loud. When you look around, you cannot help but notice that there are lots of artsy types enjoying a glass of wine here.
The Wine Bar: A Great Monday Happy Hour!
250 West Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach, 90802
Open Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. and Saturday from 4 p.m. until midnight
There are 24 wines on the menu. The food menu includes a cheese plate and humus on warm pita. If you really want to treat yourself, order the smoked salmon. This wine bar tries hard to avoid the hipster vibe and instead focuses on being a friendly neighborhood watering hole that favors wine rather than hard liquor. If you are a wine lover with a budget, consider visiting the Wine Bar on Mondays when it is happy hour all night. All wines are $2 off.