PRAISE & PRESS
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by Tim Carl for The Napa Valley Register
May 20, 2019
“The Stories Behind Wine”
Podcast by Christian Oggenfuss of Napa Valley Wine Academy
December 24, 2018:
“Guess The Grape”
Blind Wine Tasting
“Morning Edition With Barry Martin” on KVON Radio. This is a one hour in-studio wine tasting game I played with Barry Martin.
The Praise, aka Testimonials
Dan Dawson has built a small army of loyal wine followers after 25 years of tasting, recommending and selling wines in the Napa Valley. Here’s what a few of his customers and fellow wine professionals say about him.
Cathy Holmes, Wine Lover & DDWA Member (From Dan’s Pinot Noir Class of August 2, 2018)
Dan was able to take my palate from Napa and Sonoma to Burgundy, New Zealand and Willamette. I was able to compare and contrast with the overlay of Dan’s expertise as he walked us through each wine. My palate still loves California but I met my goal of trying to go abroad. I also learned is everyone is different and some people in the room enjoyed the European Pinots over the California Pinots…it truly is all about what you like. Thank you Dan for a wonderful Pinot experience!
Teri and Larry Jackson, Wine Lovers & DDWA Members (From Dan’s Pinot Noir Class of August 2, 2018)
We are a local couple who loves wine and enjoys them around the world while traveling.. We don’t necessarily have all the “wine vocabulary” but love the process. Attending Dan’s recent “Pinots from around the world” tasting was very interesting, informative, tasty and fun. There were people there from the industry, which is always educational. These tastings are for anyone who loves wine and wants to learn more about it. Attend and enjoy the experience. Cheers!
Cathy Linden, Wine Lover & DDWA Member
My husband and I have known Dan since he first opened Back Room Wines when it really was basically a back room. A testimonial to his expertise in choosing wines for his shop and matching customer’s tastes to the wines is the fact that he built a very successful business. I am thankful that, after the sale of the shop, he has chosen to offer even more attention to customers through his advisor service.
I must admit that I am rather a tough customer to please as I desire wines in the 12-13% alcohol range and I enjoy trying uncommon varietals. My husband has his own criteria to which Dan responds. Dan’s service is exceptional in that he listens to our requests, finds a solution and makes sure that we can find the wines that he has recommended.
Merritt Fink, Wine Lover & DDWA Member
For anyone who likes wine, you should check Dan Dawson’s new venture, “Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor,” a fountain of information on the best deals in wine. Dan is the former owner of Back Room Wines in Napa, CA, one of the premier wine shops in Napa Valley. What distinguishes Dan’s recommendations are that they perform at a high level but within very reasonable price points.
Bill Ray, Wine Lover & DDWA Member
I’ve known Dan Dawson for almost 20 years and have trusted his wine advice at The French Laundry, Dean & DeLuca and Back Room Wines. I’ve had many memorable experiences with DD and he has led me on an incredible journey through Napa Valley as well as introducing me to Châteauneuf-du-Pape and white Burgundy. Dan’s broad wine knowledge, great palate and independence make DDWA a must-read.
Free wine advice from a former Napa wine shop owner & sommelier
Chris & Monica Ready, Wine Lovers & DDWA Members
Checked out your site…this is what we’ve always wanted. Your recommendations have never disappointed us, but we have often found ourselves buying wines—without your expertise at hand—wondering, what would Dan recommend. We have also always struggled with determining the value wines that we taste and like. There are so many wines to choose from and it seems impossible to taste enough wines to develop the breadth and depth of knowledge needed to consistently buy wines that we love and can afford. Your value formula is a great idea—I’ve never seen anything like it before and I love it. We love what we see and are excited!
Jackie Cumo, Long-time Customer and Chief Wine Officer & Sommelier: Wine Through Wisdom
My husband and I met Dan Dawson over 10 years ago, when he had started Back Room Wines in Downtown Napa. We were impressed with his collection of small production high quality wines, and relied upon his judgment. We would order based off his written description in a newsletter, or, if we weren’t certain, we’d call him and inquire about the wine.
In over 10 years of trusting Dan’s judgment in good wine, we were pleased to have had a fantastic wine experience with his help. Dan has never sold us a bad bottle of wine.
Andrew Shaheen: Wine Professional, Wine Lover & Long-time Customer
Dan’s wide array of experience uniquely positions him to suggest the perfect wine no matter your budget. Instead of making wine elite and exclusive, he makes finding great wines easy at all price points. This is such a fantastic resource for everyone, not only those who can afford the legendary wines of the world. If Dan signs off on a wine you can be assured it is a great purchase.
Joe Cocco, Wine Lover & DDWA Member
Dan has no equal in my mind when it comes to wine knowledge, ability, access and honesty. Never found anything or anyone close to him. He recently sold Back Room Wines, his beloved wine shop in Napa. I was so spoiled by his talent and business model…a wine purchase from Dan was risk free in my mind. Never sold me a bottle I didn’t like or didn’t think was worth the price I paid.
Bill Lindquist, Wine Lover & DDWA Member
Dan has been recommending wines to me for more than 15 years. Although I’m on many Napa winery allocation lists, I’m always looking to try something new. Because of Dan’s years in the business and extensive contacts in the industry, he can recommend wines at all price points, ranging from the smallest start-ups to often overlooked established wineries—with a focus on the best value for the money. He has a highly developed palette combined with incredible honesty and integrity.
Toby Froehlich, Wine Lover & DDWA Member
Dan is the best wine guy I know. Plain and simple!
Kimberly Jones: Owner, Kimberly Jones Selections (Wine Distributor, Broker, Importer)
I have known Dan for over a decade. Back Room Wines was always a delight to visit as tasting with Dan was a real treat. He is a consummate professional with an expert palate and a true sense for quality and value – extremely important in reviewing of wines. His endorsement of a wine always has been and always will be feather in that winery’s cap.
Tanya Kinberg: Co-Owner, 4 Play Wine Consultants (Wine Broker)
Dan is a thoughtful, honest and well-respected wine professional whose palate is trusted by many, and who has the drive, desire and passion to promote small production, handcrafted wines and really be a great ambassador for wines of quality and character.
Hiram Simon: Co-Owner, WineWise (Wine Distributor, Broker, Importer)
I have had the privilege of knowing Dan ever since those early days at All Seasons. At every step in his unfolding career, he demonstrated the qualities that his admirers treasure in him : unflinching honesty, a formidable work ethic, good humor and responsiveness. Above all, he found the magic key to allying a propensity for relationship-building to an unsentimental and analytical appraisal of the wines he was offered. This made him both a ruthless judge of good quality and, especially, good value, but also an unalloyed joy to work with. I have no doubt that, in his latest role as a guide to the perplexed, he will excel and emerge as a go-to authority when it comes to identifying the wines that people should drink for the right reasons!”