Wine Director Matthew Kaner Of L.A.'s Bar Covell Wants You To Look Beyond Chardonnay And Pinot Noir

Time to drink outside your comfort zone

"People have never been empowered to describe the wines they like!" exclaims Matthew Kaner, wine director at L.A.'s Bar Covell and guest curator of the Tasting Table Spring Wine Cellar. "They need guidance."

That's why Kaner decided to scrap the formal wine list at Bar Covell in favor of an interactive, conversation-driven program.

"When we talk about body, acid presence and fruit and earth components instead of grape variety and origin, we can get a breakdown of what a wine is like," says Kaner. "It's an exercise in empowering wine drinkers to challenge their own vernacular and strengthen their ability to discuss wine."

It's also a great excuse to drink outside your comfort zone, and Kaner has a knack for finding off-the-beaten-path varietals. "This stuff isn't as scary as it was for our parents," explains Kaner. "We get wine from so many incredible countries now."

Know you like Zinfandel? Chances are you'd enjoy Saperavi, a fresh, supple red from the Republic of Georgia. Who knew?