With no great background in wine, Joe started importing wine and formed the company with his wife (whose maiden name is Louis) after spending much time in his wife's native Burgundy. Joe's philosophy and guiding principles in choosing producers to work with are fairly straighforward. He looks for natural viticulture and non-interventionist winemaking, eschewing the industrial methods that have taken over much of the winemaking world. One of a kind, Joe did not suffer fools easily and could be quite caustic. Known for his vitriolic comments, neither tact nor diplomacy were his most obvious qualities. While I never met Joe, over the years I had occasion to communicate through both email and phone. I remember fondly the first time we exchanged words. It was shortly after I started writing for The Kitchn. I had tasted a wonderful Loire red wine and I wanted to include it in my upcoming post. As the producer did not seem to have a website, I emailed Joe Dressner to see if he might have some images of the wine that he could send me (I was not yet so adept at taking bottle shots myself). Within minutes I had a response (aka my 'first' encounter with Joe). The email, which I have slightly paraphrased was brief. It read "Yes, we are the importer but we do not have a library of bottle images. The producer in question does not have a digital camera or a DSL connection. We would be happy to lend you a bottle if you would return it to us." To be honest I was a little taken aback, not so much by the unavailability of images, but by the idea that he might have thought that I just wanted to get a free sample of this wine, which actually retailed for less than $20. Before I had a chance to respond he called me on my cell phone. His telephone manner was as direct and somewhat intimidating. Slightly nervous, I thanked him for his response, delicately pointing out that I really did not need to 'borrow' a bottle of the wine, as I had already purchased several of them. I tried to explain that the issue was my not-so-good camera skills. As we conversed, his tone softened and, he became more conversational. As he talked I learned more about the wine and producer than I could ever have picked up from any website or technical sheet. That was Joe's way. The simple, old-fashioned way that actually still works. Joe Dressner is certainly not someone who courted the media. His sole focus was his producers and selling their wines as best, he could. While 'Louis/Dressner Selections' is by no way among the largest US (or even New York) wine importers, its wines command a disproportionate amount of sommelier, retailer and wine writer attention, love and respect. While Joe Dressner may no longer be with us, his company and its wines are very much alive and well. So, if you seem those three little words on a wine label 'Louis Dressner Selections' you can be sure of a wine with an real identity and an indelible sense of place.