Featured User: David Kline

Being born in England and having lived in Japan as well as many interesting US states, from California to Colorado, Louisiana, Texas and Florida as well as the District of Columbia gave David Kline a diverse culinary perspective and shaped his appreciation for interesting food and drink. He became an avid wine drinker as soon as he was able and began exploring the incredible diversity of varietals. Beginning with work as a waiter at the Childe Harold in Washington D.C., he developed an enthusiasm for wine, eventually certifying as a Sommelier. After some retail wine work, he became Wine Director at Mass Beverage in Lawrence KS, where he met his wife Courtney, who shares his passion for fine wine. He worked in Kansas City as a representative for a boutique wine distributor, then became a Wine Consultant for stores in the area. After relocating to South Florida, he became a Wine and Spirits Specialist, ultimately earning him the honor of Wine Consultant of the Year. He currently works with Veritas Wine Selections, and CruVino on multiple projects. He continues to be a wine world traveler, averaging two international trips a year, which has allowed him some interesting additions to his other hobby, wine collecting. He recently passed the WSET II with distinction and is studying for level III as well as the CSW certifications. He loves writing about wine and other libations, and soon hopes to become a credentialed wine educator. He has been, and always will be a ‘Bon Vivant’. Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? David Kline: A number of factors conspired to ignite my passion. Food and wine being natural partners, I think it becomes obvious to anyone enjoying a meal with both, that these perfectly complement one another. Admittedly, I was not exactly maximizing the experience with some of the plonk I was pouring in my youth. Coupled with a total lack of appreciation for money, ennui, and the general fecklessness associated with youth, I thought it would be wise to purchase First Growth Bordeaux and their expensive counterparts from Pomerol as an experiment, so that I might understand the disparity in price between these wines and the comparative punch I was used to. They cost nearly three hundred dollars apiece at the time, and I only knew enough to know they needed some time and to lay them on their sides. After years of neglect, and subsequent wine readings, I began to worry about my improper storage, and around ten years in, I decided I had better drink them as they were likely ruined. Despite my mishandling, the wines were phenomenal. I experienced an aspect of wine’s potential unimagined to that point. Like a bolt from Mt. Olympus, I was thunderstruck, and a devout oenophile thereafter. Palates evolve as they are coaxed by wines of increasing pedigree, sparking a curiosity and ultimately opening our eyes to some truly beautiful wines in the world, leaving us tantalized initially, and thereafter chasing the next enchanting, illuminating and euphoric drop. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? DK: I will always be wild about Nebbiolo , and Barolo in particular. That will likely never change, as it has always been my lodestar. I find it to be such a versatile varietal, and just amazing with food. I favor the traditional style, with long maceration, and less oak influence, pigment-challenged, and leaning on its sheer power and sinewy, tannic muscle. I also am fond of all its nearby permutations. Barbaresco comes to mind with its slightest restraint, but still bringing plenty of lean muscle, Roero with its rounded force, and warmth. Gattinara in all its tanned and toned elegance, and finally the wines I am ever seeking from Valle d'Aosta to Valtellina . The other Nebbiolo wines. Ghemme features dried cherry and strawberry often, with a long, and vivid resonance. Once its vineyards encompassed over a hundred thousand acres, and now perhaps a few thousand. In neighboring Lombardy , you will find the amazing wines of Valtellina, where Nebbiolo is called Chiavennasca and its wines exhibit bright berries and forward tannins that taper in the finish. I would happily drink these any time. D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? DK: Perhaps not the most exotic of all wines, but certainly a combination of exotic, rare, and delicious, is Sfurzato from Valtellina, which is just north and east of Lake Como and featuring very warm and steep vineyards of primarily Nebbiolo. Local winemakers make a wine from dried Nebbiolo grapes in a powerful style. It is strikingly otherworldly, and worth the effort to find it. D: What is your golden rule for wine? DK: Never skimp. Pair appropriately in terms of acid, weight, and style as well as regional proximity, but never downgrade in terms of quality, just to save money. My general rule is that wine is as important as the food and should be considered as half the expense for a real food-wine experience. You can bring your own bottle to offset the price, and simply pay corkage, but tip on the bottle price, and share some with the chef or sommelier or both. Your service will improve, the staff’s knowledge too, your dining experience will shine, and your memories will be unparalleled. D: Say you’re not allowed to have wine, what is your second option? DK: Beer without question. This is because there are enough styles of beer to adequately address a variety of cuisines. I love sour beers , but I have an equal love for the malty heavyweights like imperial stouts. From Kolsch and Lager through IPAs and Doppelbocks to the myriad Belgian offerings, there is a style for every occasion. Whiskey is a very close third, with Scotch my favorite; a world without whiskey would be bleak indeed. D: Choose a movie, book, quote, or song and pair it with a wine DK: The greatest novel of all, ‘In Search of Lost Time’ was written by Marcel Proust over nearly twenty years. It contains 2.5 million words. It is a monumental work. The best wine comparison would be classic vintage Bordeaux , which can certainly take as long to mature, has continued to be the luxury standard for hundreds of years, and is also the author of my own ‘Proustian memory’ in wine. A Proustian memory is a distinct, momentary conjuring of a past memory based in childhood that can flood the mind suddenly as it did in Proust’s narrator’s eating of a madeleine dipped in tea. Ever opening the floodgates of my wine memory, vintage Bordeaux is my madeleine, and my cup of tea. D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? DK: Probably Pinot Noir . Like the grape, I am a bit of a chameleon, never content to be pigeonholed, or become static. I mutate endlessly. On the flipside, I am generally congenial, easy going, and gregarious. I am certainly a reflection of my environment. Occasionally I like to be vinified as a Blanc de Noir ; the life of the party.

Destihl Brewery

Antiquity Rye Wine Style ale

Loud pouring and viscous. Lightest brown cover thick above actively churning reddish darkness. Bran muffin, chocolate malted milk balls, a candied beef jerky note, buckwheat, banana split with chocolate syrup, root beer, bakers chocolate, bourbon candies with cherry aromatics. Kabbalist script lacing. Vanilla black bread, honey-truffle butter, burnt cane, burnt brown sugar and cinnamon, darkest chocolate covering toffee, espresso bean, licorice, allspice, cardamom and anise seed, valerian root, chicory, whole bean vanilla. — 5 years ago

David, Severn and 4 others liked this
David Kline

David Kline Influencer Badge

Thanks PA!
Daniel M

Daniel M

very nice feature, congratulation!
David Kline

David Kline Influencer Badge

Thank you, Daniel!

Concrete Beach Brewery

Sola IPA

Just the right beer for South Florida; bright with the slightest alpenglow, thick cumulus suds, with aspirational lacing like angel wings. Tropical start of sweet grapefruit and diced, dried pineapple, lemon zest, gooseberry, pear, papaya and mango aromas. Zippy lime, salted lemon, kaffir lime leaves, carrot-squash purée, lemongrass and tangerine pith. There is a sweet, ripe note running the breadth of this one, feels like paradise. — 5 years ago

Severn, Kelly and 1 other liked this

To Øl

Peardon My French

Beautiful and rich. Aromas somewhere between Vin Jaune and Poire William with an orange-toffee, sweet grapefruit and Pineau des Charentes. Baked pear with light caramel and flambé bananas. The palate is rich, poached pear, cream soda, bourbon barrel flavors of vanilla, maple, clove and tea, — 5 years ago

Severn, Kelly and 1 other liked this

Crooked Stave

L’Brett d’Apricot

Noisy. Crisp and crinkle-y. Soda sounds that taper to cellophane. Ruby grapefruit-guava juice opacity and color with a nest of bubbles clinging to the sediment below. Quick flash of spitting white, then planar save for the razor bumps of isolated bubbling. Sweet apricot and nectarine entertain wild orange blossom and grapefruit bitters while peach is pickled in dark-toasted oak. Pepper, cedar, ginger, and a sprinkle of nutmeg with masking balsamic. Grippy citrus shocks electrically, initially, calming in subsequent revisits. Intense lemon, white pepper, unsweetened cranberry sourness, grapefruit pith, pickled peach-ripe kumquat combo, orange peel, lemon peel, and lime juice with the rounding influence of the oak smoothing the sharpest citrus crystals into a smooth and zesty, balanced and zippy, grand finale. Not for the faint of tart. — 5 years ago

Severn and Kelly liked this
Severn Goodwin

Severn Goodwin Influencer Badge Premium Badge

Great brewer, great cattie pic!
David Kline

David Kline Influencer Badge

That's Khufu.

Partida Tequila

Elegante Tequila

All the elegant nuances of the agave cactus intact, and exhibiting white pepper atop sweet cactus notes with sour pineapple, candied lemon peel, date, fig, toffee, lime, and much much more! — 5 years ago

Billy, Severn and 3 others liked this

Innis & Gunn

Barrel Aged Bourbon Barrel Porter

Blackest coffee color, no dome, no lacing. Slight gunflint, dark roast coffee, peppercorn, poppyseed, smoky papaya seed covered in sweet pulp, with baked plum aromas. Dark toast with steely-graphite, rosemary-coffee, espresso, coffee rye, camomile, dark toffee and pecan afterthought. The brilliant thing about this beer is its reluctance to lean on sweet elements, and its insistence on pulling complexity from simple elements. — 5 years ago

Philip, Severn and 1 other liked this
Philip Cook

Philip Cook

I’ve liked all of their beers I’ve tried.
David Kline

David Kline Influencer Badge

I have too. Just had another tonight. Quite different taste-wise.

Innis & Gunn

Barrelmaster's Reserve Oak Aged Scottish Beer

Dark brown and rusty. Smells oddly Flemish with pickled peaches and rye bread flipping into bear claw. Tastes of cream soda, and root beer, barrel notes of Saigon cinnamon, rye, brown sugar, raw chocolate, chocolate tea, and cedar that finishes sweeter and creamier with nougat-coffee. — 5 years ago

Severn, P and 1 other liked this

Loch Lomond Distillery

Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky

Golden raisin, strawberries, figs, cut red apple, sweet potato, lemon-dill, oregano, smoke and an almost sweet peat smell as sherry shoulders in. Orange is the backbone, from pure squeezed, to zest, oil and pith. Toast, cedar, humidor, and nougats with roasted almond and cashew from the oak. Very smooth and sensuous mouthfeel with immediate expansion of vanilla, mocha, toffee, and finally a shimmering cinnamon with tiny sparks of heat. Secondary voices of pencil, oregano, crepe caramel, lemon peel, shaved chocolate, buffalo grass that burns into a long finish, with jalapeño-turned-peat. This is extraordinary. I know they are coopering their own barrels on site, and I think it is making a fine whisky even finer. Kudos for this magical glory. — 5 years ago

Severn, Kelly and 1 other liked this

Scott's Selection

Glenrothes Natural Cask Strength 1964

Greatest single grain I’ve personally sampled. Rich texture, glowing nose of complex citrus, brown sugar, bay and rosemary, lemon peel, and sweet tobacco. Unctuous mouthfeel over-delivers the purest scotch imaginable. Smooth with heat returning spasmically. Sherry in full effect, and depth of whiskey paramount. — 5 years ago

Severn, Judd and 1 other liked this

Bruery Terreux

Gypsy Tart Flemish-Style Brown Ale

Rustic crown of beige-brown over purple brown bubble-stubble. Plummy-apricot nose exhibits pleasant cherry-vinaigrette and grape-y-orange interplay. sour bread-rye, sarsaparilla, hair removal wax, filberts and dried apricot. Sour cherries and crab apple cross fed on gunpowder. Dried, black violet petals, and blood orange with grapefruit peel, black lime, dried, oak-aged vinegar soaked cranberries rubber pencil shavings and saffron pistils. — 5 years ago

Severn and Brad liked this