Brickell is host to many amazing restaurants, some of which we feel are totally underrated. Take db Bistro for example, it’s just over the bridge on the first floor of the JW Marriott Marquis hotel and if you aren’t a hotel guest, or within walking distance of the space during the work day, then there’s a chance you haven’t made it there yet. We’re saying this – because we are guilty of not visiting until recently, and we are regretting it something fierce!
We finally made it there and we treated to an amazing dinner by Chef Clark Bowen with out of control, perfectly paired wines by newly appointed Head Sommelier Haunah Klein. After that dinner, trust us – we can vouch she’s fantastic at what she does.
Haunah is managing db Bistro’s cellar of over 600 selections, helping guests select ideal wine and food pairings, while also developing wine-centric dinners in partnership with winemakers and industry leaders. This spring, she’ll be hosting events with emerging and classic wine producers from a variety of regions globally.
Prior to joining the db Bistro team, Haunah served as sommelier at Atlas, an upscale restaurant located inside the St. Regis Atlanta. She has also held positions at Del Frisco’s Grille and TITOU Hospitality Group, both located in Palm Beach, Florida. In addition to her Master Sommeliers Certification, Haunah holds a Bachelor of Arts Anthropology from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.
After spending an evening with Haunah we feel like we she’s a long lost friend already – and who doesn’t want a friend that always bring the perfect wine to a party?
Here’s what we learned:
- What made you decide you loved wine so much that you wanted a career in it?
Wine fits me. I’ve always loved learning, be it studying history, anthropology, or exploring new places. When I finished school, I spent time traveling, working in restaurants, and quickly realized how incredibly complicated and beautiful the world of wine is. At the risk of sounding cheesy, wine feels like less of a “career” and more of an extension of myself.
- What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced getting to where you are?
To be candid, I’m sort of a know it all. This does not work out well when you’re dealing with something like wine, an industry with a seemingly endless supply of knowledge to be had and brilliant and creative peers. The wine world is ever growing, which only makes it more difficult to “master.” Admittedly, the first few years were trying. It’s extremely important to me to be able to provide accurate and helpful insight to staff and guests. I struggled with the fact that no matter how much I studied, how many brains I picked, or shifts I worked, I would never have all the answers. It was a humbling realization, but reminded me why I fell in love with wine in the first place.
- What’s your favorite wine featured at db Bistro?
That’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is. That said, if I HAD to pick one I guess if I had to pick one right now it would be the 2009 2007 Trimbach “Cuvée Frédéric Émile” Riesling. The wine is so versatile and can be paired with so many dishes and styles of cuisines. Drinking wine for me is about experiences and emotions. When I drink this wine, I am sitting on a terrace in Alsace surrounded by hills and ancient castles drinking wines made by a family who has been making wine since the 1600’s.
- What’s the perfect/your favorite meal to pair with your favorite wine and why?
Szechuan food with an off dry Riesling. The sweetness of the wine perfectly offsets the spice. Also, friends to share both with. A must!
Be sure to stop by and visit Haunah and do yourself a favor – order that Riesling that’s her favorite. Admittedly, we had two glasses of it and are now hooked. If you really want the full experience you can book The Wine Cave at db Bistro where Haunah and Executive Chef Clark Bowen will curate an exclusive wine and food multi-course dinner.