Another year, another glass of wine…
Last weekend, I celebrated my birthday at Malibu Wines, one of the hottest tasting rooms nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains. Malibu Wines is no Temecula, but definitely worth trying. Here are FIVE things you should know about this new wine oasis:
- Be Prepared to Drive – Like Houston, LA traffic is a trip! It took us 30-45 minutes to get to the tasting room (from LA…smh). As I mentioned, Malibu Wines is located in the mountains…like deep in the mountains. Be sure to go with someone who is comfortable driving up very winding roads. Once you get to the outdoor tasting room, you’ll be so mesmerized by the breathtaking scenery that you’ll forget about the drive up.
- Parking is Crazy – We arrived around 4 p.m. (a couple hours before closing) and the place was packed! Valet parking is available, but was full when when we got there. Complimentary parking is also an option in a parking lot about a mile up the road. Luckily, there are shuttles (again complimentary) that will take guests from the parking lot to the tasting room.
- Bring Blankets and Snacks – Malibu Family Wines has table and grass seating. Table seating is on a first-come-first-serve basis and there are private tables available for a fee. We brought our own blankets (no chairs allowed) and plenty of snacks. Outdoor picnic for the win!
- Bottle Service is a Must – Malibu Wines offers two labels of wine: Semler and Saddlerock. Semler grapes are actually grown in Malibu across the road. You can see the vines in the mountains surrounding the parking lot. The Saddlerock grapes are outsourced from Central California.
The tasting room offers flight options for each wine label. We tried the Semler flight, which consists of a Sauvignon Blanc and a variety of reds. #score
I thought the Semler flight consisted of really strong, unique wines. I especially likes the bold, masculine flavors of the Syrah…However, the pours were horrible. How am I supposed to get my wine buzz off an ounce and a half pour?! I kid you not…we had drunk all the wine in our glasses by the time we returned to our picnic area…smh. I understand it’s a “tasting,” but the servers could be a little bit more lenient on the pours. #pleaseandthankyou
Oh, and they don’t sell wine by the glass. Yup, so that means you must buy wine by the bottle. It’s probably better that way…at least you’ll be able to control your own pours. Plus, you can buy multiple bottles if you’re with a large group and split the costs. Bottles range from $25 – $60.
- Great People Watching – This California girl has lived in Houston for four years now, so visiting LA is always an interesting experience for me. Malibu Wines was confirmation why I don’t plan on returning home anytime soon. I honestly felt like I was at a combination of Woodstock and Coachella. The girls were dressed in flower dresses with the matching flower headbands…everyone seemed super happy (like Beyonce…we be all night…type of happy) and in this really cool “B%t%h, don’t kill my vibe!” type of mood. If there was ever such thing as a wine high, I believe these people had it. On the flip side of the hipsters, you had girls in semi-club attire with five inch heels on….side eye. Where I come from that’s not wine tasting attire. Nonetheless, there’s nothing like sipping on great wine and taking in some good people watching :)All-in-all, I really like the concept behind Malibu Wines. This was my first time visiting an outdoor tasting room and I wish Houston had one! Unfortunately, our weather is not really conducive to this type of recreational fun. I definitely plan to visit again the next time I’m home. We’ll definitely purchase bottles though! The wines are that awesome, so I don’t mind. If you’re ever in LA, Malibu Wines is a great venue to sit outdoors with your friends and enjoy good wine!