While Jean-Luc Le Dû has lived in New York for the best part of the last 20 years, he hails from Gourin, a small village in Central Brittany (France).
This rugged, yet beautiful area is famous for its crepes (he swears they’re the best in the world) and host the annual Breton Championship of
Traditional Celtic Music. However it is not particularly known for its wines.
Actually Jean-Luc didn’t have much of an interest in wine until coming to the United States in 1985. More interested at first in
pursuing Rock music as a passion, he eventually fell under the spell a couple of years later after tasting a perfect bottle of Château Cheval Blanc
1964. Tasted buds awakened, he started on a journey to discover the pleasures of wines and hasn’t stopped ever since. Having worked in the
Restaurant industry as a headwaiter in some of New York top restaurants since the late nineteen eighties (Bouley, Carlyle, Marie-Michelle), he
was privileged to taste many great classic wines that shaped his palate. On his free time though, his passion was to find small artisanal producers
from overlooked areas from the world and visit their vineyards.
In February 1995, Jean-Luc joined Restaurant Daniel. His expertise and passion for wine soon convinced Daniel Boulud to make
him the Head Sommelier, a position he held with distinction until December 2004. During his tenure he expanded the wine list to almost 2000
selections from around the world and established one of the best wine programs in the United States, while also creating wine lists for the all the
new restaurants opened under the Daniel Boulud banner (DB, Café Boulud - New York and Palm Beach)
While at Daniel, Jean-Luc won the title of Best Sommelier Northeast America in the 1997 Sopexa Competition. In August 2002
Jean-Luc’s wine list was awarded the Wine Spectator magazine’s "Grand Award", as one of the best in the World. Shortly afterwards, after having
been already nominated in 2000, he was awarded the James Beard Foundation 2003 Award for "Outstanding Wine Service"
After ten great years at the helm of Daniel’s wine program, Jean-Luc decided to try and make it on his own. However, more
interested in wine itself than the restaurant industry, he decided to open his idea of a great wine store in New York City. His dream has finally
come true as he has just opened a temperature controlled wine store in the West Village called Le Dû’s Wines, that features all his favorite
winemakers in a simple, unassuming location. Selections are geared toward artisanal winemakers and wines that are a reflection of their terroir.
Jean-Luc also consults for publications such as Wine & Spirits Magazine (member of advisory tasting panel), Elle Décor and has
written food and wine pairing notes in Daniel Boulud’s “Daniel’s Dish” and “Cooking in New York City”. He has been featured in New York Magazine,
House & Garden and Vogue among others, and in Jay McInnerney’s book “Bacchus & Me” and Karen Page and Andrew Donnenburg “Dining Out”
His other passions are rock music, playing guitar, traveling and photography.