Erik Kelley // Down With Us

Erik Kelley"Wise beyond his years" is how I've heard Erik described in so many words by so many wine lovers. I've attended at least 20 of his private dinners, and most often the conversation turns to how good the food and wine are. His way with food and wine suggests a much older soul than Erik's 25 year-old persona. Not too many years back, he was the youngest sommelier in America. As you might expect, that title is fleeting, as there's potentially a younger model every year. So, he many not be the youngest today, but he's probably the youngest you know. Even so, he keeps a youthful approach to picking wines, ignoring the old school rules about pairing and avoiding the traps of price and status. Erik is quick to recommend a white (or red) with whatever the hell you want to eat, and is likely to pick an inexpensive wine that's just as good as one twice the price.

That youthful approach is what convinced me to recruit him as the wine director / sommelier for Blend, our new adventure re-interpreting the idea of wine tasting for stylish people.

Most days, Erik can be found slangin' cheese at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills; night's he's usually cooking for a private group or special event, or you might just find us at his house eating something ridiculously good that he just whipped up on the stove.

Erik's goal is to one day have his own restaurant. Investors reading this would be foolish not to back him.

Blend kicks off Thursday, October 15th at The Celebrity Vault in Los Angeles and it's a don't miss for those that love wine and music - which is most of you, right? You can buy tickets here: www.blendwineandmusic.com