For our wines, we shared a glass of the 1996 Stags Leap Petite Sirah Napa Valley,which was the one wine on the list we were definitely familiar with. It wasn’t cheap at $30 a glass, but considering what some high end restaurants charge for a glass of average, newer vintage, wines, it wasn't that out of line either (AHEM Mastro's Steakhouse and your $18/a glass for 2013 Earthquake Cab!). It was poured from a magnum, which of course helped the aging of the wine (the aging process of wine in a Magnum takes around 1.5 times longer than in a traditional 750ml bottle), and assisted in the presentation.

There is also a small outdoor seating area, which is a little small, but seemed enjoyable on a nice night. We met a couple of the owners, Dave Gibbs and Matthew Kaner (who was named one of Food & Wine's Sommeliers of the Year, in 2013), and our server was Nick; all of them were super nice. The owners have another wine bar in Los Feliz, Bar Covell, which has been going strong for about six years.

Augustine is located at 13456 Ventura Blvd.  Sherman Oaks, CA 91423, and their phone number  is (818) 990-0938. They do not take reservations; it is walk-ins only. You can check out their website to review their current food and wine menus.

So what makes this wine bar seem like it has longevity? Well, I would say first of all, the wine list. It’s mostly international wines, so not exactly in our wheelhouse, but there’s something to be said about trying new things, especially if you have someone to guide you in the right direction. Which, leads me to the next positive attribute, the staff! The staff was very attentive and seemed genuinely happy to be there.  They also seemed determined to make sure you picked out the perfect wine based on your taste preferences, and to pair best with whatever food you were ordering.

Which leads to the next item, the menu. We had the tater tots (yum, and not the least bit greasy), the Beef Carpaccio (maybe slightly heavy on the oil), and the Ricotta Cavatelli Sonora  (amazing!).

We also shared a 2013 glass of Antano Montefalco Rosso (which is a blend of Sangiovese + Sangrantino) - Umbria, Italy 2013. The service structure is interesting, you order everything from the bar and then there are food runners who bring you the dishes. We were given tastes of the wines prior to our final decision, and upon purchase (ie. leaving our credit card) we took our wine to our table.  Luckily, we got a booth pretty quick that had just opened up. However, based on the reviews on Yelp, most people prefer the service at the bar, which seats a good 20 people or so.

Augustine Wine Bar-

This place was recently named one of America’s Best New Wine Bars by Food & Wine Magazine, so we needed, yes NEEDED, to check it out! We went there on a Saturday night and they were quite BUSY! Great sign, especially because it seems to me that most wine bars lose their lackluster after a short while and seem to fade away. I don’t see this one fading away any time soon.