To step into one of Caroline Styne's restaurants is to be transported. She and co-owner Suzanne Goin are two of the most successful restaurateurs in Los Angeles, and dare we say, the country. It's no wonder they won the coveted "Restaurateur of the Year" award in 2018. She is also one of the few female sommeliers in the country, and one of the most respected. The Los Angeles native originally planned for a career in the art world, but instead followed a burgeoning passion for wine. We were thrilled to get her take on wine and style.
When did you fall in love with wine? Tell us how it became your career?
I was managing a restaurant and was given the opportunity to sit in on wine tastings the with beverage director at the time and found that I just had an affinity for it. They used to call me “The Nose” because I could list off every aroma in a wine without hesitation. When I opened my first restaurant, I dove in full force, tasting wine and reading about it constantly.
How is finding a great pair of pants like pairing wine?
Basically with wine and black pants, there is a lid for every pot. I happen to appreciate wines that are bright and racy, with lots of acidity and mineral notes. Some people like richer, more opulent wines. With pants, different people like different styles and fits and fortunately there is also a pair out there for every body type!
What wine goes best with black pants?
The beauty of black pants is that they go with EVERYTHING. It’s really hard to go wrong.
What does “Chic” mean to you? How do you define “Chic”?
To me, chic refers to not only the perfection of the outfit you have on, but also the attitude and confidence that comes from great style.
You have such a great sense of style- how did you develop that?
My mother was a consummate clothes horse, and that love of fashion and clothing obsession passed straight on to me. I’ve loved it all from a very young age. It also transcends into the world I surround myself with, art, my home, my restaurants, and the design and furnishings in them. The appreciation of great wine and food goes hand in hand with that. There is a lot of nuance and beauty in a well-made wine. And beautiful wine is made with the same intention as beautiful clothing and objects.
What are your go to closet pieces?
Black pants of course! I literally own about 20 pairs. I’m constantly on the hunt for the perfect pair of black pants. My other go-to’s are pretty classic actually, the perfect jean jacket to wear over my shoulders with a skirt, dress or pants, a great black blazer, pleated mid-length skirt and any long, flowing dress. I pair almost everything with chunky boots or sneakers.
What looks chicest with black pants?
I actually love pairing black pants with a great graphic t-shirt and black blazer over it. It’s the kind of outfit that can fit any occasion, looks clean and depending on the t-shirt and shoes, can be elegant or edgy.
What are you working on now and excited about for 2020?
We’re about to open two full-service restaurants at the new Proper Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. There will be a restaurant called Caldo Verde at street level and one named Cara Cara on the rooftop.