UPDATE: 2/8/12 – I just found out that Heritage Wine Company has closed. Another sad day in Pasadena.
If you are a wine connoisseur or just a novice like me, Heritage Wine Company in Old Pasadena should be a definite stop on your 365 Things To Do journey. I, personally, feel a bit intimidated going into a wine bar. I am not a huge drinker and have never really found a wine that I really loved. Mojitos have always been my drink of choice.
However, Heritage Wine Company is a very different type of an experience. As you walk into the store, you’ll see a wine bar on your left and a huge selection of wines on the right with booths in between. The mood is set by the dimmed lights (I was there in the evening) and a laid back, friendly staff. Overall, the ambiance created is welcoming, not at all snooty, as you could expect from a wine company.
Purchased by Bob Bender in the fall of 2008, Heritage Wine Company is a culmination of his passion for wine born out of traveling through Europe and exploring different wines and spirits. His goal is to integrate his wine company into the fabric of the local community as thoroughly as possible and he is definitely accomplishing that.
When I was visiting, I met Christian who manages Heritage Wine Company. Talk about someone with a passion for wine! Christian reads 3 hours daily to continually expand his knowledge and constantly bring exciting new offerings to his clientele. He creates a weekly “flight”, a sampling of 4 glasses of wine that can be chosen from the 34 wines that are being presented that week. A wine “flight” will run about $15 to $20.
I presented a challenge to Christian since I’m not a wine drinker. I asked him to find me a wine that is a bit fruity and light that I would like. After asking a couple of questions, Christian presented me with Lambrusco, a demi sparkling red wine. He just ordered it from Italy… felt it will be a fun wine to serve at Thanksgiving. The color was absolutely gorgeous, dark, rich red and the it tasted refreshing and fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I took a bottle home with me. Christian passed the challenge with flying colors!
The wine was served last night for dinner and everyone loved it. Yeah! Now… I have to go back and pick up another bottle for Thanksgiving. By the way, it runs $17 per bottle.
Mostly what makes Heritage Wine Company different is that they take the snobbery out of wine. It’s a down to earth place with great people that are passionate about wines who are willing to share that passion with you. I know that I’ll be back. It’s a great way to spend an evening with friends or make new friends while exploring different wines.
The other great thing about Heritage Wine Company is that you are able to purchase a bottle of wine while sitting at the wine bar and have it uncorked without a corkage fee. Drink as much as you’d like and take the rest home. Add in some of their great cheeses and apricot preserves for the ultimate experience.
Heritage Wine Company
155 North Raymond
Pasadena, CA 91103
90 minute free parking next door in Pasadena’s public parking garage – ultra convenient!
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