In anticipation of our very exciting tasting with Schatzi Wines, we’ve been blogging a lot about Schatzi and even going back to the basics with tasting. We’ve also mentioned Dan Weber a few times. That’s for a couple reasons: first, he’s an old friend of Flatiron Wines (more on this later). But, he’s also a key player at Schatzi Wines these days. As Josh notes in his blog post, Flatiron and Schatzi see eye to eye on a lot, we couldn’t be happier to bring Dan back for this big tasting event.
Dan was kind enough to sit down with us and chat about Importers (read about how key importers are to us HERE) and his personal wine journey. This is a lovely glimpse into a dear friend, but more importanlty, a chance to dive into new sector of the wine trade.
Who are you?
Dan Weber. Human who loves music and wine…wine and music..food really. food.
I hail from Amherst, MA.
And where do you live now?
(I) live in beautiful Brooklyn
Let’s get down to the good stuff. What’s the best wine you’ve EVER had?
Best-ness does not exist in this dojo. But I really love Gamay on granite.
What was your wine aha-moment?
I went to France for the first time in 2009 to meet up with my great friend, Ruben Sanz Ramiro, while he was doing a yearlong stint at Domaine Zind-Humbrecht in Turkheim. I found myself standing on top of the Rangen (a ridiculously steep, righteous Grand cru), tasting grapes that were a week away from harvest, and looking out at this gorgeous panorama of vineyards. More or less, that was that.
What is an importer?
Importers are usually crazy wine freaks who did not grow up in a winemaking culture. We are people who fell in love with wine and wanted to be as close to the vines as possible.
We find growers whose work we believe in and whose wines we love and want to share and bring them to the US. For me, spending time with and learning from vignerons is the whole thing.
Wine expresses the sublime singularity of place and time in an (ideally) delicious way. Growers do the work of translating this message to the bottle. It is a privilege to share there work with people in New York.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Visiting vineyards, tasting in cellars, spending time with growers, spreading the word!
Is it as glamorous as it sounds?
Yes! everything works perfectly all of the time 😉
Why are you having a portfolio tasting?
Every year we do a big portfolio tasting for the trade here in New York. We open up every wine in the book and welcome as many of our growers as can take the time. It is a great chance for local buyers to connect with the growers without having to hop on a plane. For us, it’s an opportunity to give the public a broader view of the ways in which the portfolio has evolved over the year and hopefully for some buyers to explore wines that we work with that they might not otherwise taste.
Why do a tasting at Flatiron?
For me, Flatiron still feels like home. I have spent so much time here over the years and I love the customers and the staff. I am so proud of what the shop has become on a national scale. The original vision was always about connecting consumers and growers, bringing people as close to the vines as possible and having a great time doing it. Bringing our crew of vignerons to the shop for a tasting event feels like a natural and exciting progression and I can’t wait to start cracking the bottles!
Some answers may have been edited for clarity.