When most people leave for work in the morning, they head to a job. Kathryn Coker heads to four. Because she oversees the wine for all of the Santa Monica restaurants in the Rustic Canyon group, she’s constantly on the move. While the four core restaurants are all within 10 blocks of one another, their cellars couldn’t be more different. At the flagship Rustic Canyon, California dominates the wine list. Light, lunch-ready bottles are the focus at Huckleberry, while Cassia’s list was built with Southeast Asian flavors in mind. Finally, there’s Esters, the Old World–inspired wine shop and bar that Coker and her husband, Tug, co-own with the Rustic Canyon group’s Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb.
When it comes to finding the right wine for a dish, Coker has to turn on a dime. We followed her on a typical Wednesday to find out how she does it—and learned a few pairing lessons along the way.
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Alarm goes off. Out the door by 7:36 to book it to Esters.