On the Trail

The Social Network

David Driscoll

Neither the enjoyment of wine, nor the education we hope to derive from it are solitary activities. They require the attendance of others—friends, family, strangers, or new acquaintances. Part of the reason our team here at K&L knows so much about wine is not only because we drink with great frequency, but because we drink together. The more bottles we open, the more experience we attain. The more we learn, the more fun the entire hobby becomes. Wine does not keep, however. Once you open a bottle the clock's a tickin'. It's for that reason we love big tasting events as a store. The more people you have at a party, the more of an excuse there is to get crazy! Open that bottle of 1995 Latour! Pop that 2002 magnum of Salon! The time is now. What are you waiting for?

I'm entering my ninth year in the wine and spirits business and I can say with complete certainty at this point that my most memorable experiences with wine were rarely anniversaries with my wife, special birthdays with my parents, wedding celebrations with friends, or the birth of a new family member. Yet, these are the occasions we save our precious bottles in anticipation of. No, my best and most definitive wine experiences have been in the company of others who love wine as much as I do—industry professionals, colleagues, and even customers. Sitting down together for a meal, talking about our opinions, sharing stories about travels abroad, and engaging in conversation about a shared passion. K&L dinners and events have always been the occasions where I've grown the most as a professional, but they've also been the most fun. You never know who'll you'll meet and you never know who might be packing something incredible in their handbag. At our last Bordeaux event I sat next to one of the sales reps for Château Montrose and I learned a ton about the historic property. I was so inspired by the end of the night that I went into work the next day and bought a bottle for my collection. Now I'm eagerly anticipating our next Bordeaux dinner event on April 25th in the city, a high-end blowout of all the top names from the region. Where else can you drink like this??!!

Even the Saturday tasting events in the stores are great spots to brush up on your knowledge. As I type this at my desk there's a Champagne event in our tasting bar with loads of enthusiastic employees and customers alike enjoying a bevy of bubblies from various vintages. Again, volume is the key for me. I hate limiting myself to one bottle of wine per night, yet I know it's not healthy to drink any more than that. But that's what friends are for. The more friends you have, the more bottles you can open. Here at K&L we're ready to be your friend so long as you're willing to drink with us.

-David Driscoll