You asked, we answer.
Now that the bar is open can I still buy wine retail?
Absolutely! We're here 2pm-12 midnight everyday. Order ahead or come on by and chat with us about wine and take something home.
Do you have cold wine?
We have The Coldest Wine in Town! All our Sparkling/White/Rosé/Orange/Chilled Red wines are in the fridge and ready for you.
Where do you deliver?
We've had to pause our deliveries for the moment now that the bar is open. We can't afford for the staff to leave to make deliveries during service. We may add deliveries back but for now you can purchase and pick up in store. Thanks for understanding the limitations of a small business like ours!
How are your wines so affordable?
What does Tabula Rasa mean?
It's a Latin phrase that translates to Blank Slate or Clean Slate.
Who built your shelves? (And created the mural behind the bar?)
The one and only Aaron Koehn. He and his father, master sculptor Norbert Koehn, installed the mural in 2016.
What’s Giving Tuesday?
Every Tuesday we partner with local organizations doing important work in our community and donate 5% of sales, rotating partners monthly.
I’m not sure what wines to order, can you put together a box of wine based on what I like and my budget?
Totally! Email us at email@example.com or call The Wine Line at 213.290.6309 and we’ll get you all straightened out!
What’s the deal with The Silverlake Lounge?
The Silverlake Lounge is a historic independent music venue and neighborhood bar that's been there for well over 50 years. We purchased it at the end of February 2020 (great timing, we know...) and are bringing it back to it's former glory. Come by and check it out! https://www.thesilverlakelounge.com/
Are all your wines "natural"?
The term Natural Wine has different meanings to different people.
We try not to be dogmatic when it comes to checking off boxes used to define natural wine and think of it more as an intentional term.￼ For the most part that means wines made by families or individuals who care for their land and have good stewardship of the earth. That means organic, biodynamic, no till, dry farming etc.
For some people, natural wine indicates a style: cloudy, funky, flawed, orange, etc. However we have plenty of wines that are classical in style and there's nothing weird about them. In fact some of the "best" wines in the world could be considered natural. Don't worry though, we also have plenty of funky pet nats, orange wine, unfiltered, unfined, wines made from hybrid and indigenous grapes, for you to choose from as well.
Not to dive too deep into it on a FAQ page, but for us to bring in a wine first and foremost we consider the agricultural practices of the grapes used to make the wine. In the grand scheme of things, you could put ground up junk mail in the wine and if I/you choose not to consume it, it has no affect on me/you. However harmful farming practices arguably have a deleterious affect on me, you, our children and many other animals on this planet.
Many of us tend to use the term minimal intervention. What does that mean? Well if you’ve crushed grapes and want them to become wine for more than a short time without turning the vinegar you’ll need to intervene. So that’s why we say minimal intervention. Generally that means not adding anything to the wine through the process. You see most wines (especially those at the grocery store) have stuff added to them: sugar, enzymes, tannin powder, you name it.￼ We try to find wines I don’t have any that crap in it.￼
99.9% of the time that also means the wines are naturally fermented. Also called spontaneous fermentation. It’s sort of like sourdough or naturally leavened bread versus bread that’s made packets of yeast. Again, most wine is made by adding a cultured yeast to the grape juice to start the fermentation. So what’s the deal with natural fermentation? Well, in our experience wines that are naturally fermented tend to have more complexity and depth and are just more interesting. Most of us are drinking wine because we like the flavor, the more interesting the flavor the better, yes? I mean if you’re just drinking wine to get drunk why wouldn’t you just drink vodka? It’s way more efficient.
Here’s the thing: making wine is a complicated process.
Is it possible that we work with a wine that was naturally fermented and the fermentation got stuck and then the winemaker had to make a tough decision to lose that batch of wine or potentially inoculate it with a small amount of yeast to keep the fermentation going again so that they could continue to pay the bills, their kids health insurance, their workers, and continue to support their artist friends who make the labels etc. etc. Does that mean that wine is no longer “natural”? Either way I just try not to be an asshole. Speaking of assholes, we also try not to work with them. There’s a lot of great went out there so there’s no need to work with someone if they're a piece of shit.
I also drink a coke-a-cola from and eat a bag of Doritos from time to time as well as eat carnitas tacos from my favorite street vendor all the well knowing that the pork is very likely some of the most processed, factory farmed meat in the world. I’m not perfect and neither are you. Give yourself a fucking break from time to time. I fell off my high horse a while back and do my darnedest not to climb back up if I can avoid it.
Now we get to the S word. What about sulphur you say? That’s another hotly debated topic in our tiny little corner of the wine world. Again we try not to be an asshole and we leave it up to the winemaker to decide whether any or a small amount of sulfur is necessary or helpful for her winemaking process. I don’t wanna get too deep into this because we could go on forever but gerneally speaking our wines have a minimal amount or ZERO sulphur added to them. There are many many excellent wines made with absolutely zero sulfur and are stable, delicious and taste as unwild and classical as you can imagine.
If you’re wanting to go to learn more about this stuff, there’s a lot of great resources and websites written by people who are way smarter and more experienced on this stuff out there.
But the best way to learn and get your own sense of what‘s important to you is to drink and enjoy the wine that you like from your trusted neighborhood wine shop or wine bar. Or even better direct from the winery. Do your homework and come chat!