Wine bar review: Mignon in downtown Los Angeles

At the edge of downtown Los Angeles, in that nebulous part of 6th Street that borders Skid Row, is the cutest wine bar I ever did see. I’m serious.

Not only is Mignon adorable with a very Parisian vibe, think dark wood, dim lighting, mismatched glasses and minimal seating, it has quite the wine list. There were representatives from Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Spain, and of course, France.

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The menu, printed on lined white school paper, changes often, but when I went last week it included:

  • Torley, Gala, a Hungarian sparkling wine
  • Cascina Val del Prete, Luet, Roero Arneis, an Italian white
  • Val de Mer, Chablis, a French white
  • Cornellison, “Contadino 9,” a Sicilian red wine

And many more.

On top of the extensive list, they have a lovely happy hour: $5 glasses of wine and $5 small plates from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 p.m. to midnight on Sunday. The bar is open 6 p.m. to midnight seven days a week. Usually, glasses of wine are about $8, and bottles mostly range from $32 to $62.

At a recent happy hour, I had a 2010 Cascina Val del Prete, an Italian wine made from Arneis grapes. The white wine was creamy, sweet, and left pear lingering on the tongue. In Piedmont, where the grape is grown, Arneis in the regional dialect, means “little rascal,” because it’s difficult to grow.

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I switched over to the red side and tried the Domaine de Cuoron Marselan. They swapped that wine in after running out of a Slovenian number: Zajc Cvicek Dolenjska. I really wanted to try that mouthful, but the dip in supply turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

The Marselan, a French red grape and a cross-blend between Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon was a pleasure to drink. The chewy, toasty, leathery wine emits blackberry and cherry aromas. If we didn’t have to leave for the night, I would have ordered another glass! Luckily for me, a bottle’s just $13, according to wine-searcher.com

Mignon is at 128 E. 6th St. For more information, call 213-489-0131.