Here starts a series on influential wine people in Los Angeles. To kick things off, we asked Matthew Kaner, partner and wine guru at Bar Covell in East Hollywood, some questions:
What’s your favorite wine region to visit?
I haven’t visited a lot of them. I went to Australia nine months ago and fell in love with the McLaren Vale region in south Australia. What blew me away was the consortium producers there have together to keep each other in check. I got to sit in on this master class where the producers taste each other’s wines. There was such camaraderie and focus on detail in helping each other to improve their wines.
What’s the sleeper on your list?
A 2003 Domaine Chapelle St.-Joseph Vacqueyras, neighbor to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, for $12 a glass. To get a decade-old wine for $12 is difficult. The other is a 12-year-old wine, a 2001 Gran Reserva Rioja from Viña Alarde from Bodegas Berberana for $14 a glass.
If you could encourage every customer to buy just one bottle, what would it be?
A dry Riesling. Most people’s perception is that Riesling is only sweet, so it debunks that myth. And because it’s just damn enjoyable.
What’s the last wine that really blew you away? On my birthday last Thursday, Château Latour from my birth year, 1983. It was mind-blowing.
How many bottles in your personal cellar?
Around 400 give or take, strong on Cornas and Morgon, specifically.
Bar Covell, 4628 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, (323) 660-4400.