Shift Drink: Matthew Kaner, Augustine Wine Bar

A sommelier that enjoys a bitter end

Welcome to Shift Drink, where we take a peek into the post-shift drinking habits of L.A.’s finest food and drink personalities.

Matthew Kaner, wine director and co-owner of Bar Covell and Augustine Wine Bar, got his start in wine at the Wine Cask in his hometown of Santa Barbara. Although music brought him to L.A. almost a decade ago, he landed a job at Silverlake Wine–where he met his current business partner Dustin Lancaster one fateful afternoon–and the rest is history. Kaner is now a fixture of the Los Angeles wine scene and was named one of Food & Wine’s Sommeliers of the Year in 2013.

With Los Feliz’s Bar Covell coming up on its fifth anniversary, the talented duo of Kaner and Lancaster tacked on Sherman Oaks’ Augustine to their roster, a new addition to the quickly expanding food and beverage scene on Ventura Boulevard. If you need to find Kaner these days, that’s where he will be, thoughtfully and patiently helping his guests choose the perfect glass of wine for the moment. And after he’s finished doing that, he indulges in a late-night tipple of the bitter variety. For the always busy Kaner, it’s a drink that goes down quick and easy with no fuss.

What’s your shift drink?
“My shift drink lately is a daily Underberg. Drink it straight out of the bottle and empty that little beauty down your gullet until it makes you shudder. Bitters do a body right!”