Featured User: Brian Szluk

Brian Szluk grew up in Novato California, which is just south of Sonoma and west of Napa Valley. He has always had a love of food, and wine always went well with any meal. Although at the beginning of his wine journey, he was a typical guy and only drank Cabernet Sauvignon and despised white wines. He graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in Business. He has worked at Remy Martin, Brown-Forman, distributors and small wineries in Napa Valley, and his appreciation for wine has grown exponentially over the years. He recently graduated from the Culinary Institute of America with a master’s degree in wine and beverage where he learned from two of the best in the Industry: M.S. Bob Bath and Christie Dufault. He now works for Martine’s Wines, which is a French wine importer and distributor, where he is gaining knowledge on French wine makers and regions on a daily basis. He must say that his taste in wine has grown over the years. He is now a lover of all types of white wine as well as reds and will basically try anything if offered. Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? Brian Szluk: My better half sparked my passion for wine as she is a Francophile. Over the years, her passion and enthusiasm have shaped my palate and hunger to keep learning more, and hopefully surprising her with a new bottle or producer that I have found. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? BS: I would have to say Chablis and Champagne are the two regions that I cannot escape from. I love high acid wines, and Chablis absolutely hits the mark with the high acidity. Champagne is always nice to drink as it pairs with everything, and I must say, the longer on the lees the better. D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? BS: At the C.I.A. we tasted wines from all regions of the world, so I am blessed and lucky to have tried so many. I must say a Chardaki Chinuri - an orange wine from the Republic of Georgia was the most unusual wine I have had to date. I am not sure it’s something I would revisit, but it was interesting. D: What is your golden rule for wine? BS: Drink what you like when you like and don’t pay attention to trends. Your nose and palate are unique to each individual person. What smells and tastes good to you is what is correct. D: Say you’re not allowed to have wine, what is your second option? BS: Besides water, I would have to say an iced cold Jewel of Russia vodka or in the winter time, a Colonel E.H. Taylor bourbon with a few ice cubes. D: Choose a movie, book, quote, or song and pair it with a wine BS: Since the Rolling Stones are playing a concert in San Jose soon, I will pick their song “Sweet Virginia”. As Mick sings "thank you for your wine, California", I will have to pick my favorite California producer, Rhys and their 2014 Alpine Chardonnay . D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? BS: I have had this discussion many times and I think I would be a Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford AVA in Napa Valley . I would be big blue and red fruits, coffee, chocolate, some cigar wrapper, very generous, with solid tannins that make you coming back for more.

Pennyroyal Farm

Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Rosé 2018

Strawberry, rhubarb, peach, raspberry, faint herbs, watermelon. — 5 years ago

"Odedi", P and 2 others liked this
Brian S

Brian S Influencer Badge

@Sharon B @P A @Severn Goodwin thank you so much! It’s an honor!


Brian based on your feature and honor deserved Cheers 🍷
Brian S

Brian S Influencer Badge

@P A very kind of you. Cheers


Cuvée Theophile Extra Brut Grand Cru Champagne Blend 2006

Aged goat Brie cheese, ripe green apple and pear with nutmeg baking spice brûlée, amazing acidity minor tropical notes and chalk at the end. — 5 years ago

Ira, Hermes and 2 others liked this

MacRostie Winery & Vineyards

Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay 2017

Well made Chardonnay from a solid RRV vineyard. Typical green apple, pear, lemon, some baking spices, medium acidity. — 5 years ago

Douglas and Severn liked this

Rhys Vineyards

Alesia Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2017

Green apple, lemon cream , green pear, — 5 years ago

Clive, "Odedi" and 2 others liked this

Dassai Sake Brewery

Dassai 23 Junmai Daiginjo Yamaguchi Sake 2019

Ripe melon, tropical notes and bergamot. Delicious! — 5 years ago

Douglas, Hermes and 2 others liked this


Napa Valley Albariño 2017

Green apple, green pear, pineapple, coconut, green mango, lemongrass, lemon creme, chalk, high acid, very rich and full mouth. — 5 years ago

Ira, Douglas and 3 others liked this
Douglas Braun

Douglas Braun Influencer Badge

Really great - didn’t know they made a Albariño

Château de la Crée

Gravières Santenay 1er Cru Chardonnay 2012

Lemon, green apple, opened up into more tropical notes with hazelnut skin. — 5 years ago

Douglas, Billy and 3 others liked this


Cuvée Theophile Grand Cru Champagne Rose 2009

Roasted peach and strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, cherry, toasted brioche, white chocolate, slight sour dairy in a great way, dried pineapple, dried papaya, slight herbaceous notes. Phenomenal!!!! — 5 years ago

Paul, Hermes and 4 others liked this

La Jota Vineyard Co.

Anniversary Release Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

Dried blackberry, dried blue berry, black currant, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, jerky, white pepper, eucalyptus, untanned leather, graphite, — 5 years ago

Ellie K
with Ellie
Hermes, Douglas and 2 others liked this


Estate Grown Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018

One of the better Sauvignon Blancs from Sonoma. Very tropical with green apple. This is my porch pounder. — 5 years ago

Ira, Douglas and 2 others liked this