Newspaper article International New York Times

A Wine Expert Treasures One Special Bottle

Newspaper article International New York Times

A Wine Expert Treasures One Special Bottle

Article excerpt

A wine expert treasures a special bottle given to him to keep until his daughter's wedding.


Unlike most children in the United States, Daniel Thomases grew up drinking wine, thanks to his father, a doctor who, he said, "liked a good bottle." Mr. Thomases attended wine appreciation courses while studying at Harvard and, once he turned 21, started regularly buying and tasting wine.

Not much was from Italy though. Back in the 1960s, "Italian wine was low-level stuff," he recalled, "drunk in restaurants strung with garlands of garlic." And even though after graduation he moved to Florence, Italy, to run the business side of a luxury leather goods company, nothing indicated that Mr. Thomases would become one of the world's foremost authorities on Italian wine.

Then he met Giorgio Pinchiorri. Today, Mr. Pinchiorri's "three- Michelin-star restaurant is a mecca for wine lovers and has probably the greatest wine cellar on planet Earth," Mr. Thomases said. But in the 1970s, Mr. Pinchiorri ran a simple enoteca, or wine bar, where Mr. Thomases sampled three or four different wines a day. "It was my university," he said.

Mr. Pinchiorri also introduced him to the writings of Luigi Veronelli, the renowned wine and food journalist, and eventually to the man himself. Mr. Thomases said, "I had the pleasure and privilege of working with him for close to 18 years," until Mr. Veronelli's death in 2004.

Mr. Veronelli encouraged the young oenophile to start writing about wine, and Mr. Thomases has done so extensively, contributing to such publications as Wine Spectator, The Wine Advocate and The Oxford Companion to Wine, and writing the wine column for the monthly magazine at Il Sole 24 Ore, Italy's leading financial newspaper. He is perhaps best known as the writer and editor of "I Vini di Veronelli," the annual Italian wine guide, carrying on the work of his mentor. …

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