A virtual dinner with one of my Italian wine heroes: Brian Larky, industry pioneer and apotheosis of all that’s great about the wine trade.

Please read “California Wildfires and the Wine Community – What You Need to Know,” Beck Hopkins’ post from last week. We are praying for all of our sisters and brothers in my home state.

And here in Houston, we are all holding our breath as we wait for Hurricane Laura to develop. See updates on the excellent Space City Weather blog. Hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

On Thursday, August 27, one of my all-time wine heroes, Brian Larky (above), will be joining me for the weekly virtual wine dinner that I host for Roma here in Houston.

Brian created a new model for Italian wine imports here in the U.S. when he launched his Napa-based company Dalla Terra three decades ago. Since that time, countless wines selected by him have become Italian wine standbys and favorites across our country.

On Thursday, he and I will be pouring and discussing three of those, including the Selvapiana Chianti Rufina, one of our family’s go-to red wines.

In many ways, Brian is the “Steve Jobs” of our industry. For many of the wineries he works with, he has created a “market” where previously there was none. Like Jobs, he introduced American wine lovers to wines they didn’t know they “needed.”

He’s also a winemaker (a Franciacorta alumnus with an enology degree from UC Davis), a brilliant speaker (we’ve presented seminars together in the past), a wonderful dinner companion (I speak from personal experience!), and the apotheosis of everything that’s good about the wine business.

I hope you can join us. Stay tuned for details. And feel free to email me if you’d like me to save you a spot.

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