Corti Brothers

 Happy Spring to all our customers. It appears we are improving!

                                                                         Darrell Corti

Our apologies for the delay in publishing our Spring Newsletter. Our container from Italy containing the Easter Colomba and Veneziana cakes experienced a 26 day delay due to severe west coast port congestion. They were scheduled to arrive at the beginning of March. It has finally arrived and they are now in stock.


Just as panettone means Christmas in Italian culture, the COLOMBA means Easter. This is a baked cake, in a rather odd shape, that of a flying dove, seen from an angle. It is made with a mother sponge, raised dough, to which candied citrus fruit is added, and the top is decorated with either whole almonds from Sicily or hazelnuts from Piemonte. Beside being a festive cake, it also has myriad uses after Easter as the base for fresh fruit desserts, where the Colomba acts as the base for almost every kind of sliced and sugared fruit teamed with whipped cream, or whipped cream blended with some Mascarpone, a bit of sugar, and some vanilla. The Colomba, sliced horizontally acts as the pastry base in this case.

Here are our selections from that most genial baker, Dario Loison.


CLASSICA: with candied Sicilian orange peel and almonds on top, unfilled, wrapped $28.99 (#5200)

SENZA CANDITI: without candied fruit, just almonds and sugar topping, wrapped $27.99 (#5201)

LIMONE: with a lemon cream filling, wrapped $29.99 (#5202)

ALLO ZABAIONE: with zabaione (sabayon) cream filling wrapped $29.99 (#5203)

A.D. 1552: with Sicilian orange peel, almonds, boxed, 750g boxed $26.99 (#5204)

PESCA e NOCCIOLE: with candied peach bits and hazelnut topping, boxed $33.79 (#5205)

AL MANDARINO DI CIACULLI: with Palermo’s mandarino peel, boxed $32.99 (#5206)

AMARENE e CANELLA: with Amarena cherries and cinnamon, boxed $30.19 (#5207)

CAMOMILLA e LIMONE: Roman chamomile flower, Sorrento lemon peel, boxed $30.19 (#5208)

A.D. 1552 LATTA: in collector’s box, Fabergé egg design $34.99 (#5209)

REGAL CIOCCOLATO: mono-origin chocolate and chocolate cream, boxed $31.99 (#5210)

CLASSICA MAGNUM: cellophane wrapped, ribbon, 2 Kilo size $49.89 (#5211)

The VENEZIANA: Venice’s “year-round cake” similar to the Colomba, traditional all year in the Venice area.


CLASSICA : with butter, almonds, four spices, boxed, 550g $22.89 (#5212)

ALL’ ALPIANE: with raisins plumped with Vignalta’s passito Alpiane, wrapped, kilo $29.99 (#5213)

AL MANDARINO DI CIACULLI: with Palermo’s mandarino, boxed, 550g $20.99 (#5214)

AL PISTACCHIO DI BRONTE: with Bronte pistachio cream filling, boxed, 550g $27.99 (#5215)

ALBICOCCA e SPEZIE: with candied Po Valley apricots, ginger, and spices, boxed, 550g $24.79 (#5216)

FOCACCIA MANDORLATA: no candied fruit, with almond topping, wrapped, ribbon 750g $19.89 (#5217)



We have added this year a specialty from Loison bakery that was created in 1930s by Dario Loison’s grandfather: it is a type of FILONE, an elongated, baguette shaped loaf with candied fruit and raisins that is similar to, but not the same dough, as panettone. It is a soft, leavened cake with candied fruit and raisins glazed with a hazelnut glaze. It can be sliced and enjoyed or sliced and toasted. Either way, it is delicious and shows what deliciousness can come from thinking outside of the box. Four versions, all boxed, 450g


FRUITS ( Raisins and orange peel) $15.99 each (#5218)

PEARS and SPICES (Candied pears, raisins, and spices) $15.99 each (#5219

LIMONE (Amalfi lemon peel, raisins and IGP Piemonte hazelnut glaze) $17.39    each (#5220)

LATE CIACULLI MANDARIN (Ciaculli mandarin and raisins, IGP hazelnut glaze) $17.39 each (#5221)


COLOMBA AL BRACHETTO d’ACQUI COCCHI: A new iteration of the classic

Similar to the COCCHI PANETTONE AL VERMOUTH, the geniuses at both Albertengo (the baker) and Cocchi (the winemaker) have created an Easter Colomba made with COCCHI BRACHETTO d’ ACQUI. Much like the very popular Panettone al Vermouth Cocchi, the Colomba is the Easter version of this marriage. The wine is used to macerate the fruit in the cake and then added to the dough.

COLOMBA AL BRACHETTO d’ACQUI kilo size, wrapped, $36.89 (#5222)

BRACHETTO d’ACQUI is an “amabile” red wine made from grapes of the same variety. This is a very old variety in Piemonte, almost lost because it fell out of style. It is grown only a limited area in Piemonte in the area of ACQUI TERME and most always made as a frothy light red wine with the most fragrant of rose-like scents and light sweetness. Brachetto now is one of, if not the most expensive grape variety grown in Italy. The fresh fruit sells for more money than nebbiolo grapes for making Barolo. The grapes are bought by the kilo.

Brachetto is a variety that was very much sought after during the 18th and early 19th centuries, and with the rise of other varieties, and changing wine styles, it was relegated to a minor role in the area of the Monferrato and Alessandria. Acqui Terme is a very old “spa” town with famous water and its Brachetto. Brachetto is now back in vogue and rightly so. Normally, vinified like a moscato, it needs to be left fragrantly sweet and with a gentle mousse in the mouth. Its distinct rose-like scent makes it a splendid accompaniment to dessert or as a morning or afternoon bottle of wine that is surprisingly delicious and “more-ish.” It sings “Springtime” full force!

COCCHI BRACHETTO d’ ACQUI SPUMANTE 7% $21.99 750ml (#5223) $237.00 cs/12 (#5223C)

Note:The un-linked items in the newsletter are not available for purchase on our website. If you are interested in any of those items, please phone or email us your request.    916-736-3800 or 800-509-Food


Here are two wines from a friend and grower in the Alto Adige, the German speaking part of Italy. The Alto Adige and Trentino form a unit in the north-east central part of the Italian peninsula between Lombardy and the Veneto. This is the part of Italy that before WWI, was part of Austria. Renown for its white wines, the Alto Adige made Pinot Grigio famous in Italy and the world. It also has pockets where other varieties grow exceptionally well.

My friend, Peter Dipoli, both an apple grower and vineyardist (and importer) has made his own wines for more than a quarter of a century. It should be known that Peter’s company, Fine Wines, was the first in the Alto Adige to import California wines to the Alto Adige and then to friends in Austria and Germany. This was the result of several trips here, made in winter when Peter came to search for California wines that he liked and wanted to bring back to his private and restaurant customers, both Italian and German speaking.

VOGLAR was his first wine production in 1990. A Sauvignon Blanc made to be a unique style, fermented and aged in acacia wood foudres, this is Sauvignon Blanc as Peter conceives it. It is not the sharp, highly scented style as in New Zealand nor the smokey style as in Sancerre. Definitely not the California style, but something that uses all of the permutations of the variety to make a wine that ages well and is definitely Sauvignon. Actually it is an amalgam of recognized flavors this variety is capable of. A novel take on the variety is that it grows at high altitude, giving both flavor and acid, which allows the wine to age very well. It is never sold as a young wine. It is given both wood age and then the all important bottle age of at least a year before release to round out the wine’s flavor and to give it its special character. This is a “sui generis” Sauvignon Blanc that truly merits your attention!

IUGUM (pronounced “you-gum”) is a red blend of the two Bordeaux varieties Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. These are “yoked” together, (iugum means yoke) so that they each play a part in the wine’s “whole.” The label shows a pair of oxen yoked together. This is also not your normal Merlot/Cab blend. The vineyard is planted to 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet. The wines are vinified separately and then blended, further aged in wood, and then aged for another definite period in bottle before release, so that when you taste the wine, it has been given a minimum of 2 years bottle age that makes the wine a very special “Bordeaux” blend, made in Italy. The first vintage was 1995.

Both soil types and concept lend special character to Merlot and Cabernet in the altitude and climate of the hills that make up the Alto Adige area of Magrè. With perpetual snow at the mountain tops, the Adige River at the bottom, this area can ripen Merlot and Cabernet extremely well, if at very different times. Iugum is not a red wine for the faint of heart. However, it does amply repay all the efforts put into growing, making, and aging it.

DIPOLI VOGLAR 2017 13% $32.49 750ml (#5224) $350.00 cs/12 (#5224C)

DIPOLI IUGUM 2015 (80M/20CS) 14.5% $56.99 750ml (#5225) $615.00 cs/12 (#5225C)

Note:The un-linked items in the newsletter are not available for purchase on our website. If you are interested in any of those items, please phone or email us your request.    916-736-3800 or 800-509-Food

TERMS OF SALE: This list supersedes all others. All taxable items, such as wine, beer, spirits, books will be taxed at the rate of 8.75%. This is for all sales since we sell in California. Foodstuffs are not taxable. Shipping will be charged at prevailing rates. PLEASE NOTE: In extreme weather, either hot or cold, please give us a shipping address where your order may be properly received and stored. Corti Brothers cannot be responsible for items left without protection.


There are few red grape varieties that make a wine that is so quaffable and delicious as SCHIAVA a variety tried in California in the 1890s and never looked at again. It has another name, VERNATSCH, which leads researchers in these matters to opine that it comes from the east, outside of Italy, since schiava means “slave.”

The vernatsch part may mean that it comes from “vernacular” meaning that it was a local variety. Another meaning is that it was a variety that needed a support, a “slave” like a pole to hold it up. It is not just one variety, but a family. (Should you want the real story, please see pp 970-975 in Wine Grapes, by Robinson, Vouillamoz, Hardin.)

However, this is a very versatile variety that is extremely satisfying, especially in warmer weather, since it doesn’t mind being chilled in order to be appreciated when it is warm and you really want a red wine.

The best of this variety is Grauervernatsch or Schiava Grigia. The vineyard site is SONNTALER. The variety is now getting to be rare in the Alto Adige area which made it famous. We still have a small amount of the 2017 Schiava Grigia from the exceptional producer in Cortaccia, the cooperative cellar of Kurtatsch.

Distinctively red in color, scented with berries and loamy soil, flavory and fruity, yet not excessively so, this is a red wine that pleases and refreshes at the same time. Tannin is there, just not so noticeable and makes the wine more-ishly drinkable. This is the last production from the cellar since the vineyard is now gone.

KURTATSCH SCHIAVA GRIGIA SONNTALER 2017 12.5% $17.99 750ml (#5226) $97.00 cs/6 (#5226C)

Note:The un-linked items in the newsletter are not available for purchase on our website. If you are interested in any of those items, please phone or email us your request.    916-736-3800 or 800-509-Food



In January of 2020, our tea merchant from Hong Kong, Wing-chi IP from Lock Cha Tea Company, came to California for the Global Tea Symposium at UC Davis and brought me a sample of his latest project which was Lock Cha BEER, a PALE ALE, brewed with an infusion of PHOENIX OOLONG tea, or in Chinese Dan Cong, the production of which I had visited in 2019. As a pale ale it is fragrant with the scent of light malt and Phoenix Oolong. It is a new and fresh brew of Hong Kong–a perfect marriage between tea and beer, the two most popular drinks of the world. The match is remarkably tasty with the aromatic flavor and scent of the Phoenix Oolong which lends an appropriate harmonious scent and flavor to this pale ale. Alcohol is 5%.IBU 17

The fullest bodied, tea influenced beer is the PU-ER ENGLISH STYLE STRONG ALE at 6.3% alcohol.
Pu-er is the other name for the typical Cantonese tea also called BOLEI, which imparts a distinct mellow character and a bittersweet aftertaste to the earthy notes of the English hops used and the toffee-like, complex malt structure. This is more of a food beer–compared to the sessionable pale ale. IBU 43

JASMINE GREEN TEA WHEAT BEER is made in the “Hoegaarden style” with a high proportion of wheat in the brewing. Summer jasmine scented green tea substitutes for the flavorings in the “Wit” formula. The wheat gives a silky texture and the tea a refreshing, floral component. Delicious in warm weather. 4.5% IBU 10

Curiously, these beers are not at all out of character from the Chinese point of view. Some of the earliest “wine” found in China has been beer type products flavored with fruits, aromatic leaves and yes, sometimes tea. LOCK CHA is merely resurrecting some of China’s potable history. Shipped refrigerated, please store refrigerated.

Phoenix Oolong Pale Ale $4.99 330ml can +CRV (#5227) $19.00– 4 pack +CRV (#5227C)
Pu-er English Style Strong Ale $5.29 330ml can +CRV (#5228) $21.00– 4 pack +CRV (#5228C) Jasmine Green Tea Wheat Beer $4.99 330ml can +CRV (#5229) $19.00– 4 pack +CRV (#5229C)

Note:The un-linked items in the newsletter are not available for purchase on our website. If you are interested in any of those items, please phone or email us your request.    916-736-3800 or 800-509-Food


GRISSINI, or in Piemontese dialect, “grìssín” or what Napoleon called “ Les petits bâtonnes de Turin” are probably THE elemental item on the Piemontese table. You get them wrapped in a napkin everywhere in the Region when you sit down at table. They can be very thin or finger thick. The important thing is that they be well baked and crispy. MASTROCESARE GRISSINI are from a bakery tied to the Piemonte Eccelenza Artigiana group which accepts producers with only an exceptional artisanal quality product reputation.

This typical artisanal grissino (the singular) maker is a bakery in Piemonte called MASTROCESARE. This bakery founded in the early 1900s in Borgomanero, in the province of Novara, now supplies us with its grissini. Grissini are indispensable for just nibbling at table and necessary to accompany cold meats, wrap prosciutto around, accompany cheese as an antipasto, with salads, and I enjoy them for dipping into Greek taramasalta. There are two which I particularly enjoy and in order: the plain one, called RUSTIC, and then the SESAME seeded one. But the RUSTIC is possibly the best I have tasted in this country. Both come in 7.05 oz bags and will keep over some time and you should not buy just one bag! They are enticingly delicious and one is always regretting not having more when a bag is opened and finished.


RUSTIC 7.05 oz bags $5.99 (#5230)  ~ Case of 6 $32.00 (#5230C)

SESAME 7.05 oz bags $5.99 (#5231) ~ Case of 6 $32.00 (#5231C)


I wrote about this rice in our Fall 2020 newsletter and it sold out. A new shipment has just arrived, and it is ready to supply all those customers who have been clamoring for it since last Fall. Not only has the Covid pandemic made life difficult, it has made international shipping a nightmare. But we have finally received a new shipment of KHAZANA SMOKED BASMATI. We have also bought the KHAZANA ULTRA BASMATI, which is just natural rice and which is one of the longest elongating Basmati on the market. Since 2016 Basmati has a G.I., or Geographical Indication. The word “Basmati” is from a Sanskrit word, through Hindi, meaning “Queen of Fragrance.”

KHAZANA SMOKED BASMATI elongates, but does not widen. It is astoundingly pleasant in the mouth when cooked-fluffy and savory, with an impressive texture due to its elongation. Some grains elongate to 3/4 of an inch or more.

The KHAZANA ULTRA, which is not smoked, but is a selection of Basmati, has the distinct scented quality of the rice which is a compound known as 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, but elongates even further than the smoked version, about 5/8ths of an inch.

The easiest method of preparing both of these Basmati rices is to measure the amount you want to use, washing in a strainer until the water runs clear, and then soaking with cold water for about an hour. Drain the rice from its soaking water and put into the cooking pot. Add enough clean water to come to about the level of your index finger’s first joint. Add some salt and a pat of butter. Bring to a boil and let cook until tiny craters form on the surface of the rice. Turn heat off and place the pot lid, covered with a clean cloth, to absorb the steam. Let rest for about fifteen minutes. Do not uncover! Then fluff with a fork and serve.

KHAZANA SMOKED BASMATI 2 pound resealable bags $5.99 (#5232)

Case of 6 $32.00 (#5232C)

KHAZANA ULTRA BASMATI 2 pound resealable bags $5.99 (#5233)

Case of 6 $32.00 (#5233C)

QUINTA da FONTE SOUTO Branco 2017 or 2018: The Symington Family’s newest winery in Portugal.
This winery is in the highest section of the vast middle part of Portugal, its ALENTEJO. The Quinta is in the Alto Alentejo, roughly much like California’s Sierra Foothills: warm during the day and cool at night. Quinta da Fonte Souto (the chestnut grove spring farm) produces both red and white wines, but it is the white wine that interests me particularly. Why? Because it is made with two Portuguese white grape varieties which we have in California, and this wine could be a model for a new California production. It is a blend of ARINTO 75% and VERDELHO 25%, both varieties now grown in California. Arinto, grown in Amador County, is the variety producing BUCELAS, known as Lisbon “Hock,” in London in the 19th century due to its high acidity. VERDELHO is grown in the Clarksburg, Lodi, and Sierra Foothills areas. With the Fonte Souto white, you can taste what the blend can produce. It has a very distinct style without any wood overlay and is something eminently doable in California. Why would we do it? Just look at what France taught us about Chardonnay and where it got us!

The Symingtons, famous for their Port properties, bought this estate in the spring of 2017. So their first vintage was 2017. We have a bit of this vintage and the next release, 2018. This is not a white wine that gets to market right away since it needs some age to develop flavor and character. I am very impressed with this blend and we will offer the 2018 vintage (5 bottles) and the 2017 (1 bottle) just so our customers can see the development trajectory. Fonte Souto Branco right now shows lovely wine making and a sensitive touch. It reminds me very much of some Hunter Valley Semillons or middle range white burgundy in flavor and character, with freshness, complexity, elegance, and the promise of great longevity. Enough said!

I think our customers should try Fonte Souto Branco, just to see the possibilities of an emerging new wine world from what was never a highly considered viticultural area. It just takes someone to lead the way.


2017 14% $24.79 750ml (#5234) $133.00 case/6 (#5234C) Quantities Limited

2018 14% $24.79 750ml (#5235) $133.00 case/6 (#5235C) Quantities Limited

Note:The un-linked items in the newsletter are not available for purchase on our website. If you are interested in any of those items, please phone or email us your request.    916-736-3800 or 800-509-Food



THE GOOD STUFF with Janet McDonald has just finished making the Five Citrus Marmalade from fruit from my backyard. There is less than last year due to Mother Nature, so I would like to limit sales to 6 jars per customer to allow it to go to more fans of this marmalade. This year the blend is slightly different, being: Citron, Blood Orange, Bergamot, Meyer Lemon, and Chinotto. Slightly milder in flavor than last year, it will age very well and shows more the delicate flavor of citron. The bergamot is also a little lower in flavor and aroma than last year.

CORTI BROTHERS FIVE CITRUS MARMALADE 2021$9.99 jar (#5237)       Limit 6 jars per customer. Quantities Limited


“Riesling in magnums, you say.” Well, yes, why not. If probably the best size for maturing red wines is a magnum bottle, why not for riesling. I believe the first time I saw a riesling magnum was about ten years ago. Curiously, German winemakers never before had bottled magnums of their white wine. Half bottles, yes, but not 1.5 liter sizes. It would be an interesting question to pose to German producers. Now, even trockenbeerenauslese is bottled in magnums!

But since German riesling ages so beautifully, an aged magnum is probably what a party of four or definitely of six, needs to satisfy. Rather than two bottles, a magnum provides a finely matured wine that should delight anyone. Corti Brothers has a good selection of maturing German rieslings in magnums which both entice and satisfy that desire to enjoy riesling when the weather warms up. I can’t imagine a lunch or dinner with spring asparagus without one of these bottles. Plus a magnum shows that you really want your guests to try a wine at its optimum. As I write this, it seems that there are few comforts to be had at this time. Things will change. And is it not a comfortable thought to be able to sit at table with a delicious double bottle of mature riesling.

Corti Brothers can offer these magnum bottlings in the following wines:

2016 Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Riesling Spätlese, $109.99 (#5238)
2013 Schloss Schönborn, Hochheimer Domdechaney Riesling Spätlese, feinherb, $166.99 (#5239)
2016 Wirsching Iphöfer Kalb Silvaner, Erste Lage, $64.99 (#5240)
2017 Wirsching Iphöfer Kalb Silvaner, Erste Lage, $47.29 (#5241)
2016 Schäfer-Fröhlich, Felseneck Riesling Kabinet, $84.99 (#5242)
2016 Schäfer-Fröhlich Felseneck Riesling Spätlese $99.99 (#5243)
2016 Schäfer-Fröhlich Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling, Grosses Gewächs $165.99 (#5244)
2016 Schäfer-Fröhlich Felsenberg Riesling Spätlese, Grosses Gewächs $166.99 (#5245)
2014 Schäfer-Fröhlich, Felsenberg Riesling, Grosses Gewächs $149.99 (#5246)
2014 Schäfer-Fröhlich Halenberg Riesling, Grosses Gewächs $149.00 (#5247)
2014 Schäfer-Fröhlich, Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling, Grosses Gewächs $149.00 (#5248)
2015 J.J.Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese $239.99 (#5249)
2014 J.J.Prum Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett, $220.49 (#5250)
2014 J.J.Prum Graacher Himmelreich Auslese $216.00 (#5251)
2014 J.J.Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese, $349.49 (#5252)
2014 J.J.Prum Graacher Himmelreich Auslese $432.00 (#5253)

Note:The un-linked items in the newsletter are not available for purchase on our website. If you are interested in any of those items, please phone or email us your request.    916-736-3800 or 800-509-Food


For a printable version of our Newsletter, click the link below.


Written by Darrell Corti — April 10, 2021

Store Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9 AM - 7 PM
Sunday: 10 AM - 6 PM

Labor Day
September 2nd, 2024

5810 Folsom Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95819 916-736-3800

To apply for a position
email your resume to

Take a look at Corti TV
to see the travels
and adventures of
Darrell Corti.

Join us on
Facebook and Instgram
Click on the links below


Enter your email to receive our newsletter.