Today I’m with Keith Mabry who is a wine buyer for K & L Wine Merchants. We talk about his early days becoming aquainted with wine in the hospitality program at Cal Poly Pomona and his early career in retail sales. In 2007, Keith was recruited by K & L and his employment extends back to its beginnings in Hollywood eleven years ago. Discussing K & L, he provides an insight into the evolution of an important wine and spirits retailer in this L A market. More recently Keith has become a French wine buyer at K & L and he discusses his activities out of the country on buying trips. We learn that in addition to the three-tier system, partnerships and direct importing are an important part of the K & L business model. As a true wine enthusiast, he explains the importance of making personal connections with his overseas partners and being able to insert himself into the narrative of how, at best, wines moves from the winery to the customer through a series of close personal relationships.