It’s spring on the North Fork. The air is fresh and the great outdoors is calling.
We asked Long Island food and wine pros what they will be drinking this season. This is what they said.
The catch? Winemakers cannot pick their own brands.
Surrey Lane Merlot 2014, $22
Surrey Lane winery is new to me. I was very impressed by all of their wines, but my pick is the merlot. This merlot is delicious! It’s a nicely balanced wine with bold flavors of mocha and cherry, a medium body and a persistent finish. It pairs well with a spring pea risotto with plenty of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Brian Pennacchia, chef/owner, Touch of Venice
Waters Crest Winery Cabernet Franc 2013 “Grand Vin,” $60
Jim Waters made one of the best cabernet francs I have ever tasted from the North Fork and just about anywhere for that matter. This wine is full of dark chocolate, blackberry, raspberry and leather on the nose. On the palate, dark fruit and vanilla. Its full body can hold up to meat dishes like steak au poivre.
John W. Larsen, general manager, Pellegrini Vineyards
Love Lane Kitchen’s private label, “Share the Love” White Blend 2015, $12 by the glass; $38 by the bottle
I’ll be drinking “Share the Love” White Blend at Love Lane Kitchen this spring. For me, this crisp but aromatic white blend of pinot blanc, chardonnay and gewürztraminer made by Alie Shaper is perfect for the season. Alie also makes some of my absolute favorite white and rosé wines for Croteaux as well as her own label [As If Wines]. Share the Love white blend paired with a lobster roll and truffle fries is something I am looking forward to as the weather gets warmer.
Alexander Rosanelli, owner/winemaker, Hound’s Tree Wines
Osprey’s Dominion Malbec 2013, $24
Spring is a time of tilling soil, planting seeds and working bees. Malbec’s earthiness and peppery kick mirror these days, and the big fruit flavors prophesize the bounty that is yet to come. Enjoy by the glass, especially when your husband is making charcoal-grilled flank steak with chimichurri sauce.
Roanoke Vineyards “The Wild” 2016, $20
This white wine is a fresh and vibrant, indigenous, yeast-fermented chardonnay with the right amount of texture to hold up to any spring-inspired menu. Sip this one alongside local shellfish — preferably seaside — for a perfect match.
Steve Pisacano, general manager, Claudio’s Clam Bar & Wharf
This story was originally published in the spring 2017 edition of the Long Island Wine Press