June 19, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Try 20 Wines for $20 at Wine Expo on Mondays and Thursdays

Looking for a happy hour that focuses less on hard alcohol and fizzy beers and more on fine wine? The wine aficionado’s version of heaven may exist in Santa Monica in the form of Wine Expo, a two-in-one wine bar and shop, although the full-service store offers spirits and beers as well.

Wine Expo has offered visitors the opportunity to “try before they buy” for the past two decades, as guests can sample wines at the tasting bar before stepping next door to purchase their choices.

Owner and wine connoisseur Ali Biglar expanded on the concept and the function of Wine Expo.

“We’ve been here 22 years, and our specialty lies in Italian wines and French champagnes,” Biglar said. “What makes us special is that we actually go to the sources and handpick each and every item we sell here. If it’s a favorite of ours, we’ll sell it here.”

Biglar expressed his confidence in each of the products that Expo sells.

“At any given time we have wines made from approximately 200 different types of grapes, which gives us a wide variety of flavors to choose from,” Biglar said.

Wine Expo guests have the freedom to taste the wines for themselves in order to fully experience the quality and accuracy of the staff’s choices.

“We also do a lot of food and wine pairings, and experiment a lot as you can see from our big stomachs,” Biglar joked. “We sacrifice our bodies on your behalf, so you might as well come and use us.”

Such wine and food pairings are offered in a couple of promotional deals, including a happy hour special.

“We have happy hour five nights a week, every day but Monday and Thursday,” Biglar explained. “During happy hour, guests get 50 percent off of all drinks, and it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Fans of Wine Expo’s happy hour can redeem an additional deal after drinking their half-off wines, as they can receive 10 percent off their purchase in the store as well.

Despite the absence of happy hour on Mondays and Thursdays, these evenings are certainly not left without an appeal of their own.

“We have a 20-for-20 deal, during which you can taste 20 diverse wine for just $20,” Biglar said. “It’s the best deal in town.”

As a part of the 20-for-20 special, the wines are organized from the lightest to heaviest taste so that guests have an idea of what order to try the drinks in.

“If you make it to number 10, you get your money’s worth,” Biglar said with a laugh.

Alongside pizzas that are contracted from an outside eatery, Wine Expo also provides a variety of hand-selected meats and cheeses that match with the respective night’s offering of wine.

“By having different types of food, we’re hoping that you learn the different chemistries involved and why certain wines go with certain foods,” Biglar said.

On the second Friday or Saturday of each month, Wine Expo visitors can also partake in yet another special food and wine pairing: bacon and champagne night. The deal is comprised of five artisanal champagnes paired with five different types of bacon that the Expo flies in from all over the country.

“Why bacon? To us, bacon is meat candy, and to me, bacon is a whole food group,” Biglar joked. “One thing that bacon is known for is its oil, salt, different spices, and one thing that champagne has a lot of is acidity, which cuts through the fat, the spices, and the salt. By pairing the two, the bacon tastes sweeter and meatier, and the champagne tastes softer and creamier. It’s a win-win situation.”

Even with so many pairings available, Biglar does not fail to spotlight its main specialty: the wine.

“Wine is like a living entity, like a child,” Biglar said. “You can lay it down, talk to it smoothly for 10 years, and as it matures, it can tell you a story in a different way.”

With not only happy hour but also a 20-for-20 special and a bacon and champagne night, Wine Expo has much to offer to its guests.

“For Expo newcomers, come on by and ask me what’s for dinner, let us take care of you, and afterward, give us some input,” Biglar said.

Wine Expo is located at 2933 Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica.

For more information, call 310.828.4428 or visit wineexpo.com.

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