Bill Russell-Shapiro
, Proprietor, The Absinthe Group
Eric Vreede, Development and Operations Manager, The Absinthe Group
Adam Keough, Executive Chef, The Absinthe Group
Bill Corbett, Executive Pastry Chef, The Absinthe Group
Brian Gavin, General Manager
Vanessa Harris, Director of Events and Marketing, The Absinthe Group
Ian Becker, Wine Director, The Absinthe Group
Jared Schmidt, Bar Manager
Aaron Wasserman, Chief Sommelier


Ian Becker, Wine Director, The Absinthe Group

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 Brasserie & Bar, working closely with Executive Chef Adam Keough and Sommelier Aaron Wasserman to craft a selection that complements the French-influenced menu. For Boxing Room he features a selection of small-production wines that harmonizes with the rustic and bold flavors of the Cajun-inspired cuisine. Mineral-driven, crisp whites pair well with the raw bar as well as does a selection of juicy reds with Boxing Room’s robust appetizers and entrées. Becker also hand-selects every wine to ensure customers receive the finest quality and best value at Arlequin Wine Merchant and Comstock Saloon. “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.

Events Email Sign Up


Back to Top


Drink Food Absinthe - The Spirit
Arlequin Wine Merchant Arlequin Cafe & Food To Go Boxing Room Comstock Saloon The Art of the Bar Book