Name: David Rickenbaker
What’s your position at K&L and how long have you been with the company?
I have managed the San Francisco K&L for the last 11 and a half years.
What did you do before you started working here?
Prior to K&L I spent 28 memorable years managing several Safeway and Liquor Barn locations.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I play basketball, do a little snow skiing when there is snow like this year, and Ienjoy mystery novels.
What’s your favorite movie?
Any in the Jason Bourne collection.
What was your “epiphany wine”—the bottle or glass that got you interested in wine? Is there a current wine that you consider the equivalent?
My epiphany wine has to have been the 1977 Alexander Valley Silver Oak that a friend gave me. I started heading up to Napa to do some wine tasting the very next weekend. I now definitely prefer a great glass of Paradigm Cabernet.
Describe your perfect meal (at a restaurant or prepared at home). What wine(s) would you pair with it?
My favorite food is anything Italian, with either a crisp Falanghina or rich Piedmonte Nebbiolo.
How do you think your palate’s changed over the years?
I no longer enjoy fruit forward wines, but prefer wines with more balance and subtle flavors like a Puligny-Montrachet or perhaps a Bordeaux from Pauillac.
What do you like to drink?
I enjoy a good gin martini, a classic Belgian ale with raw oysters and/or a glass of Krug Champagne with sushi.
What words of advice do you have to offer people just getting into wine?
Be open-minded. Do the research, which includes tasting and reading, and don’t put too much faith in writers who emphasize points. Decide for yourself what is good and what works with the foods you enjoy.
If you could have dinner with any three people in history, who would you invite? What wine would you serve each of them?
I would love to split a bottle of Wente Chablis with my late father, his favorite, a bottle of 1990 Lynch-Bages with the legendary Joe Montana and with my wife a bottle of Krug Rosé, absolutely her favorite wine in all the world.