The Wine List at Daniel Restaurant

Finding good values amongst a list of gems


After watching Levi Dalton’s interview with Raj Vaidya, I had to go and check out Daniel’s list. I knew from the beginning that it was going to be filled with big guns, but I aimed to seek out the values for economical wine drinkers, like myself, who want to experience Daniel without blowing a huge hole in their budgets.

Predictably, this was a bit of a challenge. Daniel and its wine list is all about the best. While the best is not necessarily synonymous with the most expensive, there is a definite correlation. Consider, for example, the extensive selections on offer from Dauvissat, Raveneau, d’Yquem, Mouton and Lafite.

These names represent some of the greatest, most sought after wines on earth. It is no surprise to find them priced well beyond the means of most ordinary folk, even those bold enough to venture to Daniel. The key to my wine list adventure was to track down the values interspersed among these gems.

Daniel NYC
60 E 65th St 
New York, NY 10065
(212) 288-0033

To start with, as seems fitting in such a celebrated and celebratory space, a bottle of Champagne might be in order. The Guy Larmandier “Cremant Grand Cru” at $125 a bottle seems like a reasonable price among the many premium offerings.

If Champagne is not your thing, Chardonnay might be, and with so much Chablis, White Burgundy and other offerings on the list, it is certainly a wine to take note of when thinking about pairing with Daniel’s menu. While I loved the Chablis selection, nothing really stood out to me as value. If I was in the mood for White Burgundy, there were a trio of well priced offerings that would make for a lovely start to the evening.

2008 Domaine Mortet $80
2008 Domaine Jean-Marc Roulot $75
2009 Domaine Louis Carillon “Champs Martin” $105

Maybe even closer to the mark in some ways were the trio of vintages on offer from Lopez de Heredia. A mini vertical of  is cause for celebration in and of itself, and at these prices 1993 ($115), 1992 ($120) and 1990 ($120) it is an affordable celebration at that.

I thought the list was surprisingly light on Italian white wines, though the following pages, laden with finds from Austria and Germany, made me quickly forget this minor shortcoming. While one Austrian wine caught my eye, the 2006 Domaine Wachau Gruner Veltliner “Achleiten” Smaragd ($85), it was the great selection of German wines that drew me in.

I don’t know how to choose from so many fine and well priced offerings, so here’s a mini selection that would do any restaurant list proud.

2004 Karthäuserhof “Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg” Kabinett $60
2004 Karthäuserhof “Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg” Spätlese $85
2008 Willi Schaefer “Graacher Domprost” Kabinett $60
2007 Zilliken “Saarburger Rausch” Kabinett $60
2009 Dönnhoff “Oberhäuser Leistenberg” Kabinett $65
2007 Schäfer-Fröhlich “Bockenauer Felseneck” Spätlese $95
2006 Schäfer-Fröhlich “Bockenauer Felseneck” Spätle $75
2010 Weingut Keller QBA Trocken “Von der Fels”  $75
2009 Weingut Keller QBA Trocken “Von der Fels” $75
2008 Weingut Keller QBA Trocken “Von der Fels” $70

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