Terry Theise

terry-theise

“Of all the importers I know, Theise is the only one whose id is directly connected to his mouth” -Eric Asimov, New York Times Wine Critic

Terry Theise has been a wine importer and writer for thirty years. His first love is German Riesling which was once a staple at the finest tables in America but had been largely forgotten when Terry began working with a group of small German growers in 1985. Twenty years ago he discovered vastly underappreciated and underrepresented Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, St. Laurent, Blaufränkisch (and even more obscure varieties) from top growers in Austria. Due in no small part to Terry’s work, the landscape of Austrian wine in the United States has shifted from nonexistent to classic, noble, and necessary. A decade and a half ago his love of honest and compelling wines from small growers brought him to Champagne. Terry assembled a portfolio of Grower Champagnes – a category that then hardly existed – and it remains today without equal.

Terry’s approach is vastly divergent from that of many of his colleagues. The growers he works with and the wines he selects must speak to something genuine and real beyond their basic flavor. His wines have in common a distinct character, a point of view, vitality, and a voice. They express the land, the grower, and the time in which they were made. These wines convey to the drinker a sense of beauty, harmony, meaning, and above all pleasure.

Terry’s viewpoint opens a door to a different world of wine, one that does not disconnect this agricultural ‘product’ from its human and emotional element. He speaks his mind openly and without hesitation, connecting his ideas about wine, life, sex, philosophy – even mysticism. While his writing is vivid, colorful, and wildly entertaining (think Monty Python meets George Carlin), the message is clear and essential.

Terry Theise’s philosophy is displayed on the first page of his annual catalogs: Beauty is more important than impact. Harmony is more important than intensity. The whole of any wine must always be more than the sum of its parts. Distinctiveness is more important than conventional prettiness. Soul is more important than anything, and soul is expressed as a trinity of family, soil, and artisanality. Lots of wines, many of them good wines, let you taste the noise. But only the best let you taste the silence.

The Man, the Myth, the Legend! If it is true that the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom, Terry Theise has been there and back. A brief perusal of his writing makes it quickly apparent that the man has no reservations about conveying his thoughts and feelings on wine, life, sex, philosophy and general cosmology. In Terry’s world, it’s all inter-related. So, without further ado, we encourage you to jump headlong into the wonderful world of Terry Theise German, Austrian and Champagne Estate Selections. Prepare yourself for a psychotropic experience.

The Theise Manifesto

  • Beauty is more important than impact.
  • Harmony is more important than intensity.
  • The whole of any wine must always be more than the sum of its parts.
  • Distinctiveness is more important than conventional prettiness.
  • Soul is more important than anything, and soul is expressed as a trinity of family, soil, and artisanality.

Terry Theise Press

  • Terry Theise On the Price of Wine
    -seriouseats.com, July 11, 2011
  • An Essay: Beauty in the Ashes
    -winereviewonline.com, August 14, 2007
  • Eric Asimov On the Terry Theise catalogs
    -The New York Times, August 8, 2007
  • A Decadent Proposal
    -Seattle Weekly, July 2007
  • A Decadent Proposal
    -Seattle Weekly, February 2007
  • Sexy Germans By the Bottle
    -New York Sun, February 2007
  • From Scandal to Stardom:Austrian Wines Bounce Back
    -Boston Spirit Magazine, January 2007
  • A Sweet Dream From Germany
    -Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2006
  • Join Jay-Z and Try Hip Sparklers From Small Growers: Champagne
    -Bloomberg, November 2006
  • Adventures in Wonderland: A Look Through the Champagne Glass
    -Las Vegas Food & Beverage Magazine, August 2006
  • The Definition of Fun: An Interview with Terry Theise
    -winereviewonline.com, September 19, 2006
  • Wine & Spirits Magazine: Socratic Dialogue Between Two Hapless Geeks
    -Wine & Spirits Magazine, Fall 2006
  • New York Times: Austrian Wines Have a Voice, and It’s Excited
    -New York Times, July 19, 2006
  • Forbes Magazine Online: Thrifty Summer Sippers
    -Forbes.com, May 2006
  • New York Times: Rieslings from Germany Scale the Heights
    -New York Times, April 12, 2006