Watching my Ducks flounder, tail spinning out of playoff contention and desperate to make changes to halt the backsliding by acquiring goaltenders in the latest rash of trades in the NHL was depressing me. I wanted to spend my Thursday in an uplifting way, so I had my car detailed (paid for by the construction company that had previously showered it with cement) and attended a tasting at Silverlake Wine. Something else was in the cards. The nights agenda of tasting was transformed into something a little more big city.

After picking up my car from its date with detailing, I was set to faceoff against Los Angeles rush hour traffic. A normal thirty-minute drive multiplied in length by a factor of three.

I made it to Silverlake (an hour and a half later than expected), depleted of patience and thirsty for wine, meeting with my father and a friend from my wine class. My friend was already into his flight by the time I arrived; my dad and I shared two flights of wine, six glasses in total.

The first flight would be white Côtes du Rhône varietals—Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne while the three red wines shared a global perspective on a very popular grape—Malbec.

My first time in Silverlake Wine and I was in such a hurry to get there that I forgotten to take in my surroundings. A casual glance yielded a fashionable shop with modern touches like a home you would see in Dwell Magazine. I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout—cute girls were rampant, a food truck parked conveniently outside and a nerdier array of wines to consider purchasing after tasting through the flights.

The energetic staff walked us through the wines of each flight with panache. Detailing the lay of the land (the grapes’ country of origin), the varietals and any interesting tidbits about the wines or the winemakers.

I tasted the following:

09 Mas Del Périé Les Escures Cahors Malbec

08 Côtes du Rhône Andrieux & Fils

09 Earth First Argentina Malbec

09 Atrea “The Choir”

09 Cowhorn “Spiral 36”

08 Sur de Los Andes Argentina Malbec.

Aside from the flair-filled intros preceding the wines, they missed the mark with my palate. The white wines underperformed. They were served chilled and because of that the flavor intensity had been muted. More than that, though they were nearly devoid of aromatics they still showed some less-than-desirable traits, like a large blast of alcohol stood out, intensifying in my throat as I discussed the wines with my father and friend. That is not to say the wines were bereft of fruit: I noticed some aromas of pineapple, peach and citrus but not enough to be wowed or hide their transparent flaws.

Moving to the Malbecs, I was feeling a bit more optimistic because the Malbec grape is typically brash. In contrast it would provide dynamics that were not delivered with the previous flight. As I sipped through fuller-bodied reds, I detected a lot of meatiness in the Argentinean examples of the grape where the French Malbec from Cahors was a little buttery and did not do too much for me.

After sipping through the six glasses of wine (only 403 wines left) my friend invited me to continue the night in Downtown at Seven Grand—a whiskey bar, housing over 270 different producers of Scotch Whiskey—with a few of his friends… and I obliged.

Before departing and saying goodbye to Dad, I was hit with the idea of chasing the tasting with a hot dog from the Let’s Be Frank food truck. A little expensive—five dollars for an artisan dog—but my hot dog was perfectly spiced and quelled my cravings for a bona fide food truck experience.

On to Downtown, I made it to Seven Grand and traded in my wine glasses for a specially numbered silver cup to house my Mint Juleps. My buddy was entertaining two young ladies from Canada and he was dead set on showing them a good time, pulling out all the stops. In a moments time we packed up from the elegant digs of Seven Grand and made our way to a crowded speakeasy. Late into the evening and the place was packed, didn’t these Angelenos have to work at 9 a.m. the next morning too?

About an hour and a half into Friday morning it was time to wrap up Thursday. Although the body of wines was not too memorable they served as catalysts in launching a great night and I cannot wait to see what next Thursday has in store for me.