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Vino and Vixens: Irregular Wine Tastings and Suicide Girls at the Echoplex

Julian Davies tests a selection of wines at the Cheese Store of Silver Lake.There are the heavy pours that allow (read: encourage) oenophiles to get thoroughly sloshed. There's the utterly laid back and unpretentious vibe. But mostly, it's host Julian Davies who makes Irregular Wine Tastings the best way to get drunk for $20 in Los Angeles. (Sorry, but an evening on the couch with a crate of 2-buck Chuck doesn’t count. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

While guiding tastees from an elegant Gewurztraminer to a milky junmai sake (with pit stops at Cabernet Sauvignon, among others, along the way), the fast-talking Brit laces his motormouth commentary with more esoteric references than a Dennis Miller monologue.

"I do a lot of subverting and perverting of wine back stories, or I make them up entirely," he says. He repeatedly refers to Alsace as "owl's ass" and drops charmingly useless statistics about soaring maple syrup prices and the origins of LSD. Bloke-ish bonhomie aside, Davies' demeanor belies his deep appreciation for and broad knowledge of wine.

Davies curated the original wine list for Father's Office and has worked as a wine buyer for now defunct Epicurus, for the Silver Lake Cheese Shop and for Rosso Wine Shop in Glendale. Did we mention that he may have been author Rex Pickett's inspiration for Paul Giamatti's character in "Sideways"?

Irregular Wine Tastings don’t happen on any reliable timetable (hence, the word "irregular"), so it's best to catch them when you can. Tomorrow night's event has the added bonus of a post-tasting shindig featuring the Suicide Girls. Vino and vixens -- it’s the perfect combo.

7:30 p.m., Fri. Echoplex, 1822 Sunset Blvd., L.A. $20. (213) 413-8200, www.myspace.com/irregularwinetasting. RSVP to irregularwinetasting@yahoo.com.

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Julian Davies tests a selection of wines at the Cheese Store of Silver Lake. Credit: Benjamin Reed / Los Angeles Times

 
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