What do you do at K&L?
My position here at K&L is a bit fuzzy, no one is really sure. Every time I have my yearly review I’m asked: “So, what is it you do here again?” And, for some reason I’m always shocked by it. I figure after 10-plus years maybe one of us ought to have figured it out. (Okay, really, I buy a lot of wine from obscure places. And the Loire, Alsace, Germany and Austria, too.)
What did you do before you started here?
Besides trying to be “the cool guy” I managed a small deli (I do miss the free food) and, believe it or not, I was a volunteer firefighter.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Besides eating, drinking and sleeping I like to try and do all the things that I was once good at. The older I get the better I was.
What’s your favorite movie?
I’m gonna’ have to go with Spaceballs on this one—enough said!
What was your “epiphany wine?”
Not sure I really ever had an epiphany wine. But, the ’88 Krug and the ’53 Schloss Johannisberger Auslese sure do stand out in my memory.
Describe your perfect meal. What wine(s) would you pair with it?
Not to sound cliché, but I’m going to: give me simple, well-prepared food, proper wine and surround me with fun, good people and I’m set. And if the meal involves pork and Riesling…well, then it’s a party!
How do you think your palate has changed over the years?
It has definitely become quite a bit more refined. I can’t handle anything, wine or food, that is over-the-top. Well-balanced simplicity, which tends to be the most intriguing, is what I’m all about these days.
What do you like to drink?
Riesling is where my heart lies. But, any high-toned, bright and expressive varietal has the potential to make me happy. Oh, and beer.
What words of advice do you have to offer people just getting into wine?
Don’t get caught up in the uptight, pretentious aspects of wine culture. Wine is meant to be a celebration, not a competition.
If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would you invite and what would you serve them?
Hmmm. Leonardo Da Vinci—1985 Altare Barolo; Howard Hughes—have a feeling he’s a booze guy and I should let him pick it out. The Hoff (David Hasselhoff to you)—and since he’s the man in Germany I would opt for an August Kesseler Spatburgunder. He seems like a red wine kind of guy.