Wine connoisseur and founder of Learn About Wine, Ian Blackburn, sniffs, swirls and sips the finest wines and wine shops in LA.
- 2005 Burgundy - An excellent year for both red and white wines. Whites or Chardonnays average $16 - $25; reds and Pinot Noir $25 - $35
- 2005 Syrah California - Syrahs coming out of Santa Barbara are big in flavor, but improve with age. $40-$60; He recommends VIE and Kosta Browne
- Rose - Red Car makes a great bottle, as do Linne Calodo and Tablas Creek. A high-end rose should not be more than $15
For wine shops:
- K & L Wine Merchants, Hollywood - great rare vintage wines and classic producers, specialize in Italian specialty imports
- Woodland Hills Wine Company - good for mega-collectors
- Wine House, West LA (right off the 405 Freeway) - huge selection, knowledgeable staff
- Du Vine Wine & Spirits, West Hollywood - great neighborhood store, specializing in French, Italian and Spanish wines
- Silver Lake Wine - hip neighborhood wine store with good selections of smaller producers; great place for tastings and to meet fellow wine lovers
- Colorado Wine Company, Eagle Rock - great neighborhood store, regular and special events tastings and fun service
- Wine Expo, Santa Monica (2933 Santa Monica Blvd, 310-828-4428) - most diverse and eclectic collection of wines, specializing in Champagnes and unique Italian wines
Ian is starting LAW school (Learn About Wine school), a credentialed program in which you must pass the "bar" to get your JWE (Junior Wine Executive) credential. Coming soon at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica.