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Laurel Lake Vineyards’ 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir. (Credit: Rachel Young)

With its bright, fruity bouquet and refreshing acidity, Laurel Lake Vineyards’ 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir might seem an unlikely choice for winter, when fuller-bodied varietals like merlot and cabernet sauvignon reign supreme. We suggest drinking the “Wine of the Week” in the colder months anyway.

Fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and then aged for 12 months in French oak, this exceptional vintage ($29.99/bottle) has notes of cherry, plum and blackberry on the nose and boasts a smooth, fleshy mouth-feel and acidic finish.

It’s the new favorite of Ursula Oliveras, the Laurel winery’s tasting room manager.

“It’s not too heavy,” she said. “I just like the way the fruit bursts out of the glass. It’s so good.”

Having a dinner party? Oliveras suggests pairing this wine with seafood or pasta — anything light.

“Or even appetizers,” she said.

Only a handful of producers grow pinot noir on the East End. It is known as the “heartbreak grape,” because it grows so unpredictably in our soil.

“It is notoriously difficult to grow successfully, and its wine can be unpredictable,” Howard Goldberg of The New York Times wrote in 2013.

Goldberg suggests pairing the wine with Long Island duck.

Laurel Lake Vineyards is located at 3165 Main Road in Laurel and is open year-round Monday through Sunday. Call 631-298-1420 for more information.

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