Discover District Wine, Long Beach’s Best Kept Secret
When an Angelino is looking to check out an eclectic, diverse city with just as much to offer as say, Downtown LA or Hollywood, my suggestion? Long Beach. About 45 miles south from Los Angeles and right on the Orange County border, some of you might remember Long Beach (Or “The LBC” as many affectionately call it) was my first home when I moved out all by myself and I continue to love it whenever I visit.
Long Beach boasts so many wonderful neighborhoods; like Belmont Shore, where you will be surrounded by gorgeous water front homes and their infamous 2nd Street, to The East Village Arts District, where I got to spend an amazing afternoon with my IFWTWA peeps at District Wine a few weekends back.
I was reminded almost immediately as I exited off The 710 onto Broadway that it was Long Beach’s largest weekend of the year: The Long Beach LGBT Pride Weekend! Main drags were closed, and the whole Downtown was knee-deep in celebrating. Despite some frustration with lack of parking, it was awesome!
Located on Linden Avenue, District Wine Bar has been on my radar since Mark Dunton, their fearless owner (and truly one of the kindest people I have met since I began my blogging journey) and I started chatting on Twitter and he invited me to come review his wine bar. Much like my amity with Downtown’s San Antonio Winery, District Wine is my go-to when down by the beach.
Mark, along with his wife, Angela, launched District Wine in 2010, smack dab in the middle of the economy recession. “Why would you open a business now?!” was a question The Dunton’s were often asked. But, fast forward to now, and they have made one of the most beloved wine bars in LA County!
We started off with a sparkling Rosé from the Gruet winery just outside of Albuquerque. We all know I love to celebrate the little things in life, and I thought this light, airy libation was such a great introduction for our afternoon. It became even more flavorful and bright after a few bites of the seasonal salad we had.
While their Artichoke and Roasted Pepper Dip contained flour, I had nothing to fear as nearly every other “small bites” dish we were treated to try was gluten-free. As far as their crackers for dipping their Pea Tapenade and the mouth-watering Jalapeno Jam and Goat Cheese? Just like 3 years ago, Mark continues to always have gluten-free crackers on hand! Nothing makes me more happy than a restaurant you feel 100% comfortable alerting that you are gluten-free.
Paired with the Jalepeno Jam and Goat Cheese dip (which I seriously could devote an an entire article to. So flavorful and decadent) was a Cosa Obra Pinot Noir from Sonoma County. Originally, I was expecting a white to pair with this jam but, upon my first bite, I understood how well the Pinot would mingle with the spice on your palette from the jam, and the richness thanks to the cheese. Bravo!
Then, there were the Prosciutto Bon Bons (dates stuffed with chevre and prosciutto). Why don’t I just move into District Wine and live entirely on that jam and cheese dip, followed by these bon bon’s?! With dishes made fresh, in-house, it is no wonder why these specialties are superb.
While District Wine thrives on their “Small Bites”, making it the perfect first stop of an evening on the town, they also know how to step it up should you be looking for a bit more of a substantial meal to enjoy with your bottle of wine; Flatbreads! Our table got a heart sampling of both their Margherita and Italian Meats.
The only item not made in-house is their cheesecake, although they could have fooled me as it was just as on par as everything else I was lucky to have. Paired with Quady Essensia Orange Muscat, I am not usually a Muscat fan, but, they pulled out the stops with this bottle. Being a huge citrus and “tropical” flavor lover, this was my kind of Muscat.
District Wine is open 7 days a week, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Visit them online here and look into their wine club for great perks and savings!
If you stop in, make sure to tell The Dunton’s Along Comes Mary sent you! 🙂