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The Freewheel line with a couple of English friends.

It takes a lot of beer to keep the wine business running smoothly. Here in Redwood City, we are very fortunate to have a great English style ale producer right in our backyard: Freewheel Brewing Company. The staff of K&L are fictures at our local pub, and it is a rare moment when one of us isn't there having a pint and a bite of their excellent food. We are also lucky enough to be the first place to offer their bottled beer for sale. If you have never had it, the Freewheel Brewing "FSB" Freewheel Special Bitter, California (500ml) is the benchmark in fresh, balanced, smashable ale. We will do our best to keep some in stock for you, the customer too!

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Tasting with Oliver Krug

Upcoming Events

We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on or follow us on Facebook.  


Visit our events page on Facebook or the K&L Spirits Journal for more information.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

See all K&L Local Events


Entries in K&L Staff (23)


Getting to Know: Susan Thornett

What's your position at K&L and how long have you been with the company?

I've been with K&L for two years and a bit. My official position is liaison for Loire, Alsatian, French regional, German and Austrian wine at the San Francisco store. My unofficial but main responsibility is making sure everyone is well-supplied with crispy pints!

What did you do before you started working here?

I worked at a San Francisco restaurant, Campton Place, with a number of inspirational chefs, wine directors and generally wonderful folks. I worked a range of jobs there from runner to restaurant manager. Before that I waited tables in Santa Monica, Sydney, London and Birmingham.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Two words: crispy pints.

What’s your favorite movie?

Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Some quality gags and a great score.

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?

Honestly, I don't really know what the wine was. It was likely snaffled by my best friend Kate from her parents' cellar and consumed with some nice French cheese and bread at their place after work. Good wine, good friends and a little food are all that most people need to get hooked on the good stuff!

Describe your perfect meal (at a restaurant or prepared at home). What wine(s) would you pair with it?

I don't have menu details for you, but if it was to be perfect it would be a long, all-day affair with many simple courses prepared by my husband and me and with plenty of quality, easy-drinking grower fizz like Michel Arnould or Elisabeth Goutorbe on hand for the chefs.

How do you think your palate's changed over the years?

I now favor highly extracted, high alcohol wines with lots of new oak… ha! Only kidding, but I always wish someone would say that in this segment! Truly, we have so much well made, honest wine to choose from here at K&L, I've become less accepting of flavors that seem artificial—you know, when it *really* tastes like passionfruit or blueberry syrup there is a problem!

What do you like to drink?

Besides crispy pints? I’ll tend to go for an everyday SW French or Tuscan red with dinner, a Mâcon or Touraine white for everyday drinking. If I'm out I love a glass of Crémant or Champagne, or some kind of aromatic whiskey cocktail.

What words of advice do you have to offer people just getting into wine?

Taste as much as possible! Seek out wines that go with the kinds of food you enjoy. Don't fret if you don't taste the same things as others, our palates are all built differently. Describing fruit flavors found in wine only works well for some people, for many others the character and structure are far more useful.

If you could have dinner with any three people in history, who would you invite? What wine would you serve each of them?

I'd invite three of my favorite composers and serve wines I think pair with their music.
JS Bach would have to get an exquisite, pure, perfectly balanced Mosel Riesling, probably a Kabinett from a classic vintage. Béla Bartók would get an aged Barolo, something vibrant with streaks and flashes of volatile brilliance. Dmitri Shostakovich would get a rich, buttery Meursault paired with a seared piece of Foie Gras; I think it would cheer him up.

Want to drink like Susan?

From crispy pints to Barolo, she knows her stuff.

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Getting to Know: Eric Story

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.

Want to drink like Eric?

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Getting to Know: Jim Chanteloup

What do you do at K&L?

I take care of purchasing the wines from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. [This is my 21st] year with K&L.

What did you do before you started here?

I made my living as a freelance drummer living in the Bay Area. I’ve had the chance to work with many jazz greats such as Jimmy Witherspoon, Ray Brown, Joe Henderson as well as burlesque queen Tempest Storm. And of course weddings, bar mitzvahs and everything in between. As they say, soup to nuts.

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