Being a Wine Detective


Imagine a place where you dispense your own wines, sit and chow on apps, converse idly with friends and do not need to shout over those around you or blaring music overhead.  Now allow yourself to believe it's real...and right here in Pasadena.  For only $5 during our daily happy hour (4-7PM) you can enjoy glass of House Wine and get 20% off our cheeses, charcuteries, Burrata Salad and more...  The proprietors have really done a great job with this place, which has only been open for little bit over 2 years, located in the The Commons Plaza.  Fans of the red are in luck as the Wine Detective offers up choice pours from California, Washington, Spain,Italy, France, Argentina, Australia, Chile, South Africa...  There are fewer whites, but those Chardonnays from Sonoma and Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand will still do the trick, I assure you.... contiue



Pasadena Weekly

Please vote for Wine Detective at Pasadena Weekly's Best of Pasadena Awards! You can vote for us in such categories as Best Deli/Sandwiches, Best Bar, Best Bartender, Best Place to go on a first date (oh yeah!), and BEST WINE SELECTION

Go to, cast your vote, bring your voting confirmation, and get a free glass of house wine with additional purchase.

We are among the best things to do in Pasadena!

From: Travel Age West

Wine Detective includes an innovative tasting room with Enomatic Machines that facilitate sampling in more than 48 bottles, a wine bar, a wine store and food pairings. While sampling can get pricy, the happy hour held Mondays through Fridays from 4-7 p.m. offers $5 house wine and 25 percent off of appetizers.


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Customer Testimonials

Agnes L.
Pasadena, CA

I really love this place. The decor is gorgeous, the patrons are very hospital, and the wine experience is interactive! I've been bringing all kinds of friends here, mostly non-wine ppl, and everyone has loved it! My fave wine so far is one of their Brunellos. I forget the name of it but I call it liquid oral sex. Yeah, basically, when I'm taking a sip of that and you're trying to talk to me I'm not hearing you. You're not even there. I'm off on an ecstatic wino kick and you're gonna have to shake me back to the present reality (whatever that is). Just one ounce for $4, and I'm happy. One day, I'll be able to shell out the $60 for a bottle, but until then, this poor mama's just gonna keep pushing that button. For the wine. The wine.

Debbie Y.
Pasadena, CA


I just discovered a quaint wine bar and lounge in The Commons area in Pasadena on Lake. With the evening planned to go to The Counter for dinner, we ended up wandering toward this wine bar just to get a quick glimpse. As we looked in through the window, one of the owners came out and told us to go in and try some wine. They have these unique wine dispensary machines that will pour out an ounce of wine at a time so you can taste a variety of wines. You just buy a card from the register and swipe it through the machine then press the button for whichever wine looks good. All the tastings are between $2-3.50, but there are a few in the $5-8 range.

Me being such a wine novice, I really like the idea of being able to try a variety of wines from all price ranges and still not break the bank. My favorite was the Zind Humbrecht 2005 Pinot Gris. The bottle is $134.50 so I am really happy that I was given the opportunity to try this wine. They do serve food like cheese plates, meat charcuteries, small open-faced sandwiches, etc, but we didn't get to try this time.

The best thing about this place is the friendly staff. They were attentive and knowledgeable. The owners came over and talked to us numerous times and were able to give suggestions based on our preferences. They have only been open for two days so I hope this friendly service continues. I will be going back soon for some more tastings, food, and interesting conversations.


Sara V
Los Angeles, CA

"Wine Detective, how I love thee. The atmosphere is perfect - couches, tables and chairs, a projector to show silent films. The concept is simple! You get a Wine Detective Tasting Card, put on the amount you wish (we did $25), and go to town. They will only charge you for what you actually taste. If you don't taste $25 worth, they'll give you money back. How refreshing. Most places would take your money and say "sorry sucker." Not these gals. The staff is incredible. We had the pleasure of speaking with the owner and immediately fell in love. They didn't push anything on us. They let us explore the wines, taste, savor, and enjoy. The staff gave wonderful recommendations, but didn't shove their favorites in our faces. They let us experiment on our own. The wines are robust and full of flavor. Every sip tantalized a different area of my tongue. They have a Happy Hour, so be sure to try it out. If you're in the Pasadena area, this is a must! Stop by, say hello, taste, and relax! I can't wait to go back!"