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October brings chilly nights, heartier meals…and cravings for a warming, full-bodied wine to go with them.

For help choosing, we called in an expert: Lukas Dempsey, a sommelier at three-star Michelin rated Le Bernadin in New York City. Dempsey, who offers virtual wine tastings for groups and events at, has teamed up with The Menhaden in Greenport to offer guests a private virtual overview of North Fork wines.

“As a native New Yorker, I feel a special affinity to New York State wine,” he said. “There is a ton of fantastic wine produced in the state from Long Island and beyond. The wines are exciting and dynamic and getting better each year.”

Here is what he’s pouring this fall.

Croteaux Vineyards | 2019 Jolie Rosé

“So much more than just a summer wine – this is a beautifully textured and darker-colored rosé of cabernet franc. A slightly longer grape-skin maceration gives this wine more tannin and length than most others. Flavors of tart and candied cranberry make this one a fantastic fall aperitif.”

Macari Vineyards | 2015 Reserve Cabernet Franc

“This is a classically styled cabernet franc, full of life and herbal freshness. A few years of bottle-aging have softened this wine’s tannic profile and imbued it with layers of added complexity and nuance. A dar, bramble-fruit core gives way to subtle notes of espresso and cracked pepper. This is a versatile wine that won’t trample over lighter fare but has the power to stand up to heavier stuff. Ideal for the Thanksgiving dinner table.”

Lieb Cellars | 2017 Estate Merlot

“This is an elegant and high-toned merlot, packed densely with ripe fruit flavors of strawberry and red plum. This wine has a softer mouthfeel with silky tannins but in no way lacks acidity. The finish is marked by a hint of clove and allspice, indicating a judicious amount of oak aging. Would love to have this wine with any dish containing pumpkin and butternut squash.”

Lenz Winery | 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon

“If you enjoy the wines of Bordeaux this is a cabernet sauvignon for you. This is a far cry from more fruit-driven and bombastic styles of domestic cabernet. While classic notes of cassis and licorice emerge from the glass, earth tones of graphite and eucalyptus make this wine even more alluring. The tannins here are firm and the acidity is bright, enabling this wine to pair well with most foods, including fattier cuts of beef and pork.”