With summer upon us, one of the most important aspects of your Hamptons home is curating your wine cellar for the next few months. A balance of power and finesse, domestic and international, this list cuts across all occasions—from backyard grilling to beach walks to society gatherings. We’ve intentionally left Long Island wineries off this list so you can taste your way through both forks and stock up at your leisure.
Start with a little bubbly to get things off on the right foot
2014 Blanc-de-Blanc Sonoma Coast, Ultramarine
A relative newcomer to the scene, Ultramarine produces some of the most exciting single vineyard, single vintage sparkling wines from California. Limited production can make them tough to track down, though they will reward your efforts.
A little pink brightens up that dark cellar
Jolie Laide Valdiguie Rosé 2018, Rosewood Vineyard, Sonoma Coast
2018 Old Vine Valdiguie from circa 1940s vines. A delicate, floral, refreshening rosé—and where else can you find a rosé made stateside from Valdiquie?
Domaine Tempier 2018, Bandol
From the cradle of rosé comes this prototypical French effort from one of the top producers in the region. A blend of Mouvedre, Grenache and Cinsault, it instantaneously whisks you to the south of France.
From clambakes to hammock lounging, whites typically lead the charge on those warm
summer days, so here is a deeper selection to help beat the heat
2017 Pascal Cotat les Monts Damns, Sancerre
A gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc hailing from Chavignol. This wine pairs incredibly well with all things cheese (goat in particular) and shellfish. If there is an oyster within shucking distance or you just raked in a bucket of clams, this is the wine for you and your friends.
2016 Oncle Vincent, Domain Leflaive, Puligny Montrachet
A wonderful every-day Chardonnay at this price point, crafted from all old-vines in the heart of Puligny Montrachet. This is a quintessential white Burgundy that shows above its weight.
2017 Mastroberardino Radici Fiano de Avellino, Campania
For sitting around the pool with a plate of Marcona almonds and Castelvetrano olives, this is a rich and opulent full-bodied white, hailing from the Campania region of Italy.
2016 Ceritas – Porter Bass, Sonoma Coast
Planted to old-wente clones, this vineyard is farmed bio-dynamically and located a mere 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean in Sonoma, California. The wines are crisp and clean with tremendous mouthfeel, and far from the typical Chardonnay from California.
2016 Hugel Rielsing, Alsace
They don’t call it the summer of Riesling for no reason. For those who fear “sweet” wines, this is a lovely dry version—crisp acidity, though fruit-laden palate, can be presented across myriad situations.
Many tend to shy away from reds in the summer, though honestly, what better to pair with a porterhouse or burger right off the grill than a slightly chilled, lighter-style red. You don’t necessarily need many, though you should have a couple to pull
2017 Rivers Marie – Sonoma Coast
Legendary California winemaker Thomas Brown puts forth what is arguably the best quality-for-price Pinot Noir in California, perhaps the country. Deep and lush with ample fruit, these wines drink well in their youth or with age. You can pour this at the most casual or most formal of settings.
2004 Gaja Barbaresco – Barbaresco
From the maestro of Piedmonte, this softer version of its Barolo counterpart is a go-to wine for any grand summer occasion. Now with fifteen years of age on it, this wine is hitting its peak, making it eminently approachable and enjoyable.
Now, everyone needs a few special bottles for the more formal gatherings—and if you don’t drink them now, the beauty is that they will still be fabulous next summer. And the summer after that.
These wines need to further introduction:
Krug Rose 21eme Edition
2015 Haut Brion Blanc
2012 – Schrader Cellars CCS
2001 Sauternes – Chateau d’Yquem
And remember, don’t be afraid to mix in some larger-format offerings of the above into your cellar, even if they are a bit more challenging to store. Everyone at a Hamptons summer party loves a magnum!