Joe hated getting his picture taken -- he only let me get this shot for our Find. Eat. Drink. article because he was thought it was funny to have his picture taken in front of a "shitty place" where they stored hot dog carts.
And that summarizes Joe -- he did everything his own way. It turns out that his own way was pretty spot on when it came to wine.
He'll be missed for his impact on the wine world and he'll be missed for his interactions. He could always be counted on at a wine tasting - especially a tasting open to the public - to offend, annoy, frustrate and down-right upset someone.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from my wine and food discussion with him:
On real wine: "Real Wine is wine that is concrete; it tastes different. It’s hard to talk about the benefits to the consumer - for example, if someone doesn’t like the taste of liver, it won’t matter how it is prepared. And this is true in art, film, literature, wine, and food - if you like to be challenged and learn beyond your average existence, then you are willing to try different experiences."
On wine writing: "There’s nothing more boring than wine talk. Wine is about inspiration, why reduce wine to boredom. Wine discussions are not sustainable. Wine is interesting, writing about it is not. I’d rather know what a wine maker is reading or what movies he enjoys."
On wine drinkers: "People tend to express their personality at the table and drinking wine. If you are pretentious in life, your pretensions will show up at the table. You are what you eat/drink and you eat/drink what you are."
On the local food movement: "I hate that shit. America really doesn’t have a history of a food culture - it is still finding its way."
I used Mother In Law's Kimchi which is a wonderful, natural product made in New York. You open the jar and it start to bubble - doesn't get more natural than that. They note on the label that like a blue cheese, the kimchi will age.
The kimchi slaw, made with kimchi, mayonnaise, lemon juice and mint, is simple to made and adds a spicy, tangy, crunch to the burger.
The burger recipe seemed to be like a meatball recipe with eggs and breadcrumbs included, but it turned out juicy and meaty - just how you want your burger.