What better way to keep warm during the coldest season of the year than by sipping a full-bodied merlot or an oaky chardonnay by the fire?
We asked local wine producers and restaurateurs to select vinos they think will keep you toasty this winter.
The only catch? They weren’t allowed to choose their own brands.
So, what are the experts drinking? Read on to find out.
Coffee Pot Cellars
“A nice winter chardonnay. The neutral oak gives it a really nice balance that pairs well with pasta or chicken, but it’s amazing with Peconic Bay scallops, a little butter and scallions.”
Carolyn Iannone, owner, Love Lane Kitchen, Mattituck
One Woman Wines
“It doesn’t have an overwhelming oak, just a creamy and pleasant oak balance. It’s nice in the winter because it’s big and rich and warm.”
Russell McCall, owner, McCall Wines, Cutchogue
John Leo Cellars
The Leo Family Red 2010
“It’s a merlot-based blend and it is hands down my favorite red. Round on the pallet, it has a nice fullness to it and silky soft tannins, and a nice acidity to balance everything out. It is a very well-put-together wine.”
Juan Micieli-Martinez, winemaker and general manager, Martha Clara Vineyards, Riverhead
“I love their Famiglia. It tastes like an old-world wine.”
Sandra Bilotti, manager, CJ’s American Grill, Mattituck
2010 Red Cape Blend
“A charming blend of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc from one of Long Island’s best vintages.”
Michael Kontokosta, owner and winemaker, Kontokosta Vineyards, Greenport
2010 Cabernet Franc
“A rich-style cabernet franc with a classic spiciness.”
Ron Goerler Jr., winemaker and general manager, Jamesport Vineyards, Jamesport