About Dan

Daniel Dawson: Wine Critic, Founder, President of Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor

Dan brings 25 years of Napa Valley wine experience to Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor. From 2001 to 2017 Dan owned and operated Back Room Wines, a fine wine shop and wine bar in Downtown Napa. He created Back Room Wines and built it into one of the best and most highly regarded wine shops in Napa Valley. Prior to Back Room Wines, Dan was wine buyer at All Seasons Bistro and Wine Shop (1992-1998), Head Sommelier at The French Laundry (1998-1999) and Wine Merchant at Dean & Deluca (1999-2001).

No doubt, tasting, recommending and selling many of the world’s greatest and rarest wines has been part of Dan’s daily routine. That said, one of Dan’s greatest skills, in the opinion of many of his customers, is his ability to evaluate and identify wines that, in Dan’s words, “over-deliver for their price.” Recommending these types of wines in Dan’s entertaining and skillful prose is the foundation of Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor.

Dan Dawson looking sharp!

“Welcome to ‘Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor,’ your guide to buy the best limited-production wines from California and beyond. With a gracious nod to my fellow wine writers and reviewers, I will be distinctly different from my colleagues in two ways.

First, the reviews and scores in Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor (DDWA for short) will be concise, easy-to-read, and presented in an entertaining, accessible format. I love wine articles and interviews that reach deep into the story of the wine, winery and winemaker as much as the next wine geek. I’ll save this writing for my friends and tell you, quickly, WHAT’S GOOD and what you should buy.

“Second, the recommendations you find in DDWA will have a particular emphasis on ‘Value Wines.’ These are wines that stand out amongst their peers in quality for their price. From a $12 red from Southern Italy to a $75 Napa Valley Cabernet, there are great values in every corner of the wine-world…depending on the grape, place and target customer. Identifying and selling great value wines has been one of my greatest skills throughout my wine career, and through Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor I will continue to highlight such wines.

“I’m super-excited to launch Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor and provide you another source, and hopefully your best source, for finding and enjoying the best limited-production wines.”

– Dan Dawson