Q&A with Jared Hooper

Jared Hooper, Faith and Flower, Los Angeles

Which classic grape varietal is the most underrated?
Grenache. It’s lovely, versatile, expressive and fun. It’s sometimes jokingly referred to as a poor man’s Pinot Noir which isn’t too far off, except I’d add it tends to wear a motorcycle jacket.

What kind of flavors inspire you most?
I hesitate to say there’s a particular flavor that inspires me, it feels too much like putting the cart before the horse. If I’m to be inspired, it’s going to be in the context of a discovery. The best aha moments almost always seem to be an accident. I hate it when people give me tasting notes as I’m drinking. Shut the hell up!

Choose a drink to match with pork – and why?
My go to with pork are Rhône varieties, grenache, syrah, Mourvèdre, BUT, If I left it there, I’d be going against everything I just said. My most recent happy accident/aha moment with pork is Scheurebe, a German crossing of Riesling and an unknown grape. It’s crisp, off dry, vibrant, and sexy. A perfect foil for pork.