My Friend: Jean-Luc Le Dû

I’m still in disbelief that Jean Luc is gone, he just asked me for tickets for our Led Zeppelin show at Carnegie. Jean-Luc was one of the first true counsels helping me rationalize the concept of City Winery. I walked into his store in 2006 knowing the great sommelier from Daniel was teaching intimate classes in the back, so I took a few, hoping to both meet some potential investors for my new concept and learn more about wine. After the second or third seminar, I approached Monsier Le Du timidly if he had a few minutes to talk about an idea, when he asked me “if I was the same Michael Dorf from the Knitting Factory.” Before I said, “Well yes,” he started rattling off shows he had seen, lineups of bands from Sonic Youth to J Mascis, that I could not remember. His passion for music and depth of being a deep rock-and-roll fan were beyond me—perhaps intimidating. Within 10 minutes he invited me to dinner and we went off swapping stories. I traded him some good old Knit stories for some tidbits of wine knowledge. Over the years we became close friends, and along with mutual friend Bob Gruen attended many a concert and tasting together. Eventually, I proposed the idea of the Bob Gruen and Jean-Luc Le Du wine pairing, taking Bob’s iconic photos and Jean-Luc’s articulate wit to connect the appropriate wine with the photo. We premiered it for our management team at one of our offsite meetings. We then did it for the public and another adventure started. The countless bottles of wines shared and storytelling around a glass will be so missed. It does not seem right that he is gone, he is younger than I, had such energy and zest for life, it makes no sense. He was a French Mensch. Cannot understand. You are already missed pal!! -Michael DorfJean-Luc Le Du 3