Getting Naturally Sauced at Stanley's Wet Goods in Culver City


Stanley’s Wet Goods sounds a little naughty, but that’s what we like around these here parts. While we figure that it’s a play on “dry goods,” we love indulging in mischievousness. And it goes with how we feel about natural wine - it’s playful, surprising, and revelatory.

Stanely’s Wet Goods is a beer, specialty liquors, and natural wine with a bar attached (smart move, Stanely)! It’s a beautiful, minimal, and unpretentious space with very helpful dudes that are experts in the wines they carry.

To start, we ordered a flight of three wines aptly titled, “Natural,” consisting of an orange, a rosé, and a red wine.

Orange: Scholium Project, The Prince in His Caves, Farina Vineyard, Napa CA 2016


This Sonoma wine was made with 100% whole cluster Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Whole cluster means that the stems and whole grapes are picked and thrown directly into fermentation without any mechanical separation. It was fermented with grape skins, which is why there is an orange hue to what would be an otherwise white wine, and with foot-stomping (kind of like that episode of I Love Lucy. And if you ever wondered, yes, macerating grapes with your feet is sanitary)!

This one is bold and complex with high grapefruit, apricots, and tropical fruit like pineapple. Lingers on the tongue with only slight tannic properties (the dryness you feel on your palate). Beautiful, opaque color.

Scholium Project is also set to open up an urban winery in the core of LA’s historic wine-making industry. The Salty Toast is excited and can’t wait to check it out once it opens!

Rosé: Louise Antoine Luyt, País Margarita Flores, Cauquenes (Maule Valley), Chile 2017


French native, Louise Antoine Luyt, made this one-of-a-kind rose using the native yeasts that grow naturally on the País grape skins. The País grape is a Chilean grape that was luckily not hit with Phylloxera, like many other global wine regions, making it an extremely old root stock of about 300 years old! Talk about true expression of land!

We were really wowed by this wine, mainly because it was so smoky, like a Scotch or mezcal. The smokiness is probably brought about by a yeast called Brettanomyces, or “Brett” for short, as that flavor is one of its characteristics in wine (when cultivated, managed, and stored properly). It’s not overpowering, as we still got strawberry, pine-y and herbaceous undertones, but it’s definitely memorable and a wine we'd love to surprise our own guests with. It's a beautiful cloudy pink because like The Prince above, it's unfiltered (or at least very minimally filtered). This one is special and damn addicting.

Red: Rosi Schuster, Rotburger, Burgenland, Austria 2017


Rotburger grapes are also known as Zweigelt grapes, and if neither of those words sound pretty on your palate, this easy-drinking red will be. It’s named after Rosi, winemaker Hannes Schuster’s mother, who runs the vineyard alongside her son. They make organic, small-yield wines that focus on flavorful, intense fruit to create classic renditions of regional Austrian wines.

This medium-bodied, slightly tannic red has good acidity and prune and red jammy fruit notes. I also got spice notes, like nutmeg and hints of vanilla. I love spicy reds, but sometimes you want something a little more toned down, especially after having a bright orange wine and a very unique rosé. The Rosi Schuster Rotburger is great if you like reds that are not too heavy and can go with a variety of hearty, meaty dishes. It’s a simple, food-friendly wine!

Takeaway: If you're going to taste, try the Louise Antoine Luyt País Margarita Flores Rosé. It was our favorite wine cuz it was distinctive and had that good kind of funkiness.

Like a great wine, Stanely’s Wet Goods is a gem in the heart of Culver City. And to make it better, they have a happy hour on draft wines. Make sure to visit!

Stanley's Wet Goods. 9620 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232. Sun-Weds, 11am-10pm. Thu-Sat, 11am-11pm.