Over the past couple of years, summer on the East End seems to have become synonymous with drinking local rosé. And who’s complaining? Not us! After all, Dan’s Rosé Soirée presented by Porsche on Sunday, May 27 is proof of our enthusiasm for the delectable pink nectar that has become a jewel in the crown of Long Island Wine Country.
But even a cursory examination of the local wine scene will show you that not everything is coming up rosés out here. And summer 2018 promises a wide variety of new offerings from East End vineyards—lots of reds and whites, as well as pinks—that will complement all manner of local seafood and produce.
Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack just released their 2017 Trebbiano. Winemaker Roman Roth makes a good case for pairing this light white wine with local food. “The mouth-feel is vibrant, light and elegant,” he says. “There’s a pleasant concentration that makes this wine a perfect pairing companion for oysters and other seafood.” Wölffer is now looking forward to the release of the 2015 Landius Pinot Noir, a full-bodied red that pairs well with big, flavorful foods and strong-flavored cheeses. Another bold red, the 2014 Claletto (Amarone Style), is also on the way—it was produced especially to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Wölffer in 2018.
New releases at Raphael in Peconic include two whites—the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and the 2017 Riesling—as well as a red—the 2016 Cabernet Franc. All three are on the lighter side: the Sauvignon Blanc is dry and acidic, while the Riesling and Cab Franc are fruitier. And, of course, all three are excellent with local food. If you want to sample, stop by the Raphael tasting room—and have a look at the vineyard while you’re at it.
While you’re on the road, be sure to stop by Suhru Wines’s new Tasting House on the Main Road in Cutchogue. There you can sample their new 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, which they describe as a perfect match for seafood, chicken and lighter fare. Grab a bottle (or three) for a nice afternoon meal al fresco.
Of course, summer means a lot of lighter fare and a lot of casual, outdoor eating, and new kid on the block Montauk Wine Company (MWC) has just released some tasty quaffables that would pair well with your favorite picnic food. MWC Consultant Mark Blair paints a pretty picture: “A nice chilled lobster roll, Montauk Summer Rosé and a great sunset is a quintessential East End experience.” MWC also offers their Montauk Great White, and both wines come in convenient screw-cap bottles for easy opening at the beach.
Winemaker John Leo of Clovis Point in Jamesport has a slightly more elegant summer repast in mind. “For a summer afternoon picnic, [pick up] a Clovis Point Cabernet Franc to enjoy with fresh grilled fish or spicy chicken legs.” Clovis Point’s Cab Francs have won numerous national and international awards—and the 2014 vintage is now available. But don’t forget your corkscrew.
So, yes, summer on the East End is about rosé, rosé and more rosé—but it’s also about refreshing whites and complex reds, all there for you to explore across our beautiful wine country, where the sea breeze keeps us healthy and the sunshine makes us happy. So let’s all join in a toast to summer, provided by Domenica Pugliese of Pugliese Vineyards in Cutchogue. She gets the party started this way: “Let us make a toast to Health and Happiness.” To which we can only add, “Please pass the bottle.”