“I never select a wine I wouldn’t want to drink at home.”
This has been the guiding principal at Daniel Johnnes Wines since I started the company in 1992.
I guess this philosophy grew out of what got me interested in food and wine in the first place. My very first contact with “real” wine as opposed to those early generation wine coolers, took place in a small village in Provence. I was living with a French family and the neighbor had vineyards in the Cotes du Rhone appellation not too far from Chateauneuf du Pape. We would travel to the Carpentras food market on Fridays, go crazy buying fresh melons, tomatoes, varieties of salad I had never seen, fish, horse meat (yes, horse meat), Mediterranean fish and tons of different local cheeses. Lunches and dinners were rarely less than two hours and it was all washed down with a good bottle or two of Cotes du Rhone, Chateauneuf du Pape, Rose de Provence or Muscat Beaumes de Venise. And it just made sense. It was part of daily life.
I had no idea what the grape varieties were or what type of oak was employed or any of the technical stuff you learn and need to know to be in this business. But what I did learn was wine is the magic ingredient at every meal and a joy to share with friends and family. I have carried this lesson with me through my career and will never let it go.
And today as the proud guardian of a portfolio of exceptional Domaines and as the Wine Director for the Daniel Boulud restaurant empire I maintain that same philosophy. Because of these varied activities I have the opportunity and pleasure to relate to wine drinkers on all levels. Whether it is tableside with an interested client at Daniel or with a sommelier building his or her career or with a winemaker whose wine I would like to import I maintain that the best advice I can give anyone interested in learning about wine and working with it is to find a way to connect with that passion. It could be through travel, reading, talking, certainly tasting, meeting winemakers or just daily life. But without accessing the energy lying within that passion one can not grow and further their education or be successful in this wonderful field.
I hope you will find this enthusiasm by reading about and tasting the wines in this portfolio. This enthusiasm is not mine alone. It is also that of the winemaker and his/her quest to produce honest wines that express his/her grapes, his/her terroir and his/her heritage.
To see which selections are in our portfolio, please refer to our list of wines.
Considered one of the top sommeliers and most respected wine personalities in the country, Daniel Johnnes is the Wine Director for Daniel Boulud's Dinex Group, including Restaurant Daniel, DB Bistro, and Cafe Boulud.