Cool People. 4 Questions. 1 Bottle of Wine with Ben Flajnik
Ben Flajnik. Many know him from his celebrity status from being The Bachelor, but there are many dimensions to Ben. I had the pleasure of running into him at BottleRock Napa this year, and as we started chatting he started to tell me about his love for not only winemaking (he was the head winemaker for Envolve Winery out of Sonoma), but also his deep rooted passion for entrepreneurship. Ben is an accomplished tech entrepreneur who most recently launched The Gentleman App and earlier this year he and a partner launched one of the only fernet (that Italian amaro that's popular with cocktail bars) that's made state-side (in SF with local ingredients) called Fernet Francisco. Ben is a renaissance man for our time and a true gentleman. Enjoy.
You’re a winemaker, tech entrepreneur, spirit-brand owner, investor and media celebrity. Which one of those hats would you wear full-time if you could?
Tough question as they all get me out of bed in the morning. I think it's important to have multiple projects in different verticals so you don't burn out on one in particular. I think the long goal is to be able to invest in people/companies. I love to watch companies be built and the millions of questions that come along with it.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your latest venture, The Gentleman App
It's a natural pain point for any guy. My new company, The Gentleman was created out of a need for guys to be more attentive in their relationship and better at dating. There are two core features. One, we plan great dates. Two, we remind our users of upcoming milestones/dates and offer daily suggestions to help make their love life more interesting.
Tell us about the last romantic meal you had with Stephanie, where was it and what wine did you have with it.
We went to the opening of Dominique Crenn's new restaurant, Petite Crenn in Hayes Valley two weeks ago. Man, it was good. Along side the beautiful meal, I pulled a 2009 Meredith Vineyard, Merry Edwards Pinot Noir. A bit too fruit forward for the meal, but it was killer.
You've said your late father was an inspiration. In what way?
My Dad was a really kind person. He worked hard everyday to support his family and give us a great life. I miss him everyday. I think I work so hard because he didn't have a lot of time on this earth, so I fight to accomplish things in a much faster timeline.
As you know, we believe have a section on the site called VINOMUSIC where we pair wine with music, what wine would you pair with one of our jams right now Classic Man by Jidenna?
Classic Man = Classic Vintage. Since Jidenna seems like a boss and it's my birth year, I'd have to say an 82 Chateau Moulin Rothschild (if I could ever get my hands on one).