Drinking in LA as Summer turns to Fall

When people ask if I'm a white wine girl or a red wine girl, I say it depends on the season. When the temperature drops, give me a robust oaky wine to enjoy alongside pasta or roasted vegetables. But this time of year, it's all about the Sauvignon Blancs, the Pinot Grigios and the Chardonnays.


It's also all about the delicious bubbly cocktails. Best enjoyed on patios, lawns, and roofs.


Here are some of my favorite places in L.A. to enjoy the nectar of Dionysus. Make sure to get a designated driver, walk, or take public transit, because these concoctions are so good, it's hard to just have one!


Sunset Beer, Echo Park

Not even two years old, Sunset Beer is already an Echo Park fixture. There's something for everyone here, as they offer an incredibly broad selection of craft and imported beers. I'm partial to their Belgian lambics, the Maui Coconut Porter, and, yes, the Banana Bread Beer. Take a six pack home from their well-stocked refrigerators, or have one of their very friendly bartenders pour you a glass of whatever's on tap (it changes regularly). Show up for Beer Flight Night and get a reasonably priced sampling of the latest drafts.


No matter how crowded Sunset Beer gets, it seems like there is always plenty of seating room, whether on the outside patio or the leather armchairs indoors. If you've got a group of friends, order a pizza for delivery from Two Boots down the street or some burritos from the Tacos Arizas truck, and set up a board game (Sunset Beer has plenty to choose from, whether you like checkers, Battleship or Settlers of Catan)


Barnsdall Park Friday Wine Tastings, Los Feliz


Feeling high brow? For $25 you can spring for tickets to this swanky sunset event. It's a mellow evening that, for the price of admission, includes a limited edition wine glass, and a sampling of four wines from Silverlake Wine. Bring a picnic lunch and watch the sunset over the Hollywood hills and feel oh-so-classy.  They've closed for the season but will be back in 2014!


Berlin, Long Beach


For $20 you can get a delectable brunch and a bottomless mimosa at this hip outdoor cafe in the heart of downtown Long Beach. Take the Metro Blue Line there from downtown for an extra-romantic (and responsible) experience. Mimosas get overlooked when we think about the best summer cocktails. But there is something so refreshing, satisfying, and yet gorgeously simple about them.


Perch, Downtown

If rooftop dining is your style, you can't miss Perch. Atop a vintage art deco building, Perch is the kind of rooftop bar you see in movies and TV shows all the time. There are fireplaces and firepits, lounge seating, and plenty of room to stand and mingle. Their cocktails are artfully made, with evocative names like Hemingway on the Beach, Midnight in Paris, and Violent.


We can count on that summer weather lasting at least another month here, but the days are getting shorter, and that bright-hot feeling of summer will soon fade. So celebrate it before Red-Wine-at-Home season starts.