Wine Director Max Kuller of Estadio - Biography

Washington, D.C.

December 2014

Max Kuller’s stumble to the wine world took on a rather eccentric course. Born in Los Angeles and growing up in Maryland, Kuller was surrounded by fine foods at a very young age. With his mom’s great home cooking and his dad’s penchant for finding the tastiest food, his palate was soon spoiled.

A stern vegetarian, high school’s ultimate Frisbee club founder, Brown university alum, and creator of a funhouse, Kuller found that none of the big philosophy companies were hiring, so he made his way into a job at Providence’s famed Al Forno, an Italian restaurant that reputedly invented wood-fired grilled pizza and a usual hangout for the town’s Mafioso.

When he relocated to the capital in 2005, he returned to his family. His dad, Mark Kuller, opened Proof, and he started waiting tables there out of financial desperation. At Proof, he enhanced his already burgeoning wine knowledge and developed a love for and expertise in craft beer. Proving that his beverage skills outweigh the status of an owner’s son, Kuller moved on from Proof and helped open Estadio, another addition to Kuller’s empire, as assistant general manager and resident “beermolier.” There, he developed a strong passion for Spanish beverages and rises to the top as its wine director. His latest resume recently added Doi Moi, a Southeast Asian restaurant, where he once again collaborates with Estadio Chef Haidar Karoum to pair eclectic wines with fiery cuisine.