SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Behind every pour, there is a wine story and how it was made. It is one of the reasons Anthony Bowers loves drinking wine.

"That's when it got fun for me because that's when I wanted to start learning like what is it that I'm actually drinking," Bowers said.

Learning is one of the reasons why he became a wine club member at Double Trouble Wine Room in Old Town Newhall. The tasting room did away with the big wine pickup parties of the past and made them more intimate.

"I came in and they poured me a flight and they talked about each one. What is in it and why we did what we did, what it should taste like, what are the components. In my tasting expertise it is like, I am tasting this? Is that what it is? It's like you're exactly on it and it creates this comradery and friendship that's kind of awesome," Bowers said about his experience.

The changes were not done entirely by choice. Doug Minnick is Hoi Polloi Winery's owner and winemaker. The winery is one of two wineries inside the Double Trouble Wine Room.

"We'd have so many people in this place it was like a kegger but with amazing wine," he said. 


They could not do massive parties due to COVID-19 restrictions, so they started doing a reservation system where wine club members signed up for time slots. It gave wine club members a one-on-one experience and sometimes with the person who made the wine.

"Turns out everybody likes that better than having the big free for all. We've kept doing that and I tend to keep doing it that way because everybody likes it," Minnick said.

A change that may not have been intentional is now the new normal at Double Trouble Wine Room, and that is perfectly fine with Bowers, whose goal is to become a winemaker.

"Syrah is my favorite wine. That's what I want to start with but we'll eventually get into some blends, too, wine maker eventually," he said.

Bowers said he hopes to use what he is learning to make exceptional wine.