Taste: A Life in Wine
Over his fifty-year career in the wine world, Anthony Terlato has done as much as any single individual to revolutionize the way Americans think about and drink wine.
In a very real sense, Terlato's story is the story of how post-Prohibition America grew to appreciate good wine. It begins with stacking boxes in his father's liquor store on the north side of Chicago, to joining his father-in-law's distribution company and growing it into a national force, to developing relationships with major wine luminaries like Alexis Lichine, Frank Schoonmaker, Angelo Gaja, Robert Mondavi, Baroness de Rothschild, and Michel Chapoutier, to ultimately acquiring and partnering in noted wineries on three continents.
Terlato's motto, "Quality Endures," was the key to his methods, and his success. Though he started out in an era when California wine was shipped in bulk cargoes by rail across the country, to be bottled locally under labels reading "Red" or "White," he realized that helping people understand the link between fine dining and fine wine was the key to increasing their appreciation. He traveled to Italy and France to educate his own palate and prospect for wines that would appeal back home. He realized that working with fine restaurants to develop their wine lists was a way to build interest in better vintages, and began serving lavish gourmet meals out of his headquarters (and developed his own culinary skills - sharing his favorite recipes and wine pairings in this book) to demonstrate to restaurateurs, retailers, and journalists how fine wines complement good food.
Anthony Terlato's story is not the usual CEO narrative of climbing the corporate ladder, nor the usual winemaker's tale of pursuing perfection in a glass. While straddling both of those stories, it also paints in broad strokes how one individual could have an enormous impact on changing Americans' wine-drinking habits. Wine journalist Linda Murphy described Terlato in the San Francisco Chronicle as "one of the most accomplished wine personalities on the planet." Everyone interested in good wine will appreciate this absorbing memoir.
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