5 O'Clock Somewhere
Wades Wines is more than meets the eye
By Chris O'Neal 10/10/2013
30961 Agoura Road, Suite 321
Visualize the most unlikely spot to find an assortment of the best the world has to offer in wine, beer and spirits, and you’re likely to see a business park in Westlake Village. Yet here we are, and there it is: Wades Wines, the Narnia of intoxication with one heck of a selection.
Immediately upon entering, I’ve often made a beeline to the back, where the coolers and racks of beer are meticulously sorted into Belgian, English and domestic sections. If first impressions are everything, seeing an entire line of the Danish brewer Mikkeller’s goods signals my intention to marry Wades and his beer buyers. Having an eclectic selection of Mikkeller is a sure sign that the rest of the inventory is mint as well. (Look for Norway’s Nøgne Ø and Scotland’s BrewDog for something really different.)
On this particular trip, I found Midnight Sun’s Treat, an imperial pumpkin chocolate porter from Alaska and the imperial pumpkin porter from Utah’s Epic Brewing. Alongside Grand Teton’s 2011 Coming Home from Idaho, Halloween is off to a good start.
You would be remiss to leave before stepping into the Sundowner. Turn left just before the exit and you’ll find yourself inside a 103-beer- and 42-wine-tap bar that means serious business. Not only does the Sundowner Brewery make its own line of delicious brews, but rare treats such as Russian River’s line of barrel-aged sours and the aforementioned Nøgne Ø are available in bottles to have and to hold.
As luck would have it, on the day of my visit the brewery was celebrating its anniversary, and thus flights were $10 for four house-made beers. My flight consisted of the TTT Saison, Blonde, a wheat IPA known as Windfall and the barleywine. The Saison stood out, bursting forth with aromatics and just enough hops to leave a lingering feeling of summer, while the barleywine had an almost butterscotch characteristic that reminded me of a winter warmer.
Wades Wines really is the wonderland at the back of the wardrobe. Step through, have a seat and prepare to be wowed.
5 O’Clock Somewhere is a new column and will run every other week for the latest in tempting intoxication around Ventura County.