Originally educated as an attorney, Elliot Essman spent many years as a professional business and legal writer and later branched into food writing. He was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Journalism Award for his beverage writing, and turned to wine writing in 2006. He now reviews wines from all over for his web site www.stylegourmet.com and speaks to community organizations about wine.
I met Elliot some time ago and we’ve remained friends over the years. I love his common sense and value his expertise in all things related to food!
You are now a wine connoisseur – how did it come about?
As a confirmed food fanatic I discovered one day I had a hole in my knowledge concerning wine. I immediately began professional wine studies, began to review wines, and I never looked back.
What are your top 3 dessert wine recommendations?
2006 Inniskillin Vidal Icewine (Canada)
Achaia Clauss “Imperial” Mavrodaphne of Patras
2004 Kiona Vineyards Late Harvest Riesling, Red Mountain, Washington
Why do you do what you do?
I love wine and I love writing. I Love learning about wine and teaching about wine. If I have anything to do with expanding knowledge of and enjoyment of wine for other people, I will be satisfied.
What makes you want to wake up in the morning?
This depends on the day. Usually, after my cup of tea, my first thought is to follow-up on networking leads from the evening before. I get to writing several hours later.
Who is your inspiration?
I do not have anyone in particular who inspires me.
If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, what chef would you be?
Being an intellectual with a sense of humor, I relate most to Alton Brown.
What is your favorite dish?
Duck. And cassoulet with duck in it.
Your three rules to live by?
Always be polite to other people.
Honesty is its own reward.
Listen but be ready to lead others if called upon to do so.
Your must-have drink?
Your city/country of origin?
I am a native of Manhattan.
Your proudest accomplishment?
Mentoring others many times, especially in public speaking skills.
Exciting people creating enviable lifestyles…more at:
Emily Sugihara at BAGGU
Photo Credit: Elliot Essman