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Current topics, themes, musings and travel notes

May 12, 2023

Super Darrell

How the Sacramento grocer developed his global influence and following

It’s been said that California grocer Darrell Corti knows more about food and wine than the rest of us, which I think is true.

He also has a quick mind and encyclopedic memory that put younger people to shame.

And he’s built his knowledge and influence from the most unlikely of places – his family’s Corti Brothers market on Sacramento’s east side – a temple to a bygone era family run supermarkets with its vintage trappings: the linoleum floors, the old school signage and food shelves and Darrell who shows up to work every day in his tie and blue pressed smock.

On my recent trip to California, I visited The Wizard of all things food and wine to talk about many of his areas of influence from Barolo to Balsamic vinegar; from olive oil to a whiskey collection that includes Prohibition era hooch (complete with Doctor’s prescriptions). For more see my Robert Camuto Meets….column at wine spectator.

Corti with a bottle of sweet fortified 1875 Angelica Wine bottled during Prohibition from the "Private Stock" of Banker and philanthopist Isaias W. Hellman. Behind him is Corti Brothers General Manager Rick Mindermann.