4th Street Vine in Long Beach: $10 Wine Tasting

— by Caroline on Crack

Merlot Refosco
“Went to a really cool wine & beer place 2nite. We should go,” was all my bf texted me. He’s more frugal with his praise of restaurants and bars than I am so when he said that I knew it must be something special. 4th Street Vine in Long Beach, yes the LBC, is actually only four months old and it already has gotten 4 1/2 stars (out of 5) on Yelp. The only complaint by reviewers being that it doesn’t have enough couches. Not too bad of a complaint considering how harsh some Yelpers can be.

But what really got me interested in this new wine bar is that you can get a tasting of four wines for only $10! For the “super tasting,” which is $2 more, you can get a tasting of a dessert wine. Awesome deal.

We went on a Saturday night and sure enough all the seats in the small seating area were taken. Boo. Even though this was a tasting I still like to enjoy my vino whilst seated. Beer, I’ll stand up for but cocktails and wine are best enjoyed sitting down since you’ve got to savor them.

Fortunately, the man behind the bar, Evan, was sooo nice and accommodating and brought out a couple of leather arm chairs from the back room, which I think is a storage room as it wasn’t prettied up.

The wine bar also has a patio in the back and a bar area that has room for some bar stools but apparently the city won’t allow that. Something to do with there being a school across the street. Yeah, I dunno what that has to do with anything. Mean, ol’ city. You also can’t take your wine glasses into the wine store area in the front of the space and you have to carry your wine bottle purchases out of the store in shopping bags. So many rules!

But the wine bar deals with them the best they can and still manages to make it a great place to enjoy some vino on the cheap in a relaxed, low-key setting.

Because of the close quarters it was easy to strike up a conversation with other patrons. This night we chatted with a couple who had just happened by the wine bar on their day of wandering around Long Beach and stayed for the tasting. Tova was kind enough to model for me and asked me to email her the picture which I have to say came out great. I told her she could look it up on my blog but she said she didn’t know how to do that. Wuut? Apparently she wasn’t big on the workings of the Interweb. That’s so weird to me but then again being offline is a foreign concept to me.

Anyhoo, the owners of 4th Street Vine are a husband and wife team — Jim and Sophia. He admittedly doesn’t know much about wine but he does know Belgian beer, thus the impressive beer selection here. Mmm, Grand Cru! She is the wine expert, thus the delicious and affordable (cheaper than BevMo!) wine.

The tasting itself was awesome in that the pours were considerably generous and I managed to get quite buzzed at the end of it. Good thing bf’s place is within stumbling distance of here.

The wines we tried:

  • Stone Paddock Sauvignon Blanc: My least favorite of the bunch. Kinda bitter.
  • Mont Albano Merlot Refosco: I LOVED this one. A very smooth finish, very light.
  • Entrecepas Riserva Rioja: This was so buttery. It actually smelled like a buttered popcorn Jelly Belly but fortunately didn’t taste like one. Very smooth but almost watery.
  • Stama Zany Zin: I love Zinfandels in general so appreciated the full body of this wine.

I was going to buy the Zany Zin ($17) but ended up with a bottle of Matanzas Creek Pinot Noir ($20) since that’s a wine I’ve been on the lookout for at my favorite wine shops and haven’t been able to find anywhere! And online I’ve seen it priced for $26-$35. “Come back and let us know what you think of it,” Evan said. They only had two bottles of it and I guess haven’t tasted it yet. I also purchased a bottle of Buffalo Belgian Stout because it just sounded so yummy considering I loves me some stout.

If you’re hoping for a bit of nosh with your wine you’re welcome to help yourself to the small plate of cheeses at the bar.

Yup, I’m so jealous that my bf lives down the street from this place. It would definitely be my regular hang.

4th Street Vine
2142 E. 4th Street
Long Beach, California 90814 (map)
(562) 343-5463
Hours: Thursday-Saturday 5-9pm, Sunday 2-6pm