As I remember, I first encountered Kerrin Laz, Wine Director at food and wine purveyor Dean & Deluca, shortly after her arrival at the D&D operation in Napa. This was seven or eight years ago. Kerrin is an East Coast gal. She went to college at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and while there started working in the restaurant world at the James Beard Foundation awarded Crook’s Corner Café and Bar in Chapel Hill, and later in the (now closed) Anotherthyme Restaurant and Bar in Durham, N.C.
Through these experiences, she became hooked by the food and wine world and realized how passionate she was about great food and wine…especially the wine. This introduction to food and wine led her to take a position at Dean and Deluca as a wine buyer at its Washington, D.C. store in Georgetown.
As a side note, my first introduction to Dean & Deluca was at the Georgetown store. I had a cousin, Jim Gay, who lived near Washington, D.C. Several times a year, my family and I would visit Jim and during those visits a trip to Georgetown and the Dean & Deluca store was always made. I was fascinated by the store. Dean & Deluca sells a lifestyle with gourmet foods, wine and catering. They are a Williams-Sonoma or a Sur La Table type of store with high-end food and wine.
After a three-year stint at the Georgetown store, Kerrin moved to Napa Valley and took over the wine buying responsibilities at the St. Helena store. It wasn’t long before Kerrin became the Wine Director for all of Dean & Deluca.
As Kerrin and I sat and chatted about her responsibilities and focus at Dean & Deluca on my recent Napa trip, it became apparent that she is a very busy lady. A good deal of her time is spent on wine selection for the company, which then filters down to the stores, wine clubs, website and catalogs.
She led the team who developed the Dean & Deluca wine website. She manages the Private Client wine program, the corporate wine tasting program, writes a wine blog, has been named wine club director for the newly formed partnership she developed with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and she is working on a new wine country lifestyles program with Lexus (the car company).
On the day we met she was very excited about having received (just that day) the necessary licensing to expand the wine tasting program at Dean & Deluca in Napa Valley.
The wine tasting program is designed to bring Napa Valley wine to your home or business. Kerrin and her staff can host sit-down wine tastings in their new tasting room in St. Helena or other locations in the Valley. They can also do tastings in your home or business almost anywhere in the U.S. It is an opportunity to taste great Californian wines.
I asked Kerrin how people could get started working with her or Dean & Deluca in the private client program. Her recommendation was to go to the wine website and register (you’ll find the register button in the top right hand corner of the website). Actually, you are creating a Dean & Deluca account. Once you have completed the registration, you’ll return to the site and you are set to order from Dean & Deluca.
If you want a specific wine or wines, have wine questions or want to arrange for a private tasting on your next trip to Napa Valley or anywhere else for that matter, email Kerrin or phone her at 888-888-1343. She is very knowledgeable on wines, especially California wines, and has a great selection of wines available to taste or purchase.
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Until next week,