The holiday season is here, and no feast or family gathering is complete without the perfect bottle of local Hamptons or North Fork wine. Across the East End, wineries and vineyards are putting their best fruit forward to help you celebrate.
“We’re going to be all dressed up for the holidays,” said Adam Supernat, owner and winemaker at Coffee Pot Cellars in Cutchogue, “and we’re going to stay open until the 23rd.” It’s important to choose the right wine to compliment a holiday dinner, and Supernat recommends his 2011 chardonnay. “It’s a fruit-forward chardonnay, and it has just a hint of butterscotch,” he said. “It’s made in neutral oak barrels, so it doesn’t have that heavy, toasty, smoky character.” Great wines aren’t the only thing you’ll find at Coffee Pot Cellars to compliment your holiday table. “We have beeswax products that my fiancé and I sell—holiday candles and more,” Supernat said.
If you’re traveling for the holidays, it’s impolite to show up empty-handed—luckily wine makes a great gift, as do adorable photos of your family and pets with Santa. Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead has both covered. On Sunday, December 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Kent Animal Shelter will benefit from a Photos with Santa & Holiday Social. Featuring ($10 minimum donation) photos by Kathleen O’Donnell, adoptable pets, pet gift boutique and a pet-friendly tasting room!
No party would be complete without popping open the bubbly, especially on New Year’s Eve, and Sparkling Pointe specializes in bubbles. “We don’t make any still wines—we just make Méthod Champenoise-style sparkling wines,” said Kelsey Cheslock, marketing and social media coordinator for Sparkling Pointe. “A lot of sparklings go great with different kinds of foods, especially seafood and cheeses—sparkling wine is very food-friendly.” While you may be able to pick up a bottle of Sparkling Pointe at your favorite liquor store, Cheslock recommends visiting the tasting room in Southold. “Tasting is an important process in planning any holiday meal,” she said. “You can taste through all of our wines and determine which would be best for your occasion.”
This year, Sparkling Pointe is offering its first red sparkling wine, called Cuvée Carnaval Rouge. “It’s a red wine, so it’s going to have a lot of blackberry, cherry, and fruit notes, but also these nice spice notes like cinnamon and cardamom, which are the type of spice notes that you crave this time of year,” Cheslock said. “Sparkling wines aren’t just for the holiday season, but for year-round celebration, and every day should be a celebrated.”
On the South Fork, Wölffer Estate Vineyards will be getting folks into the holiday spirit with their fifth annual Lighting of the Vines event on Saturday, December 7. “The whole day will be like a bazaar at the winery, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.—there will be choirs singing during the day, and there will be wine and samplings and all of that kind of stuff,” said Wölffer Estate winemaker Roman Roth. “It’s a fundraiser for Fighting Chance, which is a wonderful organization in Sag Harbor, and for Maureen’s Haven.” Fighting Chance is the East End’s first free-of-charge cancer counseling and resource center, and Maureen’s Haven is the Riverhead-based homeless outreach center.
Stick around that evening for the Holiday Gala from 6 to 8 p.m. “Saturday night is the big Lighting of the Vines, where we light 15,000 energy-efficient lights in our vineyards,” he said. “Also, we’ve gotten 18 Christmas trees decorated by 18 different designers and businesses, and they will be for silent auction.”
While you’re there, be sure to pick up some wine for your holiday celebrations. “I would recommend the Grapes of Roth Riesling to start, because it’s lighter—all day you’re eating heavy dishes and heavy meals, so you have to start with a lighter, more delicate wine,” Roth said.