Does “Vintage” Really Matter (Especially for a 20-something?)

The term “old wine” used to mean something. When someone opened up a so-called classic vintage of Bordeaux or came up from their cellars with twenty-year old Burgundy, there was a magic in the air that everyone at a table could feel. To drink a truly old wine was to take a step back into…

Live That Müller-Thurgau Life

“Müller-Thurgau” isn’t a name that inspires a lot of confidence. It sounds like the last name of a German politician or a fancy dog breed Jane Lynch might train in Best in Show. Hunty doesn’t get a lot of attention because most wine advocates in the United States are still busy hustling Müller-Thurgau’s mamma, Riesling (M-T…

Review: Vina Bodega Matias i Torres’ “Las Machuqueras”

I’ve been reading a lot of Patrick Modiano lately. There’s something about his writing style – those staccato bursts of observation that immediately acclimates you to the narrator’s location – that refuses to let me escape his worlds. In his book After the Circus, he spends what most would feel is an excessively long amount of time describing…

Shout Out to Sancerre

It’s movie-selling time in the south of France this week, meaning that the creme de la creme (and actual festering pile of dung, Woody Allen) are all going to be sipping rosé on the beach, while we simple folk enjoy turbulent pre-summer weather and potential Zika virus infection. Très charmant! Thankfully, this means more hidden…

Finger Lakes – The Promised Land Part 2

With Dead 7 behind me, I can finally resurrect (get it?) this blog and finish discussing the joys of The Finger Lakes before you all go out and stock up on rosé for the season. In our last installment, I discussed the fantastic wineries surrounding Keuka Lake. One winery I did not mention – for…

Finger Lakes – The Promised Land Part 1

Don’t worry – I haven’t gone sober on you all. It’s been a crazy few weeks at Ratapu HQ (aka, suburban Brooklyn) and I haven’t had a spare moment to rave about the beautiful bottles that have very briefly graced my wine shelves. Any minute I’ve not been hustling for zombie boy band westerns (yep, that’s…

Strawberry Fields Forever

My longest and closest friend is the only person who can get me to legitimately piss myself laughing. It isn’t even intelligent humor; we joke about trash and awful sex. When we get together, our respective lives are checked at the door. I’ve gone months without even a text, graduating college, getting a job, boyfriend, some…

50 States Project: Vermont

Aka, are Vermont grapes feeling the Bern? Vermont is a very cold state. Too cold, most European growers would say, to yield grapes that can make expressive wines. As places like Sussex, Ontario and Vancouver are showing us, global warming is allowing some very northern places greater ability to produce higher quality wine, but many…

Wild Horses: Tasting the Reserve Wines of Wolffer Estate

When I first moved to New York, I assumed – based on knowledge gleamed from Gossip Girl and The Great Gatsby, natch – that eventually someone would invite me to a polo match in the Hamptons. Isn’t that how rich people in the Northeast got their kicks? I have a general disinterest in 90% of domesticated animals (not…

The Queen of Barolo – A Tasting with Chiara Boschis

“I want to address the ladies in the room for a moment.” Chiara said, quietly interrupting Tim Farrell, Brooklyn Wine Exchange’s head buyer, as he was discussing the sediment in the bottom of our glasses. “This sediment, it is pure antioxidant!” She mimed rubbing the sediment all over face. “I go to my dermatologist as…

50 States Project: Idaho

Growing up, I knew Idaho for three things: The parts of My Own Private Idaho that actually take place in Idaho. The state where Napoleon Dynamite lives (more specifically, Preston, Idaho, more specifically YO TINA) Potatoes I spent a short period of my childhood in Washington State and for reasons legitimate or not, Idaho got…