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Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne $34.99One of our best non-vintage Champagnes, this organically grown blend of half each Chardonnay and Meunier comes entirely from Bruno Michel's estate. It has been aged for six years on the lees and shows wonderful natural toasty quality as well as incredible vibrance! This was the big hit of our most recent staff Champagne tasting and we think you will love it 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 KLWines.com or follow us on Facebook.  

 

Free Spirits Tastings at K&L! Now that we have our license for spirits tastings in Redwood City and San Francisco, we’re excited to host regular free spirits tastings in those locations.  Check the Spirits Journal for an updated tasting schedule.

All tastings will feature different products from the Spirits Department and take place on Wednesdays in Redwood City and San Francisco. 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

Archives

Entries in K&L Staff (23)

Wednesday
Mar312010

Getting to Know: David Driscoll

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.

 

Monday
Mar292010

Getting to Know: Tom Martinez

Name: Tom Martinez

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

I am the General Manager of the Hollywood Store.  I started working at K&L in 1983.

What did you do before you started working here?

After college I worked in the financial services industry followed by a short time with a contractor.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a big sports fan and enjoy watching and attending sporting events.  Restoring my ’65 Mustang has taken more of my spare money than spare time lately.

What’s your favorite movie?

Caddyshack and Pulp Fiction are my favorites.

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 would have to say that the 1983 Pichon-Lalande was the first wine to really excite me.  

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

My perfect meal would start with a glass of Champagne and a spinach salad with roasted walnuts. The next course would be a crab gnocchi served with A Lewis Chardonnay.  A blackened Rib Eye and grilled asparagus would be accompanied by an older Pichon-Lalande or Léoville-Barton. A fresh fruit tart would end the night with more Champagne.

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

I have definitely moved away from heavily oaked wines.  I find myself looking for more balanced wines with alcohol levels in check.

What do you like to drink?

I enjoy cocktails as much as a nice glass of wine.  And of course I don’t always vacation in Mexico but when I do, it is all Tequila and beer.

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

Go to tastings and try as many wines and varietal as you can.  Learn what you like but be open to all flavor profiles.  Don’t over analyze each wine.  Keep it simple.

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

If I could I would like to have dinner with my grandfather Albert Martinez, Mickey Mantle and the late Chip Hammack.   I know our conversations would include such topics as politics, women, baseball, the Lakers, jazz and money.  I think cocktails would be the libation of choice and the meal would be incidental as our conversation would be the highlight.

Friday
Mar262010

Getting to Know: Joe Manekin

Name: Joe Manekin

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

I am the Spanish, Portuguese and South American wine buyer.  I've been working here for two and a half years.

What did you do before K&L?

Before K&L I worked for a medium-sized wine wholesaler in Washington, DC.

What do you do in your spare time?

I like to blog (www.oldworldoldschool.blogspot.com).  Also I enjoy gardening, cooking, drinking (but of course!), recording and listening to music.

What's your favorite movie?

I’ll always go for a good music documentary or period piece.  Rockers!— a classic late-’70s Jamaican flick) is one of my favorites.

What was your "epiphany wine?"

I think I had my wine epiphany quite young (to protect my parents I won’t say quite how young. It was a bottle of 1986 Chalone Pinot Blanc—full-bodied but bright, palate-coating and memorable. More recently, a bottle of 1981 Martinsancho Verdejo that legendary Spanish winemaker Angel Rodriguez Vidal opened for me a year ago was phenomenal.

Describe your perfect meal. What wines would you pair with it?

’79 Salon (a birthyear wine I’d love to try) and potato latkes with crème fraiche and caviar to start.  Grass fed New York strip steak grilled rare and sautéed Lacinato kale paired with ’79 Palmer (another one I need to try). Also, some Lopez de Heredia Gran Reservas from the ’60s. Finally, a decanter of Puffeney Vin Jaune served with top-notch Comte and bread from Tartine (best bread in the world) to close things out.

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

Like many palates before me, I have moved away from richer, fruitier, oakier front- to mid-palate wines in favor of higher acid, more tensely-finishing wines.  In other words, you can keep the cult Cab, but pass the Poulsard my way!

What do you like to drink?

Geek beers and geek wines.  Anything from Cantillon. Lopez de Heredia, all flavors. Muscadet. Sherry. Our wonderful DI Champagnes, especially Marguet and Tarlant! So-called “natural wines.” Orange wines like Radikon. I could go on, but at the risk of subjecting myself to abuse at the office I’ll leave it at that. Non-alcoholic drink of choice: good Gyokuro green tea.

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

Always consider context. If you find your tastes jiving with one of us in particular, work mainly with that person. Also, whether you want to know the various soil types of the Loire Valley or simply want a tasty dry white wine to bring to a party, let us know and we’ll take care of you.

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

Jean-Michel Basquiat - 1981 Lopez de Heredia Viña Bosconia Gran Reserva to celebrate his breakthrough year; Frederic Chopin - 1996 Royal Tokaji Wine Company Mezes Mály 6 Puttonyos (Hungary is sort of close to Poland); medieval philosopher Maimonedes - 1787 Château d’Yquem. We’d discuss the morality of forging super rare, older bottles and whether or not our bottle was a genuine one or of magical, non-existent provenance.

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