Please The Palate Pick of The Week: The Wine By-The-Glass List at AOC

My friend and I were on 3rd Street in West Hollywood the other night where we enjoyed dinner. As we were standing outside and talking, I realized that we were within walking distance of AOC Wine Bar and Restaurant. I suggested that we stop in and see if co-owner Caroline Styne was there as I wanted to personally congratulate her on her recent nomination for Outstanding Restaurateur by the James Beard Foundation.

I first met Caroline when I got into the wine business over 15 years ago. This was the same time that she and Suzanne Goin opened AOC in 2002 in its original location. Named in honor of the French wine indication system, appellation origine controlee, AOC was ahead of its time, serving tapas and a great selection of wines. Of course, I did not know as much about wine then as I do now.

We walked into AOC and waited at the bar for Caroline to come down from her office to say hi. As we sat there, we started to peruse the by-the-glass wine list. As I was with a friend who also works with wine, we were both oohing and ahhing over the selections. And this is why I have selected the Wine-By-The-Glass list at AOC as the Please The Palate “pick of the week”.

The Wine-By-The-Glass list at AOC represents what I look for in any wine list:

  1. more than one white wine, rose wine and red wine
  2. a diverse selection of grape varieties
  3. an eclectic assortment of varieties, producers and/or regions
  4. a blend of familiar and unfamiliar varieties, producers and/or regions

The wine by the glass list at AOC is robust with a good selection of wines but is not overwhelming. Each section, sparkling, white, rose and red, has between five and nine options. The list is international in scope, with wines from California, Italy, Spain, France, Austria and Lebanon. But the list also honors the wine region closest to Los Angeles, with eight wines from Santa Barbara out of the 29 wines. The wine list also denotes which wines are sustainable, organic or biodynamic.

There are so many fun and interesting wines to choose from on the AOC Wine-By-The-Glass list. As my friend and I had just finished a big meal and it was getting late, both of us were drawn towards a crisp white wine. Did I want a Spanish godello with slate notes, or a Santa Barbara chenin blanc with notes of stone fruit and minerality? Perhaps a bright, cirtrus vermentino from Italy or a grenache blanc, a roussanne,a chardonnay or a sauvignon blanc? We chose the 2013 Jérémie Huchet & Jérémie Mourat Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Clisson, an exquisite muscadet from the Loire Valley in France. With notes of minerals, stone fruit and wet stone and high acidity on the palate, this was the perfect wine to end our night.

So, if you are looking for a great glass of wine, or two, as well as delicious food, head to AOC!

A.O.C. Wine Bar
8700 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048