Wine Wednesday: Wined & Dined with Haunah Klein at Boulud Sud
Brickell is home to tons of amazing restaurants, many of which we think are often overlooked. Boulud Sud is easily one of our favorites that should be on everyone’s radar. It’s just over the bridge on the first floor of the JW Marriott Marquis hotel and if you aren’t a hotel guest, or within walking distance of the space during the work day, then there’s a chance you haven’t made it there yet.
Once inside you’ll discover a Mediterranean escape created by the one and only Daniel Boulud. Executive Chef Clark Bowen heads the kitchen creating delicious dishes that, pair perfectly with wines chosen by Head Sommelier Haunah Klein. It's where we want to spend every #WineWednesday.
Haunah is in charge of managing a cellar of over 600 selections, helping guests select ideal wine and food pairings, while also developing wine-centric dinners in partnership with winemakers and industry leaders.
Prior to joining the Boulud team, Haunah served as sommelier at Atlas, an upscale restaurant located inside the St. Regis Atlanta. She has also held positions at Del Frisco’s Grille and TITOU Hospitality Group, both located in Palm Beach, Florida. In addition to her Master Sommeliers Certification, Haunah holds a Bachelor of Arts Anthropology from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.
After spending an evening with Haunah you’ll feel like she’s a long lost friend with more fun wine trivia than you knew was possible – and who doesn’t want a friend that always bring the perfect wine to a party?
After being wined and dined several times with Haunah at the helm of deciding what I’d be drinking for the evening, it was time to pick her brain:
What made you decide you loved wine so much that you wanted a career in it?
Wine fits me. I’ve always loved learning, be it studying history, anthropology, or exploring new places. When I finished school, I spent time traveling, working in restaurants, and quickly realized how incredibly complicated and beautiful the world of wine is. At the risk of sounding cheesy, wine feels like less of a "career" and more of an extension of myself.
What is the biggest challenge you've faced getting to where you are?
To be candid, I’m sort of a know it all. This does not work out well when you're dealing with something like wine, an industry with a seemingly endless supply of knowledge to be had and brilliant and creative peers. The wine world is ever growing, which only makes it more difficult to "master." Admittedly, the first few years were trying. It's extremely important to me to be able to provide accurate and helpful insight to staff and guests. I struggled with the fact that no matter how much I studied, how many brains I picked, or shifts I worked, I would never have all the answers. It was a humbling realization, but reminded me why I fell in love with wine in the first place.
Do you think wine drinkers in Miami have a specific palette and lean toward certain wines?
Miami is a very international city, and because of this its hard to say that the city as a whole as a tendency towards specific styles of wine. Certainly each different culture has a tendency to lean towards wines that they know and are comfortable with. I have noticed that people gravitate towards Cabernet Sauvignon here. Like the city itself, Cabernet Sauvignon is an international varietal, it is wildly grown in France, Italy, the USA, South America, and Australia.
How has your palette changed as you’ve been in this role?
I don't know that my palate has changed since we switched to Boulud Sud, but it certainly had expanded. Working with a Mediterranean menu has given me the opportunity to discover new and different flavor profiles and styles of wine.
What's the top selling wine at Boulud Sud?
Categorically, we sell more Oregon Pinot Noir than anything else. I think because it is a light to medium bodied red wine that sits perfectly between Burgundy (our second best seller) and California, and pairs well with a lot of dishes on our menu. We also have done very well with white wines from the Mediterranean coast. Wines like Fiano from Campania, Assyrtiko from Santorini, have been very successful for us, because their brightness and salinity are a perfect complement to our cuisine.
What's the perfect/your favorite meal to pair with your favorite wine and why?
Szechuan food with an off dry Riesling. The sweetness of the wine perfectly offsets the spice. Also, friends to share both with. A must!
255 Biscayne Blvd Way
Miami, FL 33131