Instagram has transformed the way we spend our time. Many of us plan out our days, trips, and experiences just to show our followers what we did. Maybe it’s a good thing though. Whatever gets us out of the house and into the “real world” is fine by me, even if it’s to show off for the artificial world we have built around us. Let me climb off my high horse and tell you how Instagram landed me at my next location.
If you live in Los Angeles there are three places you will see your friends post on their “story” time, and time again; Runyon Canyon, The Observatory and the place I spent my last Sunday at…Malibu Wines. This trendy winery is tucked deep away in the Malibu Hills. So far in fact, that you will absolutely want to designate a driver or risk paying an Uber bill the size of your rent check.
After making the hour plus drive to the winery you are quickly told to clear out of the loading zone and travel further into the hills to the designated parking lot, “just up the road.” Once you pull into the packed lot, you’re squeezed on to quaint trollies that take you back down to where you just were. The winery serves as a refuge from the cityscape down below. Gorgeous trees, tasteful decorations, and vast hillsides of vines surround it. Yet the whole time I couldn’t help but feel like I was in every white girl’s “Wedding Goals” Pinterest Page.
As I ponied up to the bar I made the quick discovery that this establishment serves either bottles or tastings. So despite my bank account screaming “NO! DON’T DO THIS, PLEASE JUST FOR ONCE BE RESPONSIBLE”, I purchased a bottle of the Sauvignon Blanc and trekked up the hillside for a better view of the stunning surroundings. As I poured the bottle for my girlfriend and myself, I thought “how great of a time this is, the location, the weather, the company, all truly fantastic.” As I started to sink into pure bliss the local wine touched my lips and slid down my throat. With what can only be described as a soapy start with a vodka finish, this wine was without a doubt the worst wine I had ever tasted (and I buy a lot of cheap wine). I thought to myself, “No, this can’t be that bad. It cost $40, that means it has to be good”.” I took another sip and said to my date, “is it me, or is this wine terrible?” I quickly found out that it was not just me. Yet being the strong couple we are, we powered through and finished the trash bottle in honor of the money I lost just minutes before.
Yet wine is wine, and the buzz I got from the bottle gave an extra sparkle to the space before me. It’s almost impossible to be in a bad mood at Malibu Wines. The fresh air and nature lifted me up, and the live band kept me going. We headed back to the bar for another tasting. I will save you the time of reading more of my rants and just say this… it was all trash. But what this winery lacked in quality wine, it made up for in sub par, somewhat rude, and sloppy service.
The pourers didn’t seem interested in the wine at all. They were slow, hard to talk to, and made you almost feel bad to ask for anything at all. And I normally will give people the benefit of the doubt as food service is one of the most taxing and strenuous jobs out there. It is EXTREMELY hard to maintain a calm and inviting presence when you’re 8 hours into a double shift and you have 30 people yelling at you. But this was not that. Almost all the wait staff we came in contact with seemed disinterested and cold, so they are getting my full wrath! Which I guess is just a negative review in an article they will never read.
The place was absolutely packed. People from all walks of life seem to flock to this hidden purveyor of trash liquid. While there were no classic “bar fly’s,” the place was chalk full of Angelenos. I don’t know if it was the alcohol or the location, but Malibu Wines somehow brought together a patchwork of the LA community deep into the hidden hills, high above the smog and fame.
Malibu Wines has the potential to be great. The picturesque scenery, elegant décor and hidden locale score a 10/10, yet the quality of the wine and service drop this hot spot deep into the gutters of my ratings. Don’t get me wrong, while I was unhappy with major aspects of this establishment, I will absolutely be back. With moderate prices, amusing music, and plenty of space to relax, this is a fantastic group hangout. But with that being said, I will for sure be sneaking in my own wine and snacks in order to avoid ever drinking that poison juice again.
(All rankings out of 5)
Bar Flies: ****
Overall score: 65/100