Book Review: Taste—A Life in Wine



By John ~ May 29th, 2009.

I love a good autobiography because you not only have a good read but you also learn something about real people and the real world.

"Taste--A Life in Wine" by Anthony TerlatoAnthony Terlato is chairman of Terlato Wines International and Terlato Wine Group and has been involved in the wine industry for over 50 years. Formerly known as Paterno Imports, Terlato Wines International is one of the leading importers and marketers of fine wines from around the world in the United States. Over the years, Terlato has played a very important part in introducing fine Italian wines to America.

Taste—A Life in Wine is the story of Anthony Terlato’s life, his many years in the wine business, and his close relationships with wine legends such as Michel Chapoutier, Angelo Gaja, Alexis Lichine, Robert Mondavi, Philippine de Rothschild, and Frank Schoonmaker.

At a time when most wine was still shipped coast-to-coast in containers marked simply “red” or “white,” Terlato saw a different future for wine by emphasizing wine quality, quality labeling, and bringing his wines into restaurants. While you find Pinot Grigio at restaurants everywhere today, especially in Italian restaurants, Terlato tells how he discovered Santa Margherita, the wine that introduced Pinot Grigio to the United States.

“It’s almost impossible to overestimate Anthony Terlato’s importance to the American wine scene. While most Americans don’t know his name, they are opening millions of his bottles.” –Marvin Shanken, Wine Spectator

Because of our strong belief in the value of blind tastings here at Wine Peeps, I found it reassuring when Terlato talked about how he and his salesmen were using blind tastings of wines when no other salesmen were calling on their accounts with bottles of wine in hand. I also found his philosophies on hiring employees and running a business very creative and very smart. And I took note when he described his method of evaluating winemakers:

“You can tell the great winemakers by how good their wines are in poor vintage years.”

Today, Terlato Wines International is involved in every aspect of the fine wine business: producing, importing, exporting, and marketing wine across the globe. If you have an interest in wine, I believe that you will enjoy the story of Anthony Terlato, a genuine American wine legend.


Filed under: Italian Wine, Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, Wine Books

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