Different times call for different wines. Your summer social calendar likely includes everything from glamorous dinner parties in the Hamptons to backyard barbecues. Luckily, we live on Long Island and have access to a fantastic wine trail. To help you find the perfect wine for every summer occasion, we enlisted the help of Melissa Martin, marketing consultant to her company, Creative Island, which specializes in wine, food and East End tourism. Now, all you have to focus on is picking out your dress.
Melissa’s Pick: Macari Vineyards, 2010 Cabernet Franc “Best New York Red Wine” – New York Wine and Food Classic, 2014
Barbecues, we love them, but they actually present a teeny, tiny dilemma: You’re outside in the gorgeous weather, eating burgers and steaks. It’s okay, we’ve got your back. Pick up a bottle of Macari Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Franc. Voted the Best New York Red Wine at the New York Wine and Food Classic in 2014, this wine is light on tannins but can hold its own with red meat or barbecued chicken. “It has the right complexity for a barbecue,” Martin said. “It’s a popular red. It’s loved by many.” Problem solved.
Melissa’s Pick: Raphael, 2014 Sauvignon Blanc
There’s nothing more classic than sitting on a blanket and eating sandwiches with your better half in the summer. Stick Rapheal’s 2014 Savignon Blanc in your basket. “I always kind of relate Raphael to romance,” Martin said. “Their 2014 Sauvignon Blanc has notes of tropical fruits and citrus and it just speaks picnic and will go perfectly with anything that you’re bringing with you.” Throw in some killer sandwiches and a tasty dessert and you’re good to go.
Melissa’s Pick: Sparkling Pointe Winery, 2010 Blanc de Blancs
You can up the ante on any celebration with a sparkling wine or champagne, but for a wedding, it’s an absolute must. “When we think weddings, we think of celebration and bubbles, so of course I would like to recommend a sparkling wine,” Martin said. Try something off the brut-beaten path and go with the 2010 Blanc de Blancs from Sparkling Pointe Winery. “It’s so refreshing. It’s not as dry. It’s something that will be a crowd pleaser at any wedding,” she said. Hey, Martin—and a winery with the name Sparkling Pointe—know best.
“Drink pink for girls night!” Martin said. “Rose” is becoming a buzzword along wine trails, so grab your girls and get in on the trend. Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard’s 2014 Bianca is a white merlot loved by both sweet-wine and dry-wine enthusiasts. “It’s kind of a unique style. It meets in the middle,” Martin said. Does everyone agree on sweet wine? Try the 2014 Bianca Dolce.
You have enough to deal with at a dinner party, so keep your red-wine only grandmother and white-wine fanatic of a cousin happy by offering one of each. For white, go with the Vineyard 2013 Reserve Chardonnay. It has a touch of oak and will go perfectly with whatever fish you picked up from the market and your sides. “It’s super food friendly,” Martin said. Osprey’s Dominion 2007 “Flight” Meritage blends Merlot, Carmenere and Cabernet Franc. Smooth and complex, you don’t have to worry about drinking this red during the dog days of summer. “It doesn’t have those heavy, heavy tannins,” said Martin.
Relaxing on the Beach
Melissa’s Pick: Martha Clara Vineyards 2014 Solstice Rosé and Solstice Blanc
Lather on sunscreen, dig your feet into the sand and uncork a bottle of Martha Clara Vineyards 2014 Solstice Rosé and Solstice Blanc. “That is summer in a bottle to me,” Martin said. The blanc has hints of tropical fruit that are line and perfect for warm, sunny days, and the rose has hints of strawberry and watermelon. She had us at “summer in a bottle.”