Name: David Driscoll
What’s your position at K&L and how long have you been with the company?
I am the spirits buyer for Northern California, and I have been with K&L since October of 2007. I also write a lot for the website and blog.
What did you do before you started working here?
I was teaching elementary school part time in Chinatown while getting my master’s degree in German.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
What I like to do is hypothetical. What I actually do is clean the house, cook the food, and read up on the latest booze. I feel I used to do much more, but I can’t remember what it was. I like to cook Italian food, that’s for sure.
What’s your favorite movie?
Impossible question. I will say that the best movie ever made is Boogie Nights, but it isn’t my favorite. I wrote a paper in college on that subject to prove this subjective opinion as an objective fact. I did convince one professor.
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?
I don’t understand how other people have had an epiphany wine. Maybe it’s like having a kid, and I wouldn’t know because I don’t have one. When I first tried Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley and could taste the crushed stones and minerality is when I knew that wine tasting wasn’t a bunch of baloney, but I don’t remember what the wine was.
Describe your perfect meal (at a restaurant or prepared at home). What wine(s) would you pair with it?
I would be somewhere in a small Italian village eating at restaurant that makes 100% of their own produce (raises the livestock, grows the veggies, etc.) and I would drink something out of a ceramic pitcher that probably costs two Euros.
How do you think your palate’s changed over the years?
Just like every other employee who has answered this question: from big, fruity, silky wines to more obscure and interesting flavors. I think it is human nature to seek out what isn’t just like everything else when you’re constantly subjected to the same old thing. At least, I hope it is for the sake of others.
What do you like to drink?
Lately it’s been Italian and French regional wines, but mostly cocktails. My spirits bar has gone from 10 bottles to 70 bottles in the last four weeks.
What words of advice do you have to offer people just getting into wine?
Don’t let anything intimidate you, be it a wine store clerk or the lack of a recognizable word on the label. Be patient and stay humble (and those last two are things that I do not do particularly well).
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 want to invite people that I never got the chance to meet and who I know enjoyed a good drink, like my dad’s father, Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski. We probably would drink the whole time and would end up ordering pizza because I’m not going to cook. I would shut up for once in my life and listen to these guys trade stories.