In the News: Wine Expert Beckwith ’01 Featured in The Wall Street Journal

by Sharon Sanders

Grand Cru Wine Consulting, co-founded by David Beckwith ’01 and two business partners, was featured in “The Brains Behind Some of the Finest Cellars,” the On Wine column by novelist Jay McInerney in the The Wall Street Journal (April 19). “We are very European centric in our tastes as are our clients,” says Beckwith, describing his New York-based concierge service for well-heeled wine aficionados. “We primarily help clients obtain older, vintage wines while managing their collections.”

Beckwith, who graduated with majors in art and history, says his experience on The Hill gave him the confidence to pursue this unique career. “I always found Lafayette and its professors to be very open-minded in terms of any direction one might take.” During senior year, he often cooked dinners, with wine, for friends at his house on Cattell Street. “I would then write my own tasting notes and compare them to Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator. I was that guy,” says Beckwith, who also took a wine course during his study-abroad semester in Florence.

He honed his skills as a sommelier at Babbo, the Manhattan restaurant, and Zachys, the Scarsdale, N.Y.-based wine retailer and auction house. These days, attending auctions and bidding on behalf of clients is one of Beckwith’s roles at Grand Cru.

“I was born to do this,” says Beckwith, who merges a refined palate with business acumen. On a recent day, he sorted through 400 or 500 bottles in two EuroCaves in a Central Park West kitchen, selecting bottles for a dinner party. He also put aside about two cases of wine, including some 1982 Lafite, to send off to auction. As Beckwith told the Journal, “Given the price it’s trading for—about $3,000 right now—and the price he paid for it, it’s smarter to sell it than drink it. The client stands to realize a nice profit.”