With midterms creeping up at the semester’s half way point, relaxing and distressing after long study sessions is an important part of maintaining composure. While alcohol may not be the
solution to all problems, winding down with a glass of wine can be a great way for students over 21 to take a mental break and enhance their cultural palettes.
Ventura Boulevard is the Valley’s hot spot for wine bars that features diverse red and white wines from all over the world. Bringing a few friends and sharing a bottle of Chardonnay over non-school-related conversation is a great way to put midterms aside for an evening. Bottoms up!
Red Room Food and Wine Bar
17499 Ventura Blvd., Encino
Glass price: $3-$15
Bottle price: $24-$225
Hours: Closed Monday
Tuesday – Thursday: 4 p.m. – 10p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 4 p.m. -11 p.m.
Sunday: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Red Room has such a large selection of wine that guests will be able to find the perfect taste. Guests can taste the wine before buying a glass or bottle. A selection of beer is also served. The wines range from delicious sweet moscato to dry champagne. Because of the taste-before-buying option, if the first wine isn’t right for customers, they can try again to find the perfect flavor. Red Room also has a large food selection of tapas, salads, flatbreads, meat, and desserts. The venue will often feature live music, and they have both indoor and outdoor seating. Attendees who show the server Red Room’s website will receive 10 percent off of their bill. The location is small and intimate which is good for conversation amongst a group of friends.
Encino Place Shopping Center, Second floor
16101 Ventura Blvd. #225, Encino
Glass price: $8 – $15
Bottle price: $32 -$225
Hours: Mondays- closed
Lunch: Tuesday – Friday 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Dinner: Sunday: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Tuesday – Thursday: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.
This small business has been open since 2010, and it features both indoor and outdoor seating. The wine selection, both red and white, is large, but the availability is hit or miss. Some items on the menu are only offered seasonally, so substitutes may be offered instead. The wine tastes delicious and strong. White wines are perfectly chilled by “the best wine cooler in Southern California,” according to a Red’s sever. Guests can find a pleasing taste from sweet to dry to fruity and beyond. The food selection includes tapas, salads, pastas, meat, and dessert. Many evenings, the chef is also the server and the only employee available, so service can be a little slower. The location is not usually packed with people, so the atmosphere lends itself to relaxation and easy conversation.
Vino Tapas and Wine Bar
18046 Ventura Blvd., Encino
Glass price: $8-$25
Bottle price: $22-$130
Flight price (multiple wine selections for tasting): $10-$20
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Friday – Saturday: 4 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
This wine bar has a fantastic happy hour for wines, mimosas, champagne, sangria, saketini, and delicious food every day from 4 -7 p.m. featuring top sellers like albondigas and Argentinian Malbec. The wine here is about pairing tastes between food and alcohol. The wine selection is vast, offering customers fruity plum and raspberry wines for beef dishes and citrusy chardonnay for chicken plus other popular wine favorites like zinfandel and pinot noir. Reservations for this hot spot are recommended, but walk-in guests are welcome, too. Live music is usually playing at the restaurant, and the environment is relaxing after a long day. This location only offers street parking, so come prepared to parallel park on Ventura Boulevard.
Ugo Wine Bar
3865 Cardiff Ave., Culver City
Glass Price: $8- $20
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 4 p.m. – 1 a.m.
For students south of CSUN, Ugo Wine Bar in Culver City is a great place to relax over a glass of wine. The bar offers high-quality reds and whites from all over the world: Italy, Africa, and even California. This location has wine dispensers (like a small draught for wine) with over 50 wine options for tasting and enjoying a glass. The bar is connected to a café with a full menu of great foods including, pastries, pastas, pizzas, gelato, and other Italian favorites. The wine bar, however, features a smaller selection of food so that guests can taste and dine