Israeli wine expert's death marked with farewell letter

A writer revered as Israel's top wine expert has lost his battle with a long illness.

Daniel Rogov, who was one of the most influential figures in Israel's wine community, was in his 70s.

He was a food and wine critic for Haaretz newspaper and known for his annual Guide to Israeli wines, published since 2005.

Born David Jaroff in Brooklyn to Russian immigrant parents, he moved to Israel on 1976 and took on a pseudonym when he began his journalistic career.

His death was announced online in a pre-written letter. In it, Mr Rogov said that "simply disappearing" was not his style, so he felt it necessary to offer some words of "farewell".

He said that during his illness, he "very much appreciated the support that I was given by my readers, friends, people in the wine trade and my colleagues, much of which was kind enough to bring a tear to my eye".

He added: "As to food and wine, I have written about those over the years out of a sense of deep love and devotion, that both emotional and intellectual.

"As I hope I have made known, wine and food to me are not simply things that enter our body. They are a reflection of our anthropology, history, psychology, social needs and, of course pleasure."

    Last updated: 1:48pm, September 8 2011