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A bottle of ‘Share the Love’ White Blend. (Credit: Madison Fender)

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

Madison Fender
Surrey Lane Farm Vineyard Merlot.

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

Waters Crest Winer Grand Vin Merlot. (Credit: Madison Fender)
Waters Crest Winer Grand Vin Cabernet Franc. (Credit: Madison Fender)

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

Love Lane Kitchen
A bottle of ‘Share the Love’ White Blend. (Credit: Madison Fender)

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

Osprey's Dominion. (Credit: Madison Fender)
Osprey’s Dominion 2013 Malbec. (Credit: Madison Fender)

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.

Laura Klahre, tasting room manager, Coffee Pot Cellars and owner/beekeeper, Blossom Meadow Farm

Roanoke Vineyards “The Wild” 2016, $20

Roanoke Vineyards The Wild Chardonnay. (Credit: Madison Fender)
Roanoke Vineyards The Wild Chardonnay. (Credit: Madison Fender)

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