Dexter - Terry B's
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A rising star

Dexter spot earns high praise for wine list,

Terry B’s in Dexter, the former Cousins Heritage Inn, has blasted onto diners’ radars with hand-rolled pasta, house-smoked meats and a worldly wine list.

Diana Smalley, whose previous 10 years in the restaurant biz were spent waiting tables and soaking up wine knowledge at Five Lakes Grill in Milford, found herself a last-minute hire and then manager of the establishment, which recently marked its one-year anniversary.

Smalley took what was once a minuscule wine list to maximum heights, winning an Award of Excellence this year from Wine Spectator magazine.

Her personal faves are meaty Old World reds, but her customers are mainly California dreamers. Her list is a mix, and she’s inclined to steer people to undiscovered gems from around the world.

I quizzed her on her recommendations for certain types of people:

For the connoisseur? The firm-textured La Vieille Cure Bordeaux, $72.
For the informed Boomer? The fresh and zesty Valminor Albarino from Spain, $36.
For the savvy Gen-Xer? The Italian dry white blend Masi Masianco Pinot Grigio & Verduzzo, $28.
For timid types? Rutz Cellars Marvelous Merlot from the North Coast of California, $27.
Smalley’s advice to people who have no clue as to what wine to order: “There are only two kinds of wine — those you like and those you do not. Let your taste buds think for you.”