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2000 Labégorce, Margaux $39.99

A great value in Bordeaux! This bottle is mature enough to drink now, but has time in hand if you want to keep it in the cellar for the future. We love it for its laid back elegance and classic balance. A must try for your next nice steak dinner.

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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

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Entries in K&L Staff (23)

Tuesday
Sep082009

Getting to Know: David Othenin-Girard, Spirits Buyer (Hollywood)

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

I’m the Spirits buyer and Hollywood’s Loire/Alsace/Germany/Austria liaison, and I’ve been with K&L since February 2008.

 What did you do before you started working here?

I was buying spirits across town.  I also worked in events with caterers and party planners to provide full bar services for parties across LA. When K&L popped up out of nowhere I knew I had to get involved.  As a “mostly” native Angeleno, I’ve always felt that the ast side of Los Angeles was severely underserved in terms of wine choices.  In fact, all of Los Angeles has benefited for K&L’s presence here, and I’m grateful to be a part of it.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I spend most of my spare time walking my basset hound, Goober. We walk around Hollywood looking for new places to eat or new bars to keep. When I’m not scoping out restaurants, wine programs and cocktail lists, I’m testing my bar skills on my unwitting friends. I have to say that you can really tell who’s a true friend after your first cocktailian disaster.  If you’ve made a terrible drink (whether mistakenly or over-ambitiously), a true friend will never suck it down with a smile. Honest criticism is the key improvement.

What’s your favorite movie?

Time Bandits.

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?

Wine has been part of my life since I was very young.  My Grandfather was an (amateur) winemaker and I used to spend summers outside of Geneva helping him tend his 1/2-acre of vines.  He instilled a great reverence for the vine; tasting his wine has always been an important memory.  My epiphany wine, however, was thanks to my former employer, an illustrious gentleman who thought nothing of opening something extremely rare if the right crowd was about. I reaped the benefits of one particularly extravagant tasting and got my lips around a glass of 1928 Cheval Blanc. I was floored. I understood, in theory, that great wines were essentially immortal, but experiencing the supernatural first hand changed my life.  Also, Port Ellen 29 year and 1985 DRC St. Vivant. Thanks Grandpa!

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

My perfect meal has less to do with what’s being served than with who I am with, but if I am being put on the spot it would be dinner on the hill in Camogli, a small fishing village near Portofino.  They do an amazing whitefish carpaccio drizzled with amazing olive oil and a lemon twist.  This pairs perfectly with the mineral crispness of the regions Bosco or Vermentino varietals. Watching the sunset over the Mediterranean with a good friend is truly a transcendent experience.  Also, Chez Omar near Place de la Republique in Paris with a back vintage of Tempier Bandol Rouge—perfect couscous, perfect pave au poire, perfect restaurant. 

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

I don’t know if my palate has changed over the years, although in college I was able to drink Keystone Light, something that I’m physically unable to do now.  However, I think I’ve developed a more delineated sense of what I love to drink and why.  I think of myself as a very open-minded drinker, not discounting any bottle because of its varietal or appellation.  That being said, every region has its duds and its studs.  I tend to prefer winemaking that is genuine and thoughtful.  Overly-worked wines can taste like they came from a factory rather than the vineyard.  If you don’t have grapes that can speak for themselves than maybe you shouldn’t be letting them speak in the first place.

What do you like to drink?

Well… red, white, sparkling and dessert wine.  Also, beer and ciders of all sorts, Sherry, Porto (especially vintage), bourbon, rye, cognac, armagnac, tequila, mirabelle, quetsch, grappa, calvados, applejack, rum, absinthe, whisk(e)y of all sorts, mescal, liqueurs, eau di vie and fruit brandy.  But of course, the cocktail is king!

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

Never prejudge a wine based on what you know or think you know.  If I hear someone say they don’t like Merlot one more time…Château Petrus is Merlot, are you sure you don’t like Petrus?

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

Hardy Rodenstock, Jerry Thomas, Didier Dagueneau.  We’d have ’47 Cheval Blanc, ’27 Fonseca, and ’96 Krug respectively.

Wednesday
Aug052009

Getting to Know: Alex Pross, Wine Club Director

 

K&L's Wine Club Director, Alex ProssWhat’s your position at K&L and how long have you been with the company?

I’m the Wine Club Director and Customer Service Manager. I have been with K&L for a little over a year.

 

What did you do before you started working here?

I began my wine career in 1989 as a 16-year-old bagger at a grocery store called Falletti’s in San Francisco. By the age of 23 I was running the wine section for the store and had moved to help at other various store locations. From there I went onto manage Coit Liquors in North Beach, the Wine Club Santa Clara and, finally, the Wine Club San Francisco until I accepted the position here.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My spare time is spent either watching sports(SF Giants, 49ers, Warriors), going to the gym or going trying out the many new and great restaurants in SF.

 

What’s your favorite movie?

That’s a tough one, I think it needs to be broken down by genre. Star Wars (the original) would be my Sci-Fi choice because it represents my childhood and has withstood the test of time. Tommy Boy as a comedy because I can watch it everyone time it is on and still laugh and then in the drama category either the Fugitive or Shawshank Redemption because they are so well made.

 

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 think the first two wines that truly sparked the thought that this was something beyond just fermented grape juice were 1994 Staglin Cabernet Sauvignon and 1970 Mouton Rothschild, both wines were sublime. Lately a few wines that have really resonated with me have been a 1929 Montrose, which was super cool because of how old it was and how amazingly it showed there was still ample life—the wine was delicious! Another standout I had recently was the 1990 Krug; I love champagne and this bottling was outstanding.

 

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

My perfect meal would be at home with my family because both my mother and her boyfriend are great cooks, the latter having run several restaurants. The meal would start off with his potato leek soup, which I would pair with a nice Vouvray or Champagne and then we would have a fish course of poached salmon or ceviche followed by beef Wellington with potatoes and vegetables that I would pair with either an aged Bordeaux or nice bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. For dessert it would be crème brulee or a fruit crisp/tart paired with a nice Sauternes or dessert wine from Alois Kracher.

 

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

I think my palate has changed and evolved in much the same ways as it has for most people in the wine business. I started out drinking big California wines that were high-octane— losts of oak, sugar, alcohol and flavor—that tended to be great as a first glass but quickly lost their appeal as I got to the second glass. Plus, these wines don’t seem to pair well with food. Now I drink mostly French wines, whether from Champagne, Alsace, Rhône or Burgundy. I sprinkle in some German, Italian, Spanish and a few choice American wines that still resonate with me.

 

What do you like to drink?

I love wine but don’t drink it as frequently as you might think. As a single guy, most of my meals consist of a burrito on the run, not exactly wine-friendly dining, so I only drink wine about once every two weeks when I go out to a nice dinner. Luckily for me I am more curious than thirsty, so getting to taste wines everyday is part of what I love about my job. I look for balance, complexity, purity and a wine that is both true to its place of origin and year. I want a wine to taste different vintage to vintage and producer to producer, because if wine doesn’t have these variations we might as well drink Coca-Cola for mindless consistency.

 

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

If you decide to get into the wine business realize that you will never be able to retire at a young age, however our work (travel, dinners and drinking great wines) is what many people aspire to do when not working.

 

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 choose Theodore Roosevelt, the most underrated United States president in our history and a man who was far ahead of his times in both environmental and economic ideas. Joe Montana the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL, he oversaw the greatness of the 49ers when I was a teenager and, last, my maternal grandfather who died when I was two. I’ve heard so many wonderful stories about him I would love to have a chance to get to know him over a nice dinner. I think I would serve a nice bottle of vintage Champagne to start, maybe the 1990 Krug and follow it up with a 1989 Pichon-Baron (one of my favorite Bordeaux of all-time) and finish up with a vintage Port, possibly the 1963 Croft, which I was lucky enough to taste when I was in Portugal on a trip in 2007.

 

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