Longtime Wölffer Estate Winemaker and Partner Roman Roth says that “in 1982 I started as a winemaking apprentice and knew right away that this was something for me. I liked the seasons, the smells of fermentation, tasting different wine and the social aspect of it. It’s a dream job!” The many wines that Roth has created at this Sagaponack institution reflect the East End’s unique terroir and joie de vivre, so it’s only appropriate that you can meet this storied winemaker and taste his fine craftsmanship at Dan’s Rosé Soirée, the official kickoff event of summer in the Hamptons on Memorial Day Weekend (May 28). As Roth says, “Long Island wine can stand up to the best in the world. Throw any doubt or prejudice overboard and enjoy and collect these gems. I look forward to showing off the new Wölffer Rosés and getting the feedback from all the tasters. I also enjoy tasting all the other rosés available.”
Why should consumers seek out local produce and wine?
First: They go together perfectly.
Second: Nobody in the U.S.A. can make better food friendly wines then we here on Long Island.
Third: because you help to protect the open spaces and support our local community.
My favorite dish to pair with a fine rosé is: seafood bisque
What Long Island wines are currently in your home wine library?
I have some wonderful wines from almost all producers of Long Island. Especially from the great vintages and, of course, lots of Wölffer Estate and Grapes of Roth.
If I got a tattoo tomorrow it would read: SIP LOCAL
Tell us about the most memorable wine tasting experience you’ve had.
There have been many but one tops it all: I was fortunate to be at one of the most amazing tastings ever. Leslie Alexander held a tasting of 54 different vintages of Chateau Petrus going back to 1945 held over two days. It was mind-blowing. Especially the 1947—[it] was something I’ll never forget.
What do you have in your pantry right now that would make another wine or food pro jealous?
Freshly grown, sun-dried pepper corns from Sri Lanka. Sometimes I just open the jar to smell it and then put it back. And a jar of fabulous Schwarzwälder Blüten und Waldhonig (Black Forest flower and forest honey).
What have you learned about recently that you’re eager to use in your work?
On my last trip to Argentina to make the Finca Wölffer Rosé I saw a new destemmer/crusher used. I was so impressed by the gentle and thorough operation of this important machine that when we came back we purchased one right away for the 2016 harvest. It’s an absolute game changer. Perfection!
Tell us about the rosés you’re bringing to Rosé Soirée.
Rosé is perfect for summer. Especially here in New York, we need to make the most of every sunny day and rosé is the ideal wine for that. Rosé is here to stay—it’s just too good and too much fun.
We at Wölffer are very proud of our rosés. We make them with a deliberate style and clear goal in mind. Rosé should be light and fun but I also want to make them with an extra layer and sophistication. A good rosé should not just have fruit but also good structure and elegant acidity. Guests should look for that little extra, that esprit in my rosés.
Find the latest info on all of Dan’s Taste of Summer events this summer—Dan’s Rosé Soirée, the official kickoff event of summer in the Hamptons on Memorial Day Weekend (May 28); the new Dan’s Corona MonTaco presented by Don Julio, a Mexican-themed fiesta at Gurney’s Montauk hosted by Adam Richman, Travel Channel host, author, food & travel explorer on July 7; Dan’s ClambakeMTK at Gurney’s Montauk, back for its second summer on July 8; Dan’s GrillHampton (July 21), celebrating its 5th anniversary; and Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company (July 22), now in its 7th year—at DansTaste.com.