To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Los Angeles Magazine has a series of cover archives up on its website. How AMAZING is this cover from the month and year I was born? And how fitting that the cover model is pedaling wine. I flipped out when I saw it and emailed my friend Mary, who edits the magazine today. Mary did a little digging and discovered that our cover model was Ken Cohen, owner with his wife, Sherry, of The Wine Seller, which was located at 538 1/2 N. La Cienega. (A quick Google reveals that today a hardwood flooring company occupies the spot.)
Mary adds, “He was featured in a story, ironically enough given that we just did a similar piece in the December issue, on ‘The City’s Best Wine Shops,’ by George Christy.” Mary photocopied the story and mailed it to me. Also included that 1972 cover story were survivors Duke of Bourbon, Red Carpet Wine, and Wally’s West Liquors, complete with a picture of a 30-year-old Steve Wallace. (Funnily enough both Red Carpet Wine and Wally’s are featured in the current issue’s roundup of the city’s 10 best wine and liquor shops.)
In addition to the hairdos, the article provides plenty of entertainment. For starters, the prices were NUTS. Back then at Wally’s you could snap up a bottle of 1969 BV Burgundy from Napa Valley for $2.25, or a 1966 Les Forts de Latour claret from Bordeaux for $15.99 (today Wally’s fetches $249.99 for the 1970 vintage of Les Forts). It’s also fun to see where Angelenos were a few decades ago with their wine buying habits. I, for one, am totally on board with Sherry Cohen who “stresses that it’s about time women became actively interested in the wines that they drink.” And I love her husband’s cautionary coverline concerning Chateauneuf-du-Pape. (I mean, the last thing any of us wants is to get rooked buying Chateauneuf, the horror.) But while the Cohens may have come and gone, isn’t it kind of great that so many of the L.A.’s original young turks of wine still rule the roost today?
Thank you, Los Angeles Magazine, for sharing these awesome archival covers. And thank you, Mary, for sending this most excellent guide. I think I know what I’m uncorking tonight and just pray that I didn’t overpay…