About Us

The Mission

The mission of taste56 is to demystify and democratize how consumers buy wine in-store and online. taste56 curates the world’s best wines and then gives you the tools to curate perfectly on your own.  Our aim? To make it easy for you to drink only wine that you really love.


The Catalyst

We started taste56 because shopping for wine is intimidating, confusing, and dated.  It was clear to us that there is a better way than what currently exists.

Wine is a dynamic and complicated subject.  There are different grape varieties, terminology, geography, and foreign-sounding brands, making wine an exciting journey on many levels. But with retail navigation both in-stores and online neither intuitive nor educational, the experience is too often frustrating, time-consuming, and riddled with uncertainty—even the fear of looking silly.

Through proprietary digital, physical, and hospitality design we have created a revolutionary  shopping experience whose by-products are approachable education, thoughtful entertainment, and wine-buying solutions, providing you with the lifelong benefit of learning about what kind of wine you personally like, and why.

Our Solution:

Empowerment & Personalization

Unlike the current retail wine world, you no longer have to shop by label, or risk uneven recommendations. taste56 not only curates the world's best wines by the highest-quality producers and importers but also empowers you to curate your own experiences and learn what wine is best for YOU, rather than be told what you should like.

Who We Are

taste56 is an innovative physical and digital retail model that combines uniquely designed stores with tasting rooms that feature a rotating selection of 56 wines organized by our proprietary taxonomy, “Palate Character,”with every wine available to taste. 

Our Palate Character based organizational model makes wine shopping more approachable, intuitive, and navigable than by grape varietal or region—the predominant and flawed approach used by the vast majority of wine retailers today—and neither of which tells you much about what is in the bottle.

Sommelier Level Expertise,
Available To All

taste56 explores how true wine expertise can combine with technology and careful design to unlock wine for the general population. We’ve not only pioneered an approach to digitizing and automating wine expertise, but given you access to the most important determinant of quality—your own palate.

Our sophisticated recommendation system makes personalized recommendations to consumers. Over time, as you rate wines, we’re able to make ever more tailored recommendations based on what you actually like, not varieties you tend to like.

Few things are more experiential than wine—color, body, flavor, smell, even context add to the experience. Wine is a complicated mix of art and science which, on the one hand, makes it dynamic and interesting, but on the other, daunting and unapproachable to most people. taste56 enables you to look behind the curtain and journey through flavor and time. When accompanied by the right guide, wine exploration can be downright magical.

At the core of our Palate Character design is our proprietary algorithm recommendation system which was researched to determine the most important and objective attributes of wine that can most meaningfully predict personal preference.

Digital Expertise

Unlike current web strategies that purport to find wines for your palate using silly questionnaires or biased opinions, our unique approach does not use collective intelligence or assumed relationships between grapes or producers. Rather we employ strategically weighted measures that focus on objective factors with a degree of subjective influence. And, because the algorithm purposely does not include grape variety or producer as an input factor, it means we often find connections that otherwise might be overlooked.

Our wine profiling and recommendation system allows us to taste a wine and numerically represent its characteristics, enabling a computer to make expert recommendations and draw connections between wines at scale. We refer to this as “Digitized Expertise.” Furthermore, the more you use the algorithm, the better we understand your preferences, and the more tailored our recommendations become. Think of it as fashion or music recommendations that are able to reach across the single senses of sight and sound into the mysterious world of your palate.


Our Leadership

Aaron FuscoAaron Fusco

Aaron Fusco

Executive Wine Director

James FantaciJames Fantaci

James Fantaci

Founder & CEO

Sacha AustinSacha Austin

Jerome Noel

Retail General Manager

Sacha AustinSacha Austin

Sacha Austin

Director of Retail