Try These New Rosé Wines on the East End

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You can join hundreds of fellow rosé enthusiasts at the inaugural Dan’s Rosé Soirée at the Southampton Arts Center on May 28—Memorial Day weekend is the official kick-off for summer!

“Ours will be gone by August,” says winemaker Jim Waters of Waters Crest Winery in Cutchogue, whose 2016 Dry Rosé comes in a beautiful frosted bottle with a colorful, summery label. People snap it up quickly—and no wonder. With a crisp acidity and hints of tropical fruit and melon, this wine pairs perfectly with summer foods. “It’s great with shellfish, Peconic Bay scallops,” says Waters. “Try it with crab and pasta.” Yes, please!

Maybe East End rosé pairs so well with summer foods because it just tastes like summer. A few years ago, Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack started paying tribute to this fact by introducing their Summer in a Bottle rosé, which packs a burst of summer fruit flavors into every sip. Strawberries, melon and peaches are balanced by a citrus acidity for a bright, refreshing wine that has become a staple of Hamptons garden parties. Summer in a Bottle comes in a beautifully decorated bottle with summer flowers—a cheerful sight in any ice bucket. The bottle’s screw-top means this convivial liquid can keep flowing all summer long.

READ: Dan’s Rosé Soirée Countdown with Roman Roth

In Mattituck, Bridge Lane has similarly captured rosé’s Hamptons-friendly spirit by offering their light, refreshing rosé not only by the screw-top bottle, but also by the 3-liter box—that’s right, you can get local rosé by the box! “Grab a box to bring to the beach, a friend’s BBQ, your own front porch or a picnic at your local park,” suggests Dana Kowalsick, Marketing and Wine Club Manager at Bridge Lane. Sounds like a plan, and easier than lugging around heavy glass bottles. And while you’re leaving the bottles at home, you can also leave behind your preconceptions about boxed wine: Bridge Lane’s rosé scored an 89-point rating from Wine Enthusiast, which serves to illustrate an important point: our East End rosés aren’t just nice cold summer thirst quenchers—they’re also delicious wines that can be taken seriously as a reflection of our local terroir and the skills of our local producers.

While the previously mentioned Summer in a Bottle rosé has come to be the Hamptons party libation of choice, Wölffer Estate Vineyard also produces a premium Grandioso, a subtler, more sophisticated rosé with soft tannins, hints of oak, and great minerality. Wine Advocate gave this wine a score of 91.

As for winemaker Alexander Rosanelli at Hound’s Tree in Mattituck, his rosé is as much influenced by its fruit and terroir as his most dignified red wine. “We harvest fruit a bit riper than many producers in order to give the fruit a chance to develop more red fruit character and a soft minerality while retaining the acidity and some herbaceous notes classic to Long Island rosé. It’s a holistic expression of our site and [its] vintage.”

Why not plan a day of rosé tasting across the East End? On Saturday, June 10 you’ll have an even better excuse to go rosé all day as the East End celebrates National Rosé Day. Keep an eye out for special offers and tie-ins related to this special day from East End wineries. Happy sipping!

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