meet Chef Kristine

Chef Kristine:  “My journey to wine and food pairing began when I finished my education at UC Davis in 1989. I was living with my family in Napa, where I grew up, and got a job at the new Domaine Carneros sparkling wine facility. Even though I have no formal training I was the only member of the staff at the time who knew how to cook. My limited experience at the time was from summer restaurant work during school and some great experience in the catering kitchen at Beringer vineyards for two summers.

Over the first months of our opening at Domaine Carneros, we received a lot of VIP visitors from restaurants and distributors and the need for full meals at lunch time became greater and greater. I finally got up my nerve to offer to prepare a lunch for a small group and that was the beginning of 25 years of cooking for wine. I had a few restaurant jobs after leaving Domaine Carneros in the early 1990’s but cooking for wine became my passion.

By doing things over and over again and constantly being willing to try things in new ways, even at the cost of failures along the way, I have learned a tremendous amount about food and wine pairing. It is not just about white wine with fish and red wine with meat- there are endless combinations of flavors and textures still to be discovered.

There were times over the years when I considered trying to learn about making sparkling wine since I love and respect those wines so much. But, as a mother and wife, it was never a viable option. My plate has been very full over the years- pun intended.

I am proud of how much I have learned on my own and yet I see areas where others could learn valuable knowledge and tool of how to pair wines with food. I am always happy to teach and share what I have learned! Developing recipes for wine remains my passion to this day- it is a very satisfying way to work.”

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