Darrell Corti is the second-generation of Cortis to run Corti Brothers, the eponymous store founded in 1947 by his father, Frank, and his uncle, Gino. But to call Darrell Corti a grocer, though he often refers to himself that way, is to say Luciano Pavarotti had a nice voice. Darrell Corti is a neighborhood businessman who has a palate with international finesse.
Raised in Sacramento, California, he started working at Corti Brothers when he was a teenager. His first full-time job was managing the wine department. Initially, Corti Brothers sold primarily table or "everyday" wines. Then, in 1967, Darrell Corti began traveling to seek out wines from all over the world, and started to build Corti Brothers’ Italian wine section. By 1972, Corti Brothers was the first store in the United States to sell the "Super Tuscan" Sassicaia: with a public used to sweeter Italian wines, it was a hard sell.
Today Darrell Corti is known primarily as a wine expert: he’s been selling wine for over 36 years. He is a sought-after judge in wine competitions and tasting panels. He writes knowledgeably about food and wine in the newsletter he started over 40 years ago, long before there was such a word as "blog."
In 2008, Darrell Corti was inducted into The Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame. For his work as a goodwill ambassador of Italian food and wine, he was knighted Cavaliere della Repubblica by the Italian government. Darrell Corti was also inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America in 1989.