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Thursday, October 08, 2009

October’s Where to Drink Now: Domaine LA

One step into Jill Bernheimer’s freshly opened wine shop on Melrose Ave., and you’d hardly believe that just a few months ago it was a mini mart lined with industrial refrigerators filled with soft drinks. Today, the 25-door fridge is gone, as are the sodas—and the newly installed wooden shelves are home to Bernheimer’s well-appointed collection of wines from around the world. But don’t think that just because the paint has barely dried at Domaine LA that Bernheimer is a newbie to the wine scene: In 2007 she launched domaine547.com, a much-loved online retailer known for stocking hard-to-find, boutique-y wines, and today that site functions as the web retailer for the Domaine LA store front.

In opening a bricks-and-mortar location Bernheimer has also been able to expand inventory, growing from about 100 different bottles to nearly 250 today, with future plans calling for a collection of more than 500. Bernheimer’s selection circles the globe with most bottles in the $10–$40 range. A few of her favorites are the unctuous Verasol TN Tempranillo 2008, which is a steal at $8; a $10 blend of Grenache Blanc and Viognier from up-and-coming California winemaker Josh Klapper; and at the higher end, a $37 Sicilian-grown, 100-percent Frappato from Ariana Occhipinti, which Bernheimer says has the acidity to pair with a variety of dishes ranging from a simple pasta bolognese to duck confit.

Coordinates: 6801 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; 323-932-0280; domaine547.com