Imagine: It’s Wine Wednesday and you’re looking for the perfect place to relax to get you over the mid-week hump. At 5:00 pm, you pack up your bag and head to downtown Pasadena. But now what? Where do you go? Well, for those looking for the perfect blend of complementary components, we have a solution. This guide is perfect for the self-proclaimed wine enthusiasts who are their friends’ “go-to” sommelier. Here are six of our favorite options for wine bars in Pasadena.
We Olive & Wine Bar
We Olive & Wine Bar is the ideal location for a ladies’ night out. When walking in through the front entrance, you are greeted by an array of olive oils, vinaigrette, and dips – all free to sample and mix and match. In addition to certified extra virgin olive oils and artisan vinegar, We Olive even has an entire selection of beauty products ranging from lotions to bath scrubs. But the best part, may just be the wine bar, which is also open for happy hour. There, you can order a sampler of their white or red wine list, as well as enjoy $3 off wine by the glass. All wine glasses are also half off on “Wine Wednesdays” and pair beautifully with a cheese plate, charcuterie, or bowl of olives.
Bodega Wine Bar
If you’re in the heart of downtown, head over to the second floor of the Paseo and walk straight onto the patio of Bodega Wine Bar. This casual spot includes options of small plates that pair well with their assortments of wine, beer, and even saki. Bodega is a judgment-free zone and a novice-wine enthusiasts are welcome. Ask your server for recommendations or facts relating to the menu to satisfy your taste for curiosity and alcohol.
Vertical Wine Bistro
At Vertical Wine Bistro, you can fill your nose with fruity and floral notes, doust your tongue in earthy tannins, and examine the viscosity of some of California’s finest wines. This elegant bistro serves as a diverse venue that offers a comfortable atmosphere in the “Library” and Lounge, as well as private dining and event areas in the “Cellar.” Sip on a glass of wine while ordering from the raw bar, or gorge on a plate from their irresistible dinner menu.
The Cellar Wine Library
Don’t let the name fool you. The only reading you’ll be doing at this library is of the extensive wine menu. The Cellar is far from an actual cellar. The secret “hideaway” is surrounded by wood and wine boxes and the walls are lined with shelves upon shelves of bottles, corks, and portraits of famous writers, painters, and musicians. The exquisite class is not just limited to the ambiance. The menu includes a global wine menu, high-end dining entrees, and fancy cheese plates.
If you’re in a rush, Vinotera may be the best option for you. Not only can you sit down and sample wine and cheese platters, but the wine shop also allows you to “take it on the go.” You can purchase wines by the bottle and pair them with their recommended cheeses to get all of the same wine-tasting experience from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Everson Royce is a small, specialty wine boutique in Old Pasadena. At any one time, they usually produce small batches of four white and four red wines. Drop in for a tasting, or just purchase the whole bottle. There’s no wrong way to drink wine. Everson Royce’s weekly wine tastings also developed a fan-following. Attend one for $15 on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at the wine tasting bar at the back of the shop. To stay up to date on the weekly wine rotation, they also have a newsletter you can subscribe to.
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