222 S. Hope Street, Los Angeles
The Otium wine list is sorted very generally (i.e., Sparkling, White, Red, Rose, Half Bottles, Big Bottles, Fortified & Sweet). It’s not super-expansive as in some high end restaurants where you may be wading through 25 Cabs from Rutherford AVA, it aims to keeps it pretty simple. This pertains to the general wine list. If you don’t find anything that’s satisfactory for your occasion, ask the sommelier to see the “big” list. I didn’t ask to take a peek, but given the number of bottles they had on-site, I’m sure there’s something there for everyone. That said, there are some varietals that aren’t on your run-of-the-mill restaurant wine lists (think Savignin, Cinsault, Teroldego and Duras, just to name a few), enough to make the more adventurous oenophile in the group happy, and perhaps the whole party as a number of these are offered by the glass. Prices by both glass and bottle are moderate so you won’t feel like you might miss a mortgage payment or forgo your children’s college education if you partake. You’re looking at about $50/bottle to $130/bottle (higher for sparkling and large format wines). If you’re inclined to BYOW, corkage is listed at $35 per 750mL bottle (2 bottle max).
As my friends maniacally ordered cocktails at Otium and then dishes - almost the whole menu actually - I had to bide my time and wait until I knew what we were eating before I could recommend wine. It was a smorgasbord of drinks and food but here we go!
Since they began with a series of fish that included:
Hamachi: Coriander, Avocado, Lemon, Dill
Amberjack: Cashew, Coconut, Lime, Chili
Yellowtail Tostada: Hawaiian Kanpachi, Radish, Peach, Habanero
Cauliflower: Grapes, Almond, Sultana
I opted to pick the 2015 Muscadet on the wine list. Muscadet Sèvre et Maine lies just outside of Nantes in the westernmost region of the Loire Valley, as the Loire River meets the Atlantic. The traditional fare is predominated by seafood and the wines of the area are suited to match those flavors. Sur Lie aging (where these wines spend the winter “on the lees”, essentially aging with the residual yeast) gives the wine body. Typically, it is drunk young and has a minerality that delivers a subtle salinity complementing fresh seafood (think oysters, shellfish or sashimi).
2015 Menard Gaborit, Muscadet “Moulin del la Miniere” ($13/glass; $52/bottle – 750mL)
Grape Varieties: 100% Melon de Bourgogne.
Region: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie, Loire Valley, France
Tasting Notes: Pale gold/green color. A fresh, intense nose with aromas of citrus fruit and peaches. Palate is well-balanced and supple and lingers in the mouth, lively and slightly fizzy with mineral and floral notes and a subtle fruit finish.