Now that you have sipped your way through La Jolla and the City of Sin with Herringbone’s very own maestros of wine, we would like to take you behind the cork in the bustling coastal community of Santa Monica.

Meet Michael Hann, Herringbone Santa Monica’s Restaurant Manager and “man behind the cork,” who shares his journey of how he found a fancy for diverse varietals in one of Southern California’s most visited beach towns.

What was your first? Wine, that is…
Michael says: The first wine that I tried was a 1997 Stags Leap Petite Syrah. It was at that moment that I fell in love with wine and wanted more!

What intrigues you about Herringbone’s wine list?
Michael says: The list gives our guests the ability to get high-quality wines at an incredible value. The variety that our wine list offers pairs well with the diverse dishes on our menu and in turn, highlight the freshness of our ingredients.

What is your favorite – White, Red, Pink or Blend?
Michael says: With our wine list changing frequently and the opportunity of trying multiple vintages for that reason, it is hard to choose! But for now, I would say the Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena which is perfect for a summer day on our garden patio or the Niebaum Coppola Rubicon for a bold and complex experience to enjoy in the crisp, coastal evenings.

What do you suggest a guest try if visiting Herringbone Santa Monica for the first time?
Michael says: Such a difficult question because our list has a diverse variety and every guest’s palate is as unique as their preferences. If I were to be given carte blanche to guide a guest through dinner – this is how it would go: Start with a cocktail (Grow a Pear or One Hot Cucumber are my favorites) and pair with a Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and Kusshi Oysters. Next, order a Yellowtail Crudo and Tomato Burrata Salad with a glass of Chateau Montelena Chardonnay. I would then move on to the Tomahawk Veal Chop (with the Charred Cauliflower and Brussels sides) paired with a glass of En Route Pinot Noir. And you must not forget dessert!  I would indulge in our gluten-free Date Cake with the Trefethen Dry Riesling from Napa Valley.

What draws you to certain vineyards over others?
Michael says: The history of the vineyard and the winemaker’s connection to earth draws me in. Seeing a winemaker’s dedication to making something that they truly love, nurture and believe in is quite special. It is because of the passion and willingness to get it right at all cost that they are successful and able to sustain the vintages that we have come to love.