Wine saved his wedding, and when his marriage fell apart, Darren Delmore turned to the life of a vagabond cellarhand, a wild ride fueled by coffee, marijuana and countless bottles of wine. Wine Spectator executive editor Thomas Matthews looks at the adventures and life lessons recounted in Delmore's book, Slave to the Vine.
People come to the wine business by many paths. Some are born in it. Others are drawn to it by passion, plunging in after earning success in other fields. But few—if any—can match the trajectory of Peter M.F. Sichel. Sichel's great-grandfather began buying and selling wine in Germany in the mid-1900s. Like the famous Rothschilds, another family of German Jews, the Sichel family scattered to various European capitals to establish branches of the business, which became an international success.
Peter, born in 1922 in Mainz, Germany, grew up in prosperity amid an extended family that prized education, culture and gastronomy. His lively and comfortable childhood occupies the first third of his newly published memoir, The Secrets of My Life: Vintner, Prisoner, Soldier, Spy (Archway Publishing, 2016; $24).