Meet the always sunny and smiling Kathryn Weil! Kathryn is currently transitioning from Wine Director of Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Milo & Olive to sommelier for Terroni‘s soon to be opened second location in downtown Los Angeles. I love this lady and the energy she brings to the wine game!
How did you become a sommelier?
I moved to New York City after college with a degree in English and a dream of being an actress – which meant I was looking for a job in a restaurant. I started out as a back waiter in this darling little place called August in the West Village. I knew nothing about food or wine – so I was completely overwhelmed but totally IN LOVE. I think I was the only actor in New York who adored her day job. I bought Karen MacNeil’s The Wine Bible and it took me a year to actually read through the whole thing but I was hooked.
What’s your daily uniform?
Clothes: At Rustic Canyon, the dress code was upscale casual. So I loved to wear fun dresses and skirts – preferably colors and prints. I love vintage. My favorite is a blue and white striped belted 50’s dress with pockets. Now that I’m at Terroni I’ve got a sweet striped apron.
Shoes: Heels – I don’t feel like myself without them. That being said, they’ve got to be super comfortable to wear all day. Usually it’s my vintage Mary Jane pumps or my Indigo ankle boots. I love heels.
Jewelry: Always – I can’t even go to the gym without earrings. On the floor I keep it simple and small – my grandmother’s diamond studs and my recently acquired engagement ring.
Hair & Make-Up: I have naturally curly hair, so unless I blow-dry it straight, I’ll wear it up to be out of the way – a high bun or low-french roll, 40s style. I wear eye make-up, never lipstick.
Do you transition your clothing from daytime duties to nighttime service?
On days when I’m stocking or working in the cellar then absolutely! I’ll wear jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt so I can move easily, lift stuff & get sweaty. When I’m tasting, I usually wear my evening uniform or something a little nicer – like jeans and a pretty blouse. But whether I’m pushing the dolly, doing inventory or going to a tasting I’ll be wearing heels. I told you, I love heels.
Three things you can’t leave home without.
1. Wine key
2. My tasting notebook
3. extra bobby pins
Three things a sommelier should never do or wear.
2. Wear perfume. Everybody says it and everybody’s right. It’s distracting and unprofessional.
3. Be pretentious. There is always more to learn.
What do you eat and drink at the end of your shift?
I’d like to say that I’m perfectly disciplined, eating kale and drinking a single glass of champagne. But I have a big giant huge sweet tooth. My standard go-to at Rustic Canyon was a glass of Le Corti dei Farfensi “Carennum” Vino Cotto or Vinos Barbeito “Savannah” Verdelho Madeira Special Reserve with a walnut torte (a la mode).
Top photo by Elizabeth Daniels