I recently visited LCA Wine and met owner Nancy Milby, a Certified Sommelier Instructor who runs its wine-tasting bar and retail wine store, and Peter Neptune, a Master Sommelier who conducts wine education classes at The Neptune School of Wine adjacent to the store. Passion for wine is an overused phrase, but it is genuinely applicable to these extremely knowledgeable enthusiasts.
The two eagerly showed me around the store, with its large event and education center, and offered me four carefully selected wines at the tasting bar. The experience was spirited, informative, and presented without pretension. Much to my delight, the hosts’ discussion was imbued with that word—passion.
LCA Wine is an innovative reinvention of the tradition Nancy started 10 years ago at Laguna Culinary Arts. She personally chooses wines from around the world that represent good value, are often made with sustainable, organic or biodynamic processes, and cannot be found at other O.C. wine retailers. Guests are encouraged to stop in and check out the selection, have a taste of whatever Nancy is pouring, and talk wine.
The retail store and tasting bar are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. the first Sunday of the month.
LCA Wine also offers fun and informative specialty wine-tasting seminars led by sommelier Melanie Chang, and wine vacations conducted by Nancy. A trip to Provence is planned next June. Memorable private parties and events with catering from SoCo restaurants can be arranged.
Peter Neptune is one of only 122 individuals in North America to hold the Master Sommelier title, and is considered the premier wine educator in Southern California. He offers a range of classes from entry level Wine Basics offered monthly, to advanced curriculums as part of the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET), which exists to educate those in the trade, and The French Wine Scholar Program designed by the French Wine Society to provide proficiency in the wines of France.
The shop, and school of wine are at at 3315 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa, at South Coast Collection (SoCo). For further information, or to register for classes, visit LCAWine.com or call 657-232-0920.