Tuesday, May 17, 2011

by Natalia Klishina

Yesterday, the CallFire marketing team decided to head to Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar right off the Santa Monica Promenade as part of our All-Night-Monday tradition. For those of you wondering what that is, it's pretty simple. Santa Monica is home to at least 5 places that I've discovered have all-night happy hours on Mondays (and Pourtal is one of them). It sure makes starting off the week more fun. But back to the topic at hand...

Welcome to the perfect wine tasting bar for all you gadget lovers and wine-swilling techies. Pourtal's website describes an "innovative Enomatic system," which is basically code for "arcade-like wine-drinking playground for adults." You throw some cash on a card that gets loaded with credit, and then you run around like a kid in a candy store, pressing buttons to get wine to pour from spouts. Any credit you have left over, you can load back on your credit card. But who are we kidding here?

Too tired or too old to run around like a kid in a candy store (pffft)? Never fear. Pourtal also serves 30+ wines by the glass, as well as great hors d'ouvres to pair with them.

The prices are about $2-$4 for a taste, depending on the wine, and the selection of 40 different wines is always changing. They have some really interesting wines, too. I tried a Cab from Montenegro and another red from Hungary, and happily shuffled off home with a bag containing a bottle of the latter.

Pourtal also gets bonus points for:

1) Having an amazing, helpful, friendly staff. (Thanks Kasey!)
2) Really taking advantage of social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. They lured us in by tweeting at us while we were at our first stop of #allnightmonday.
3) Giving $15 off bottles you buy to go (what wine store will do this for you?).
4) Supporting charities. 15% of proceeds from Monday tastings go towards a charity, which switches every 2 weeks. It's why it's called Angel Shares Happy Hour."
5) Also, I believe I mentioned this, but it deserves another mention: Monday's happy hour goes all night (until 10pm).
6) Having cool events, like Bike From Work Happy Hour on Thursday, May 19th. And we here at CallFire know techies love bikes (half the team rode 100 miles in the Solvang Century earlier this Spring, and the rest of us went wine tasting -- hmmm, how wonderfully appropriate).

So if you're a techie in LA, or even if you're not a techie but you love wine, check out Pourtal. If it's a Monday night, you might even run into us there. Say hi and let us explain the wonders of cloud telephony (we get increasingly eloquent as the night goes on).