There is no shortage of places to get expertly guided tastings of truly great wine in Napa Valley, but it’s typically limited to one brand on its property. Kerrin Laz wants to change that. The former Dean & DeLuca wine director is opening K. Laz this weekend, a tasting room and 500-bottle-strong retail shop in Yountville dedicated to introducing people to wines they typically wouldn’t be able to get. Laz spent 12 years at Dean & DeLuca running the wine club, and she said it’s those relationships she formed with winemakers that’s making this possible. "To make the business work I reached out to 100 key wineries and said, ‘Dean & DeLuca is moving in another direction. You’re going to make or break this business,’" she told Eater. "And each one of them said, ‘We're on board.’" Those wineries include cult favorites like Screaming Eagle, Abreu Vineyards and Dana Estate, which are pretty hard to get, especially by the glass.
The idea is to let people taste wines they otherwise wouldn't be able to without buying the full bottle in an intimate, 800-square-foot wine bar-like setting. "You walk in and feel like you're in your living room," she said. "It's not directly on the main street, so I won’t get people walking in, which isn’t the purpose anyway. I want people to have an experience and not just a bar." By appointment, people can taste six wines starting at $65 per person or three wines at $35. Laz has also partnered with Bouchon Bakery for one-hour $85 lunch tastings that include a box lunch from Bouchon and a guided tasting of four wines. Soon to come is a monthly dinner tasting series with chefs from Redwood, Bottega, Morimoto and more.
K. Laz is currently soft opening this weekend, with a grand opening on Tuesday, October 13. The tasting room is open by appointment only starting at 10 a.m. daily, and the retail shop is open daily for walk-ins from 10 am. to 6 p.m.