Alcohol & Spirits

Flask Fine Wine & Whisky in Studio City: Wine, Whisky, Rare Beers and a Store Makeover

Comments (0)


Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 8:44 AM
click to enlarge Jarjour arranges Four Roses single barrel whiskey bottles - S. RASHKIN
  • S. Rashkin
  • Jarjour arranges Four Roses single barrel whiskey bottles
Flask Fine Wines in Studio City is under new ownership and getting a total makeover in the hands of its new owner, Peter Jarjour. Jarjour is already known for his first shop, Valley Beverage Company in Sherman Oaks. For the past seven years he's been turning that shop into one of the best places to buy craft beer in the Los Angeles area.

Last October, while looking for wine racks, Jarjour stumbled across a listing on Craigslist for the sale of Flask Fine Wines. So instead of the wine racks, Jarjour bought a wine store. He closed the shop for just one week in November; it's been opened since, though the store is still a work in progress. Renamed Flask Fine Wine & Whisky the store already has a fresh coat of paint and new hardwood floors, plus lots more inventory. But not just any inventory.

"Anybody can look through a catalog and order a bunch of beer or wine," Jarjour says. "You can have a big craft beer selection, but that's not what makes you a great craft beer shop." 

Building relationships with breweries to acquire special releases, removing product that's no longer fresh, and helping to build a knowledgeable consumer base are some of the strategies Jarjour has used at Valley Beverage Company to set the store apart. Now he's bringing the same standards to Flask for wine and whiskey.

When it came time to order the whiskey for his new store, Jarjour thought it would be faster and easier, not to mention more fun, to fly to Kentucky himself and hand select the best product. At Four Roses distillery, Jarjour met with master distiller Jim Rutledge to taste single barrels of bourbon that aren't blended into the usual mix for bottling. (After evaporation, Jarjour only got 154 bottles from the barrel he selected.)

In addition to whiskey and wine, Jarjour has a small but mighty selection of craft beer at Flask. He plans to install beer taps at the store and believes that with the right selections many wine fans can become beer fans and vice versa.

Grant Wheeler, Jarjour's buyer, describes them both as "beer and wine nerds," and said they've seen their interests move from maligned to mainstream now that trends have changed and "if you like wizards or whiskey, suddenly you're a cool kid."

Their passion makes both Jarjour and Wheeler alcohol ambassadors to those who haven't had the time to do all the research and palate developing themselves. Jarjour is happy to discuss everything from the evolution of a wine's label to his personal recommendations, like the François Villard Condrieu for a great white wine this summer. He's often ready with advice for his customers: "Don't let your boyfriend call Feminist a girly beer just because of the name and the flowers - it's a great beer." (The tasty tripel from Monkish Brewing Co. in Torrance is brewed with hibiscus flowers.)

At Valley Beverage Co., Jarjour carries many local and rare beers, including all eight original beers from Mammoth Brewing Company, which the guys drive into the mountains to pick up since the brewery doesn't yet distribute. 

Jarjour and Wheeler love to share bottles they're excited about and educate visitors about them, without the intimidation and pretension that often accompanies wine discussion. "It's grape juice, it's made by farmers and it's delicious," says Wheeler, "and if you can't get down with any of those three things, we probably won't be super fast friends."

At his new shop, Jarjour is still finishing the store and bar remodel, after which he will host a celebration event. All events are announced via the store's Facebook page. Jarjour is already offering tastings twice a week at Flask, every Thursday and Saturday evening.

Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

Related Content

Now Trending


  • Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar
    Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar, with chef Jason Fullilove at the helm, is in the two buildings at the pier’s entrance that used to be Beachcomber Cafe and Ruby’s Diner. Those buildings, which have been overhauled completely, reflect both the pier’s 109-year-old history and the cultural import of Malibu itself.
  • The Tasting Menu Trend
    In Los Angeles especially, but increasingly across the country, restaurants are either switching to tasting menus, putting a greater focus on a tasting-menu option (while offering à la carte items as well), or opening as tasting-menu operations from day one. The format that used to be the calling card of only the fanciest of restaurants is becoming ubiquitous, even at places where the waiter calls you “dude” and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight.
  • Milo's Kitchen: A Treat Truck for Dogs
    Milo's Kitchen, a part of California-based Big Heart Pet Brands, is taking its homestyle dog treats on the road this summer with the "Treat Truck." The dogified food truck is making stops all over the country, ending up in New York early September. The truck stopped at Redondo Beach Dog Park Friday morning entertaining the pups with treats, a photo-booth and play zone. Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck offered samples of the line's six flavors, all with chicken or beef as the first ingredient, and all made in the U.S.A. with no artificial colors or preservatives. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.