The word “wine,” especially in such compound terms as wine bar, wine tasting or wine aficionado, can seem intimidating for those unschooled in the “vine arts.” AzoVino Gift Gallery and Wine offers the perfect introduction for the grape-curious while simultaneously satisfying hard-core oenophiles. This modern/rustic, surprisingly spacious wine bar is all about unpretentious, relaxed fun, with knowledgeable bartenders and comfortable tables, chairs and couches throughout. The atmosphere is enhanced with displays of handpainted wine glasses, vases, jewelry, glass ornaments and bold, colorful art in various styles. Live jazz and blues play Friday and Saturday nights. AzoVino also has a fireplace for the colder months, craft beers served in goblets, a solid list of wines (emphasis on Californian, Spanish and Argentine) and special events such as Oktoberfest (with food). Plus, owner Galen Metz regales patrons with affable banter and amusing stories. 144 W Badillo St., Covina. (626) 732-9827,

—Adam Gropman

LA Weekly