We had the good fortune of connecting with Matthew Kaner and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Matthew, how do you think about risk?
It wasn’t until recently that I finally started to understand how I felt about risk. Early in my career, risk was not a consideration AT ALL. When my first business partner Dustin Lancaster and I opened Bar Covell together in 2010, risk was not part of the discussion. We were blind to it. Our youth allowed us to brush off the gravity of opening a business and instead we put our faith in the communities we had help build and be a part of! The only option was getting open.

Now, in 2022, when I have owned 10 businesses and have had a mixture of success and “failure”, I can look back and tell you, assessing risk is one of my strengths.

Here’s the thing…with perspective of risk, you can talk yourself out of good opportunities. On the other side of the same topic, if you’re willing to overlook how risky a business proposition could be and put your faith in the process, community, and experience…BRILLIANCE can come out of it.

All that to say, be optimistically risk averse 🙂

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
After I decided to pivot away from owning wine bars, my focus moved to my consulting work. I am the Owner of Will Travel For Wine Consulting, where I’m been blessed to do:

wine ambassadorship
wine region ambassadorship
facilitate marketing campaigns
organize and facilitate wine events
advise businesses
help new operators open their own wine bars
host tv shows about wine & food
host podcasts about wine & food

Nothing is ever easy. I did not arrive here, 17 years into my wine career, without many challenges and unreal amounts of stress. I learned a lot by owning so many businesses and having 70 employees at one time, at the height.

The biggest lesson I have learned comes from remembering how hard things were at the worst of times…and those moments DID NOT BREAK ME. I know I cannot be broken.

Another important thing I like to remind myself…I still have not done my best work. This inspires me to keep pushing, being open to new ideas, follow creativity, and TRY TRY TRY TRY TRY. I know Yoda famously said, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Conceptually, I understand the sentiment…but these days we are our own worst enemies with the power of our minds…we can talk ourselves out of ANYTHING. so TRY.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My friend is lucky, because we would drink and eat so damn well. Here’s where we’d hit:

Wine at Tabula Rasa, Bar Bandini, Esters, Stanley’s Wet Goods, Covell, Augustine, Tilda, Lolo.
Beers at Highland Park Brewery.
Oysters at L&E Oyster Bar or BP Oysterette
Pizza at Cosa Buona or Pizzeria Mozza
Tacos at all the damn taco trucks and pastor stands on the eastside!
I’d insist we head over to The Roger Room to get a proper Aviation Cockatail
I think we’d likely be at The Capri Club every single night at last call for a spritz or negroni
In a week, we’d probably eat at Night+Market at least 3 times because I can never get enough of the crispy rice salad or the pork torro. I’m drooling thinking about it…
Also Kismet Rotisserie is a MUST HIT for the 1/4 chicken plate. IYKYK
How many In n Out stops would there be? a few.
Also we’d have to try the Godmother at Bay Cities, then turn it into a bang bang and hit All About The Bread for the Godfather and see which one makes us laugh harder.

I like to eat and drink, what can I say. the next week would be salads only.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout goes to Cristie Norman, by far the best community builder in the wine industry that I’ve had the chance to know and observe. She’s the first to advocate for a friend or a friend of a friend, she’ll always try to lend a helping hand. and she has continued to put the needs of others above her own among the STRONG community she has built of Los Angeles wine professionals.

Cristie lived in LA for years, and moved to Las Vegas for a great opportunity in the recent past. That did not hinder her work with the LA Wine Community she built from the ground up.

I haven’t even mentioned The United Somm Foundation that she founded and is President of to help the wine industry during the worst of Covid. ALSO, she created HER OWN WINE COURSE: www.theonlinewinecourse.com

Website: http://www.willtravelforwine.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/matthewjkaner

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewjkaner

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.