Available on

About this Episode

Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas explore the Brooklyn wine bar  Rhodora, a restaurant that specializes in natural wines and is committed to being a sustainable and successful, zero waste, carbon neutral business and offer a natural wine list.. Grace reviews the three-page wine list, points out stellar sparkly, french light whites, and suggests how to choose an orange wine.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2017 Syrah Crozes-Hermitage from the Aleofane
  • 2013 merlot from Dario Princic, Friuli Venezia Giulia
  • 2020 Jerome Jouret sauv blanc from Ardeche
Transcript: Rhodora

RT: Hello and Welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where we will review a Wine List from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier. Hello Grace, it’s great to have you!

GH: Hey Hey Robert!

RT Before we jump in, let’s talk about those wine lists. We created CorkRules to help demystify wine list’s because we know from experience, that sometimes when we get that list handed to us, well… it can be intimidating, and even a little daunting.

Our aim is to help prepare you to navigate that list, find those hidden gems, or value wines or that special bottle that will take your dining experience over the top.

RT: Today we’re reviewing the wine list for the Brooklyn wine bar Rhodora. Grace what are your initial thoughts?

GH: So, this place has a really amazing concept – they’re all about sustainability, heralding themselves as a zero-waste establishment, which we love to see. Apparently, they are the first restaurant in America to have this zero-waste concept, in that nothing goes to the landfill, there isn’t even a trash can on premise! Instead, the scraps get put in a trash compactor and turn it into mulch for their flower beds outside the restaurant – how delightful is that! But this place is definitely first and foremost a wine bar – the food menu is pretty limited but gives you some lovely shared plates tapas style options.

RT: Love that they're committed to environmental causes. More places need to follow suit. So, what are your thoughts on the wine list?

GH: So, with Rhodora, we’re exploring a trendy buzzword in the hospitality industry – natural wine. Which essentially just means it’s a wine that was made in the most organic, ancient, back to basics way. It’s all about letting the grape and the terroir shine through by having minimal human intervention, as opposed to these big production wineries that will manipulate their wine with food coloring and flavor chips to make the wine taste how they want it to, rather than how it naturally should be.

RT: Oh, wow you definitely have a point there Grace. So where should we start on the Rhodora natural wine menu?

GH: At only 2 pages, this is a pretty approachable list. Coupled with the fact that their prices are really really affordable. The average bottle price looks to be around $80, which is a steal when it comes to New York City fine dining. This is the place to take that chance and get some really unique wines you haven’t tried before. And since this is a wine bar, the staff will be really educated on the list and you’ll be able to fully nerd out with them, or trust that they will guide you to something you'll really enjoy. Now if you’re asking what I would drink – I’m starting with the sparkling pinot gris from the Alsace region. I absolutely love the still pinot gris’ from that área – which is the most northern in all of Europe that produces wine. So think about these slightly mountainous cool climate áreas with all this rich fértile soil. Alsace makes some fabulous and totally under-the-radar light whites. And speaking of lighter style french whites, I’m super curious about the 2020 Jerome Jouret sauv blanc from Ardeche, which is in the southeast region of France. Usually, you see sauv blancs coming from the west of France – either in the Loire Valley or in Bordeaux. So I’m really interested to see how a sauv blanc from an untypical region would taste.


RT: Oh totally. All great points Grace. What else caught your eye?


GH: Well, they have a pretty extensive Orange wine list! And I know for a lot of people, Orange wine is a little intimidating or just strange for most wine drinkers who haven’t had a lot of experience with Orange wine. Like we talked about on another episode, Orange wine is just a white wine grape that has been done in a red wine style. In that the grapes were fermented whole berry or whole cluster, instead of the juice being pressed off like a normal white wine. So you’re going to get this really interesting rich lush mouth feel. Because there are so many different varietals on this Orange wine list, my suggestion would be to pick one of your favorite white wine grapes, and order the Orange wine made out of that! That’ll be a really cool contrast – your palate can draw from the memories of that grape as done in a white wine style, and you can compare it to the grape done in an Orange wine style. Just because I’m a huge nerd and I love rare grapes, I’m going to be choosing the muscadet 2019 from Jura. Usually, muscadet is grown in the west, so its interesting to see it grown in jura which is in the east borderline with Switzerland. Pick your favorite white grape and go with it in an Orange wine! Have fun with it!

RT: Love that approach Grace. Makes the orange wine list not so daunting. Now what are you thinking for reds?

GH: Oh man, there are so many good options! One that stuck out to me was the 2013 merlot from Dario Princic from the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. It's one of the only older red vintages on the menu so I def want to give that one a go – anticipating how lush and soft it will be! Another one I’m interested in is the 2017 Syrah Crozes-Hermitage from the Aleofane vineyard in the Rhone valley. Rich and decadent without too much acidity. And one that I’ve got questions about, is a Slovenian pinot noir! Slovenia is one of those countries that has been producing wine for centuries, but a lot of it doesn’t make it to the domestic marketplace because there is no demand for it – but that’s only because people don’t know Slovenia makes wine, let alone how good it is. Places like Rhodora, with their thoughtful and affordable list as well as knowledgeable staff, will be the perfect place to go out of your comfort zone and try something new.

RT: Amazing Grace. Great choices as always. Thank you for helping us navigate the wine list at Rhodora.

To our audience, thank you all for Joining us here on CorkRules.  If you would like us to review one of your favorite restaurants, please send us email to: Info@CorkRules.com or visit our web website where we have a request form available and we will do our best to get it in the queue as quickly as possible.


We are looking forward to being with you on another CorkRules episode soon. In the meantime, please check out our website for other episodes of your favorite restaurant wine lists. Follow us on social media @CorkRules and @wineswithgrace


And finally, drink what you love and please make sure you drink responsibly.


Thank you.







Want to request a Restaurant?

Interested in having a restaurant’s wine list featured in a future podcast episode? Let us know here.

Get the CorkRules App

Use the QR Code or
click on Download to install!