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…

Vinho Verde: Your New Sauvignon Blanc

Last year, Dan and I traveled back to the Shire to visit my parents and bask in the Kiwi sun. Unfortunately, we decided to go in the middle of New Zealand winter, keeping us off the beaches and bundled up with Milo and boil-up. As a consolation prize, my family made our first trip to…

50 States Project: North Carolina

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks, the economy’s had a rough couple of weeks, Ted Cruz had a rough couple of weeks… 2016 hasn’t got off to a great start for everyone. However, just like Steven Avery’s interactions with the criminal justice system, we always know there are downs before some serious ups (and…

50 States Project: Oregon

OREGON Chances are if you are a Pinot fan (and not just a “Peeno Noir” fan) you have tasted the wonders of Oregon. Ten years ago, your parents might have been talking about how much they love bold, deep colored Pinots from California and every winemaker in Oregon probably winced in pain. Pinot Noir, the…

Grey Skies and Gamay

  Look, I have no qualms about throwing on the gay scarf and pulling my socks over my pants to keep my ankles warm. I live for winter. Warm weather albarinos and rosés are wonderful things, but nothing touches the sensory joys of drinking a cold weather wine when the temperature is equal with my…

50 States Project: New Mexico

In tackling the tasting of America, it seems right to start with a state which’s wine production is relatively unknown in the East Coast, but which is making a heck of a lot of wine. Good wine. What makes New Mexico even more appealing as a developing wine region is that these wines are cheap: the…

“Will Orange Wine Kill Me?”

You thought this post was a joke, but seriously I get asked this question all the time. (By “all the time” I mean the one time I excitedly told all of my coworkers about my first Jura wine and was ostracized for the rest of the day.) Due to the prevalence of urine-colored chardonnays in…