Holiday 2022 Q&A
DAVID HAMBURGER | NOVEMBER 29, 2022
Q. What is the most surprising food and wine pairing you’ve ever experienced?
A. Without question, oysters with young Chateau d’Yquem. You’d be shocked how delicious the pairing is!
Q. What are you opening for the holidays?
A. I’ve been doing this for 25 years, which is crazy to say – and over that time I’ve been fortunate enough to taste some of the oldest, rarest, and best wines ever produced. That said, although a well-placed big-name bottle will be on my table, nestled right up to it will probably be a bottle of Beaujolais. That’s definitely a lead up wine – a classic go-to easy bottle for everyday drinking and gatherings with great food. It’s just so versatile and pairs with what I like to eat most days.
Q. What wine would you recommend as a mind-blowing gift?
A. Older vintages of Chateau Rayas are incredible, age for decades, and are rare to find in a lot of people’s cellars. They’re on our fine wine stock list all the time, and come up at auction pretty frequently. I definitely recommend something from pre-1995 vintages for a jaw-dropping gift. Just definitely make it a pre-requisite that you’re invited when they open the bottle. Trust me!
Q. If your tastes are more suited to top echelon wines, which wines should I consider for gifts that will impress, but not break the bank?
A. López de Heredia Rioja is a fabulous producer. Spanish wines, especially those with some age, are so intricate, sophisticated, and nuanced. I definitely recommend looking there for wines that are respectably priced, and show like some of the most expensive wines on the market.
Q. What is the most impressive wine region you have ever visited? Tell us about it!
A. In 2015 I visited Burgundy for the first time. Walking the vineyards and seeing all of the different terroirs was life changing. It finally put a connection to everything I’ve learned over my years tasting and teaching about these great wines. Truly a magical experience.
Q. What Champagne are you opening for New Year’s Eve?
A. I’m thinking of opening a 1996 – super year for Champagne. Probably a Philipponnat Clos des Goisses.
Q. What is something that most people don’t know about you?
A. Music is my first real passion – especially jazz. Music was a huge part of my life before I ever started getting into wine – and it still is! I’ve been a bass player for many years, and have even opened and played with some pretty big acts in my lifetime. But you’ll have to have a drink with me for me to tell you more!
Q. If you could host an event with anyone in the world – who would you invite, and what would you drink?
A. That’s a tough one – but perfect scenario with anyone living or dead, I’d do a dinner with Richard Olney (he passed away in 1999, but was one of the first food writers to introduce French cooking to Americans), and serve DRC Romanee Conti.
Speciality: Burgundy & Rhone
David is a 22 year veteran of Acker, and one of the most well-regarded and respected wine educators in the world. Since 2000, as Managing Director of The Wine Workshop, David has hosted hundreds of events for the collectors and wine-curous of the world, known for his encyclopedic knowledge of rare wines from the world’s top producers. In addition to creating programs for Acker’s excursions to San Sebastian, Paris, Copenhagen and (many) more, David has developed tasting events for notable wine critics as well as famous winemakers which are too many to name! He is a member of the Commanderie des Costes du Rhone, as well as the lauded Bordeaux and Champagne socieities, and can talk about jazz like few you’ve ever met. He’s an accomplished bassist, and his passion for music is only met by his expertise and knowledge of fine wine.