Interview with New York City Rising Star Daniel Beedle of Indian Accent

by D. J. Costantino
February 2017

D. J. Costantino: What’s your philosophy on wine pairing?
Daniel Beedle:
I look at the history of the dish and the wine, how they go together in context. I love having context. Food is cerebral, and I like tying history into pairings. I like finding different temperatures and weights andpairing things you wouldn’t normally find.

DC: What’s your most important pairing rule?
DB:
No rules. It’s not math or physics. Whatever tastes best has always worked for me.

DC: What was the biggest challenge in taking the job at Indian Accent?
DB:
Indian food was completely different. It’s been around for 4,000 years without alcohol, and the cuisine took different shapes without alcohol. Fat and yogurts counter the spice and tannins, for example. I like looking at modern trends, like racy, dry, high acid wines. With ancient cuisine, you need historical perspective, and breaking into that is challenging. 

DC: What resources do you use?
DB:
My strength is in history, and I have a degree in biochemistry from the University of Oregon. History shows us why we have the wines that we have today. I have over 700 books at home, and if I’m not sitting for the Masters, I’ll spend that money to buy books on Amazon. 

DC: What do you keep in your cellar at home?
DB:
I don’t have a big cellar, but I do have a collection of Serpico magnums from Campania at home.

DC: What’s your approach to the wine list at the restaurant?
DB:
I have to make sure everyone gets what they want. We have the biggest by-the-glass selection of Madeira in New York City. Every meal begins with a Madeira. When I started, I never thought I’d sell a drop of Madeira, but now we sell anywhere from 15 to 17 glasses a night.

DC: What’s your current favorite wine region?: 
DB:
Corsica

DC: What’s the most overrated varietal?
DB:
I love them all. It’s really the winemakers who make wines overrated relative to their value. 

DC: And the most underrated varietal: 
DB:
Sercial

DC: What wine region would you most like to visit? 
DB:
Madeira