Los Angeles may be one of the largest retail markets for wine in the country, with a cluster of independent mainstays—Wally’s, The Wine House, Woodland Hills Wine Merchant, K&L and others—serving as hubs for collectors and wine lovers alike. But neighborhood stores—such as DomaineLA in Hollywood, Colorado Wine Company in Eagle Rock, Everson Royce in Pasadena, Elvino in Venice, Buzz downtown and Rosso in Glendale—offer highly personal selections as unique as the neighborhoods they serve.
Lou Wine & Provisions typifies the trend. Built out from a popular lunch spot called SQIRL, Lou’s remains one of the odder locations in this cohort, a nether-neighborhood on the southern border of Los Feliz ensconced among body shops and driving instruction centers, not to mention the busiest live-chicken mart this side of Chinatown. The store is small and bare bones (a larger store will open on Hillhurst this spring) but it does a bustling business, stocked with what proprietor Lou Amdur calls traditional wines—like Birichino’s 2012 old-vine cinsault from Bechtold Vineyard in Lodi, or the 2011 Vespolina Favolalunga from Gilberto Boniperti—the sort Amdur once plied at his wildly successful Hollywood wine bar.