Growing up Daniel was obsessed with two things: food and music. “I spent countless hours practicing guitar and almost as much time watching cooking shows, especially Julia Child, Molto Mario, and the original Japanese Iron Chef.”
Dan’s wine story, however, really began around 2005. After graduating from Brown University with a degree in American Civilization, he lived in Brooklyn, playing in bands and working at a record shop. He went virtually every day to Uva Wines in Williamsburg, a great shop in his neighborhood where the staff seemed to spend all of their time playing great music (at retail inappropriate levels) and cracking tasty bottles. Dan was turned on to amazing wines that he could afford on his meager record store clerk budget; wines from all over the world from the greatest hits to the most obscure, deep cuts. “I loved the vibe. I soaked it up (literally!).”
Stints of boredom and lingering political ideas led him to apply to a graduate program in Politics and Culture at Cambridge. But three weeks before he was supposed to leave for England, he ended up in a recording session with Lauryn Hill and was suddenly reinvigorated with musical confidence. Dan put off a life of Academia and explored his musical career—only to be reminded again and again “that I was not, in fact, John Lennon.” A chance encounter with Shane Smith, then the buyer at Uva, led to an interview and a new gig stocking wine shelves. Daniel immediately fell in love with working at the shop and quickly started doing shifts on the floor.
Dan worked his way up to becoming a buyer at Uva and eventually, with a team of friends and like-minded wine lovers, opened Flatiron Wines in Manhattan. Throughout his years in retail, Daniel has had the opportunity to taste a lot of great wine and to travel to some of the world’s finest regions.
It has been a privilege and honor to interact with growers and to introduce customers to the singular magic of wine. It is in the spirit of exploration, study, and sharing that I eagerly accepted the position at Schatzi Wines. I am thrilled to learn the import and distribution side of the business and to work even more closely with growers. It’s been an incredible ride so far and I am excited to see where this vineyard road leads me.
Daniel is working in the New York market as well as East Coast distribution.