A sommelier with 20 years in the business, Paul Einbund’s resume includes stints as beverage director at Frances and as a partner at the Michelin-starred Coi, both in San Fransisco. But, without a doubt, it’s his latest project, The Morris, named for his late father, that has been his most personal to date.
Einbund began buying wine for the restaurant eight years ago, long before it even had a name or a location. What Einbund did know was that it would be the sort of place that he might like to frequent—a casual neighborhood restaurant that just so happened to have an accessible (if, at times, unabashedly geeky) drinks program. Informed by his career and travels, the wine list as it stands today covers a 63-page “cellar list,” with selections that run the gamut from century-old Madeira to Napa Valley cabernet to back vintages of cult-favorite Jura producer, Ganevat. “I don’t think of myself as a one-region expert, and I certainly don’t think of this list as ‘me,'” explains Einbund. “But it is certainly very personal and very opinionated because I bought a lot of wines that I want to drink.”
So what does Einbund do when he’s not traveling, eating, drinking or serving wine at The Morris? Here, he tackles our Lookbook Questionnaire to share his strangest hobbies, the best thing he ever drank and the weirdest drink request he’s ever gotten.
Owner/sommelier, The Morris.
What do want to be when you grow up?
A Jedi knight. I love fencing, and imagine how cool it would be to do it with a light saber? Oh, and the whole mind control thing.
Best thing you ever drank:
Lemonade in Asia on a 120-degree day. Not sure why they call it “lemonade” because they actually use limes and salted plums, but that’s what they call it and that’s what I love. (Bet you thought I was going to say Chartreuse, didn’t you?)
Worst thing you ever drank:
This natural wine that literally had to have been made from the vomit grape.
First time you ever got drunk:
My 21st birthday. I worked at a shitty restaurant and the manager declared all drinks free for me so all the bartenders kept handing me drinks. Started with a quadruple shot of Cuervo Gold and only got worse!
If you had to listen to one album on loop, for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Death Cab for Cutie, Plans, or Tears for Fears, The Hurting.
What’s the weirdest hobby you currently have or have had?
I’ve recently become obsessed with Star Wars socks.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known five years ago?
I wish I knew how long it was going to take to get The Morris open. I would’ve studied French harder or lived out of the country for longer periods of time… gone to Madeira.
Weirdest cocktail experiment you’ve ever attempted:
I made a cocktail with fish sauce. It was the Slanted Door fish sauce, which is made with coconut water, so it’s sweet, but still. It actually worked, I swear! But for the life of me, I can’t remember what was in it and nothing sounds like a good idea now, so who knows what it was.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not eating, drinking or drink-making?
Plan my next meal, beverage or recipe? Boom! Too easy. I also love to train Muay Thai. I like kicking things.
Weirdest drink request you’ve ever gotten:
A guy had his jaw wired shut and asked us to blend his prime rib with au jus and horseradish.
Your favorite bar, and why:
The Bar With No Name in London. Every time I go they change my perception on cocktails.
Best meal you’ve ever had:
Hotel de Ville in Crissier, La Grenouillère in Normandy, dinner by Heston, this little fish restaurant in Kuala Lumpur that’s in a back alley in the back of another restaurant.
My fantasy wine bar is La Buvette in Paris. Brilliant place. What would I order? That question doesn’t work with wine as easily as it does with liquor—too many variables and all depends on what’s on offer.
Beer/whisky. (My favorite dive bar is totally Mission Hill in SF.)
Your preferred hangover recovery regime:
Don’t get one! Drink more water! But on the very rare moments when it does happen, it’s all about the Advil for me.
The one thing you wish would disappear from drink lists forever:
Singapore Sling? Vodka?
The last text message you sent: