Today we’re pressing our noses to the glass of Augustine in the Los Angeles valley neighbourhood of Sherman Oaks to gaze longingly at the grand selection of rare and vintage wines that we couldn’t possibly hope to afford. This is not a place for those who write things on the internet, but rather for those who own the internet, and pop to the shops in a helicopter. Yes, wine by the glass here does start at $10, and there’s a selection of craft beers on tap, but I’d venture to suggest that if you’re coming to a place like this you’ve got to push the boat out and go for something a bit special.
The 75 carefully-selected wines range from a fairly accessible $100 to a rather lavish $1,000 per bottle. Mind you, we are talking about extremely old and rare wine here. Co-owner Dave Gibbs’ personal collection contains bottles that date from the 1800s, and some of the famed vintages on offer at Augustine include an 1874 Chateau Lafite and a 1934 Chateau Margaux Margaux. Giving the wine a run for its money in the age stakes is the upright piano that was made in 1912, and among the interesting collection of objects dotted around is a collection of lovely old radios that recall the 1940s building’s origin as a radio repair shop. A reclaimed 35 foot white Carrara marble bar ties the main room together, plus there are booths and tables of all sizes to suit any group.