I had my first chats with Dave on this very forum over 20 yrs ago... Soon after I realized he lived not far away in Delaware and we met for an off-line where he told me about the famous "Wasserman stash". Despite our age difference (Dave was 10+ yrs older) we became good friends and bonded over Italian wine (of course) good food and music, Steely Dan, Yes, Joni Mitchell...

Back then I was a recent culinary school dropout and was eager to cook for anyone that cared about good food. Dave always brought a great bottle or two from the Wasserman stash to pair with the dinners at my house in Philadelphia, which he dubbed "Bistro99"

We ended up getting together with many of the regulars of the Italian forum over the years, Ed Becker, JFO, Danny Peluso.. and of course Frank Deis, who Dave respectfully referred to as "the professor." Chris James visited from Seattle once (I remember it was about 105 degrees outside) and Johan Dengis from Belgium... we had so many amazing dinners with amazing wine and conversation, so much fun. I also remember driving up to NYC with him a few times to the Gambero Rosso tasting which was open to the public in those days. Another great memory was seeing Steely Dan at the Tower Theater in Philly. Good times!

I was never great at writing tasting notes. I tried early on here on the forum but it never came naturally so I sort of stopped posting... However, Dave knew my lacking that particular skill didn't make my wine appreciation any less valid and I always appreciated that about him. Plus I think he really liked my food so we continued to get together often. Just about all of our off-lines were documented by him on this very forum. So many great memories.

Dave was old school and refused to participate on today's social media. He also refused to get a mobile device so communication became increasingly difficult. The last time we broke bread was in Nov 2018. We drank a fantastic 1999 Elio Grasso, Barolo "Casa Mate" and the '95 Antinori CCR (among others), see his post about a perfect Barolo (11/26/2018). I remember we stayed up into the wee hours, drinking and listening to music. Dave crashed on my sofa, and in the morning we had cappuccinos and breakfast (eggs over easy), and he was on his way back to Delaware. I still have our email communication before and after our hang...

I exchanged a few emails with Dave during the pandemic and we talked about getting together soon (been too long we both agreed). About 2 or 3 weeks ago I was thinking about emailing him (or calling on his house land line, haha) for an invite up to Bistro99... but then last week I received word of his passing. Damn it. I'm gonna miss him.

So next time you crack an old school Barolo, raise your glass to ol Dave, the original Vino Lover. Rest in Peace my friend.

PS: (for frazer) Dave was a Commander in the Naval Reserves (retired) and was an XO on a FFG Class ship back in the day. I believe he held a degree from Harvard Business School. For around the last 10 yrs, he worked for a small wine merchant called ABC Liquors right up until his passing.