A Letter from the Editor-In-Chief: 3 New Contributing Writers Joined Terroir Sense

Michael Apstein MD, Laura Di Pasquale MS and Robert Millman join the writing team at Terroir Sense Wine Review.

These are exciting times for Terroir Sense. Our Terroir Sense Wine Academy, started only this past April, has already launched successfully six different wine courses – the Introductory and Connoisseur (Intermediate) levels of Wines of Italy, Wines of France, and Wines of Burgundy. Six courses in just three months, and more are on the way.

And the Terroir Sense Wine Review, also launched earlier this year, has met with similar positive reactions, interest and praise. Really, it’s humbling to think about all the love and support, not to mention the many words of encouragement that we have received from all corners of the wine world. Thank-you to all, for it is you who make all this possible.

In this light, I am happy to announce that the Wine Review is ready to grow and take on an even bigger role in helping broadcast the efforts of the many families who earn their living through the making, selling and promotion of quality wine, be they wine producers, wine importers, wine retailers, agents, distributors, communicators, educators, restaurateurs, sommeliers…in other words, all of the world’s many fine wine professionals. And so it is my great pleasure to inform you that we have three new Contributing Writers have joined the writing team at Terroir Sense: in alphabetic order, Michael Apstein MD, Laura Di Pasquale MS, and Robert Millman. I have known all three of them for over ten years each and am proud to call these outstanding and expert wine professionals my friends. All my life, I have strived to create a wine community of similarly knowledgeable and passionate wine individuals and always give, and have given, my students and those I have had occasion to associate with in wine a chance to shine and to work alongside me whenever possible. I have the memory of an elephant for this sort of thing. And so here we are.

Michael Apstein MD has written about wine for over three decades, including over 300 wine columns for The Boston Globe newspaper, and in a variety of U.S., Canadian, and U.K. publications, including Decanter, The San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Magazine, and Wine and Spirits. He has been a regular guest commentator on Whitley on Wine, a radio show based in San Diego and broadcast nationally. Over the course of his career, Michael, who is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Division of Gastroenterology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has received numerous awards, including a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award in 2000 the Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne Press Trophy in 2008. Michael will be writing mostly on the wines of Burgundy and the New World, such as Oregon. As an amusing aside, in what is undoubtedly one of life’s little ironies, Michael was my professor when I was a fellow in pediatric gastroenterology at the Harvard Medical School Combined program in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Liver Diseases and Nutrition. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I like and respect Michael and admire his work in the field not just of medicine, but wine.

Laura Di Pasquale MS is one the most accomplished and influential women in the U.S. wine industry today. Currently the Vice President (VP)/General Manager (GM) for the Artisanal Fine Wine Division for Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits (SGWS) – Florida, she is the first female VP/GM in the SGWS network. Prior to joining SGWS Florida, Di Pasquale lead a rapid turn around and expansion of Stacole Fine Wines in Florida, Quality Wines in Georgia and The Country Vintner in South Carolina (she moved to the Country Vintner from Palm Bay International where she had been Vice President of Fine Wine Development). A popular and engaging wine educator, speaker, examiner and judge in regular demand to conduct seminars and tastings at numerous high-profile events such as TexSom, South Beach Food and Wine Festival, New York Food & Wine, and Aspen Food & Wine Classic, she is a regular lecturer and examiner for the Court of Master Sommeliers at all levels and was elected to the Board of Directors of the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2010, serving as the first female Vice-Chair for three years and a Board Member for 5 years. At Terroir Sense, she will focus on the wines of Spain and the Rhône, but will cover other regions as well. Over the years, I have gotten to know Laura and her husband Cesar extremely well and have led or co-led numerous wine events and tastings with her in Italy and the USA. She is quite simply one of the funniest, most intelligent, and knowledgeable people in all wine-dom.

Robert Millman’s wine career began in the early 1980s, when he began working from Morrell & Company, one of the USA’s top wine retailers. During that time, he co-founded Executive Wine Seminars (EWS) with Howard Kaplan, which over the years became one of City of New York (NYC)’s most highly regarded wine events companies. EWS organized and conducted over 1000 wine events during its prestigious thirty-three year history. High points included Robert Parker being a regular guest presenter at the tastings, and through 2011, the results of the tastings were published on the Wine Advocate website. Having reached an age where taking a step back from the wear and tear of life in the wine fast lane made sense, Millman currently enjoys being a taster and wine writer for Grapes the Wine Company, an excellent, leading e-retailer based in Westchester (New York). At Terroir Sense, Bob will focus on the wines of Bordeaux, Austria, France and Germany as well as help me out with the occasional restaurant review. Bob is one of the nicest, most erudite and learned men in wine and I have learned a great deal from him over the years and I am sure you will too.

The three join our Contributing Senior Editor, Jacky Rigaux (based in Burgundy; sociology, history and philosophy of wine and geo-sensorial wine tasting analysis), our Contributing Editor Paolo Basso, and our Contributing Writers Ting DING (based in Paris and who writes on collectible and auction wines), and Echo Miao ZHOU (wines of the New World), along with our assistant Editor Xin CHANG (Wines of Spain and Portugal), Siwei ZHU (co-founder of Terroir Sense and who covers the Wines of Burgundy) and myself (Italy, Alsace, Bordeaux, China, Europe, USA, Canada, restaurant reviews, vertical tastings).

We will try our very best to deliver to you in-depth, timely reviews that are not just informative and useful in increasing wine knowledge and sales, but that will hopefully also be enjoyable to read. Cheers!

Ian D’Agata

Terroir SenseWine Review Editor-in-Chief

Ian D'Agata
Ian D'Agata

Editor-in-Chief of Terroir Sense Wine Review
President of Terroir Sense Academy
Vice President of Association Internationale des Terroirs
Chief Scientific Officer of TasteSpirit

Ian D’Agata has been writing and educating about wines for over thirty years. Internationally recognized as an distinguished expert, critic and writer on many wine regions, his two most recent, award winning books Native Wine Grapes of Italy and Italy's Native Wine Grape Terroirs (both published by University of California Press) are widely viewed as the "state of the art" textbooks on the subject. The former book won the Louis Roederer International Wine Awards Book of the Year in 2015 and was ranked as the top wine books of the year for the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times and the New York Times, while the latter was named among the best wine books of the year by Food & Wine Magazine and the NY Times.

All Articles by the Author
Leave a reply

4 comments
    • Thank-you Richard for your kind wiords, much appreciated. I hope to be able to increase the writing staff and/or contributors as time goes by and we grow successfully. In effect, wine writing is not just about being the second coming of Faulkner, Camus or Pirandello (though it certainly doesn’t hurt), but rather being someone who is truly knowledgeable, credible and respected in the wine community at large. That sort of thing comes with time and experience. Someone might be very well-known in his/her neck of the woods, or have a large body of tasting notes to bank on (who doesn’t, nowadays) but that hardly helps if nobody could care less about what that individual has to say anywhere else outside of his/her immediate neck of the woods. The great thing about Laura, Michael and Robert is that they are not just immensely knowledgeable, but well-known, trusted and well-liked too bythe wine community at large, hence followed. I am sure they will provide TerroirSense readers with the sort of informative, erudite and interesting articles that you and they all expect from us. Let’s stay in touch and see how things develop over the next six-twelve months, thank-you for your kind letter. ian

      • What I find so good is that you bring on board people with ballast and creed. The pleasure I got reading Mr Millman piece on 1970 Bordeaux and his take on 2018’s is heightened by the that this gentleman has been tasting Bdx wines for fifty years. This is both priceless and irreplaceable.
        + You have Jacky Rigaud on your team too… I literally have by my bedside his writings and enjoy so much reflecting on what he distills about Terroir and authenticity.
        Keep corralling all the brightest stars Ian!

Ian D'Agata Ian D'Agata