February 26, 2008
Crash Course in Wine Appreciation

Sacramento grocer Darrell Corti is in Portugal, searching for Port, but the trek was scheduled before a car tore into the wine department of his Corti Brothers store last week, destroying about 40 bottles, including some Port.

The damage could have been more extensive, but the driver, shoppers and staff all escaped injury. The driver thought she had the car in reverse instead of drive when she hit the accelerator. "This isn't the first time this has happened," says store manager Rick Mindermann.

As the car shot through glass windows alongside the front door it struck a large and ancient clay amphora once used to hold olive oil, sending it into stacks of everyday wine and lockers of rarer releases, especially Madeiras and Ports. The most valuable bottle lost was an 1869 Madeira with a price sticker of $869, said Mindermann. A $500 bottle of rum also was destroyed.

The store remains open, but it will take another several weeks for a new front door to be custom made, said Mindermann. By then, Corti is to be back and the shelves replenished with Port.

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