Ian Becker, Wine Director for Arlequin Wine Merchant and Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, is a Cincinnati transplant who developed a love of wine while working in restaurants during college. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Journalism, he moved to the Bay Area in 2001 and began sports writing for the Napa Valley Register. Surrounded by hundreds of wineries and top restaurants, he soon discovered his inner oenophile and shifted careers to follow his true passion.
After working in Bay Area restaurants for three years, he joined the Arlequin Wine Merchant team in 2005 to learn the ins and outs of the wine industry as well as manage its extensive inventory.
As Wine Director, Becker is responsible for cultivating the award-winning wine program at Absinthe and Arlequin Wine Merchant, and works closely with Executive Chef Adam Keough and Sommelier Gretchen Buck to craft a selection that complements the French-influenced menu. He hand selects every wine to ensure customers receive the finest quality and best value. “The creative fulfillment of putting together a collection of wine that our customers enjoy is the most meaningful aspect of my work,” Becker says. “It’s almost like being a curator, rather than simply a buyer.”
In addition to his responsibilities as Wine Director, Becker co-founded San Francisco Natural Wine Week, which aims to raise awareness of the natural wine movement by showcasing well known and boutique producers of natural wines from around the world. The goal of this annual event is to engage and educate a community of wine enthusiasts on the methods of natural wine making.
Becker lives in San Francisco and loves the outdoors, cooking dinner at home with friends, basketball, reading, and film.