Staff Favorites - Olivia Ragni

Olivia Ragni
Olivia Ragni  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
My roots are in Philadelphia, and to a greater extent, Italy. Wine has always been a focal point of my Italian-American culture, and the years I spent working in Philadelphia’s fine dining scene piqued my interest in the wine industry. Prior to Los Angeles, I was a resident of Portugal, Turkey, and Germany, three stops on my tour of Europe as an English teacher. Portugal was my first locale and the one that left the greatest impression. The wine culture of Portugal is so rich and so storied; I was completely taken by the people’s passion for wine. I decided to explore the vast expanse of European wine regions, including Italy, Andalusia, and Croatia. In each of these locations I discovered wines and cultures that I had previously not known and discovered my affinity for the bold sherries of Jerez de la Frontera and the crisp, maritime whites of Vrbnik. My hope is to share my love of these old world wines with people who have not yet had the pleasure of discovering them.


Reviews

2009 Gitton Père & Fils "Galinot" Sancerre
Review Date: 03-26-2017
These days, it's a rarity to find back vintage Sancerre. We are used to drinking Sancerre that is meant to drink with immediacy. But aged Sancerre is so remarkable and such a different experience to young Sancerre. Nearing a decade of age, the 'Galinots' from Gitton is epic. Once of the great, classic producers of Sancerre, proving that back-vintage Sancerre is incredible. You'll find notes of apples, white flowers and honey, with this beautiful waxy texture, surrounded by flavors of almonds and dried herbs. This is drinking beautifully now, and has the structure to last many more years to come.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Writers' Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-06-2017
This is absolutely lovely pure pot still Irish Whiskey. Aromas of flowers, tea and bananas lead to a palate of chestnuts, caramel, malt and spice. This is rich, full-bodied and textural whiskey that is extremely smooth and easy to drink. The only problem is the bottle will be gone faster than you intended, so stock up!
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 10-30-2016
We have been working with Aspasie for years, as they were our first direct import Champagne producer. Their wine continues to be of the highest quality, making it the best value Champagne in the store. Year after year, the rosé is my favorite rosé in the store. With flavors of black cherry, ripe cranberry, rosemary and an earthier backbone, this rose is beautiful both as an aperitif and especially fantastic with food. Try it with a roast duck or heavier fish like salmon or tuna steak.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 06-23-2016
The Navy Strength compared to the Rare Dry has more zesty notes of orange and lemon rind, lemon grass, sea salt and anise. At 118 proof, this is serious stuff that should be stocked in every cocktail enthusiast's bar.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 06-23-2016
Beautiful and bright, the Rare Dry has notes of fresh squeezed blood oranges, sweet herbs, sage, juniper and a hint of basil. It's the perfect gin for tonic or citrus heavy gin cocktails.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-25-2016
We have been working with Aspasie for years, as they were our first direct import Champagne producer. Their wine continues to be of the highest quality, making it the best value Champagne in the store. Year after year, the rosé is my favorite rosé in the store. With flavors of black cherry, ripe cranberry, rosemary and an earthier backbone, this rose is beautiful both as an aperitif and especially fantastic with food. Try it with a roast duck or heavier fish like salmon or tuna steak.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Michel Arnould "Réserve" Grand Cru Verzenay Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-15-2015
I'm still sticker shocked at the price for this Champagne, I can't believe it's only $33. This bubbly has such complexity and elegance. The nose provides notes of apple, pith and chalky minerality while the palate is classic Verzenay with black cherry and hazelnut. The palate is rich with a beautiful creamy texture, yet this wine sees no oak. A gorgeous wine for such a steal!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

West Cork Bourbon Cask Blended Irish Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-20-2015
A fantastic, easy going Irish whiskey to have around the house for making cocktails but also soft enough to drink straight at the end of the evening! New favorite for under $30!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

Charles Baur Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rosé
Review Date: 12-04-2014
The sparkling rose is for more than just parties, it can certainly hold up to heavier food and cuisine. Once popped you can smell bright cherries, melon and rose petals, with an underlying salinity. The palate has cranberry and black cherry, but also has an earthy, smoky minerality and intense acidity that can easily hold up to heavier cuisine. Enjoy now.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Lustau Dry Amontillado "Los Arcos" Solera Reserva
Review Date: 10-22-2014
This dry Amontillado is a perfect accompaniment to cured meats and other Spanish style snacks. With its beautiful amber color, this Amontillado has pungent aromas of roasted nuts, coffee and dried figs, while the palate includes candied orange peel, seawater, toffee and butterscotch. Its pronounced flavors open up your pairing possibilities to more than just snacks, it could even hold up to a full array of grilled meats.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

La Cigarrera Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda (375ml)
Review Date: 08-27-2014
A true Manzanilla with a bouquet full of oysters, clams and salted toffee. A flavor intense palate of oceanic salt and seaweed, peanut butter, bitter almonds and squash. Impeccable quality, a crazy value. What a steal!!!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

El Maestro Sierra Fino Jerez de la Frontera (375ml)
Review Date: 08-27-2014
At this stage, this delicate Fino has subtle notes of pecans, fresh apples, pie crust, and toasted pumpkin seeds with a mildly salty palate of butterscotch, almonds and bitter orange peel. Great companion to a tomato, basil salad!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart