Fermented grape juice has allowed Matthew Kaner to find a voice within an industry full of characters and strong personalities. He quite enjoys how things smell and taste. In fact, as a kid Matthew wouldn’t eat anything until he smelled it first. Now a 17+ year veteran of the wine world, his humble wine career began at the Wine Cask Wine Store in his hometown of Santa Barbara.
Moving to Los Angeles in 2006 brought an opportunity to work at Silverlake Wine, where Matthew worked his way up from holiday help to manager. In 2009, close friend Dustin Lancaster presented Matthew with an idea…”I want to open a wine bar and I’ll only do it if you’ll do it with me.” The only acceptable response: “you tell me when and where.”
In July of 2010, Dustin & Matthew opened Bar Covell with a new spin on wine…ditch the traditional wine list and use your words. Bar Covell has a program of over 150 wines by the glass and no wine list. The staff are tasked, instead, to start a conversation/interaction with each guest to gage what they are in the mood for at that moment. This was just the beginning…
Matthew was graciously named one of the Sommeliers of the Year by Food & Wine Magazine in 2013.
In early 2015 with Lancaster and new partner David Gibbs, the trio opened Augustine Wine Bar in Sherman Oaks. Augustine has been named Best Wine Bar in American by Food & Wine Magazine and gets critical acclaim for its Vintage Collection of wines that it makes available by the glass and by the bottle on their in-house chalk boards nightly.
In August of 2019 Wine Enthusiast Magazine named Matthew to the 40 Under 40 Tastemakers list for 2019!
In June of 2020 it was announced that Matthew had signed on as an official Host & Producer for the SOMM TV Network. Season One of his podcast called History Of Wine debuted on July 20th, 2021 and the series SPARKLERS debuted on November 23rd, 2021 in which Matthew co-developed & produced, as well as co-starred. SPARKLERS was nominated for a James Beard Award in the “Reality or Competition Visual Media” category.
Matthew is President of Will Travel For Wine, Inc and will travel anywhere and everywhere for wine. So far his travels have taken him up and down the coast of California, to Australia, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Morocco, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Oregon, Virginia, and New York State on wine adventures.
In Q3 of 2022 Matthew will start production on his new podcast Will Travel For…, where guests will tell stories inspired by travel from the lens of their expertise in: FOOD, WINE, BEER, MUSIC, CRYPTO, SPORTS, and many other arenas.
Matthew Kaner is a featured speaker at SommCon San Diego