Spring is here in all its glory. Seeds are sprouting, new magazines are premiering, restaurants are reopening but most importantly - the Long Island wineries are releasing their new Rosés.
With interesting color hues ranging from slightly orange to purple, Rosés differ in style as much as color due to many factors such as:
- Location and variety of grapes
- Climatic and soil changes
- Varying manufacturing techniques
- And last but certainly not least, is the winemaker’s own approach to making Rosé. Some treat it with disdain while others nurture it desiring to create a wonderful wine.
I talked to colleague and friend, Christopher Tracy, Winemaker of Channing Daughters Winery, about his approach to Rosé.
Name of your Rosé?
2009 Rosato di Merlot- Mudd Vineyard North Fork of Long Island.
What qualifies you to make this wine?
I leave that up to the consumer.
Why do you make this wine and what is the source of the grapes?
Because it’s delicious and delightful and a wonderful expression of the East End of Long Island. The grapes come from the Mudd Vineyard in Southold on the North Fork.
How do you make it different from other wines using the same grapes?
It’s made like a white wine…we hand-pick the fruit and whole cluster press it and the color comes from the time in the press. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and malo-lactic is prevented.
What do you love about this wine?
It’s delicious as well as having a unique appearance, aromas, flavors, texture, high-quality and expression of place and variety.
Why will this wine go well with food?
Our Rosati are extremely versatile because there are elements of both white wine and red wine…thus the perfect seafood to steak pairing opportunity. With its dry profile, crisp acidity and balanced alcohol you have a wonderful wine for the table.
The Beacon restaurant in Sag Harbor pairs the Rosato di Merlot with its delicious Shellfish Bouillabaisse. David Lowenberg and Chef Sam talk about Shellfish Bouillabaisse and pairing it with Rosé:
What qualifies you to make this dish?
We love to eat this type of cuisine so we strive to deliver this dish at its fullest potential. The Beacon is entering its 12th business season and we operate our beautiful restaurant to its full capabilities. It is amazing that Sam and his kitchen crew can serve so many delicious, consistent meals from our tiny kitchen.
What do you do to make it different from other dishes that use the same main ingredients?
It is a dish requiring a great deal of respect when preparing the stock. Once the broth is prepared the classic way (With fish and clam broth, tomato, fennel, saffron and other spices) then the selection of fresh shellfish raises the dish to a level of greatness. Creamy garlic aioli spread on crisp crostini completes the dish.
What is the source for the ingredients?
We use a selection of shellfish as close to our local waters as possible - Littleneck Clams, dark mussels from Montauk or further north from Prince Edward Island for sea scallops & lobster.
What do you love about this dish and why does it go well with rosé?
Shellfish & Rosé have long been a classic pairing. The sweet, briny flavors of the seafood, mixed with the rich, deep broth of tomato, anise & saffron goes with a crisp rosé from our local vines. Pair our Shellfish Bouillabaisse with Channing Daughter’s Rosito di Merlot, add a sunset, and you have the magic of the Hamptons.
The pure pleasure of a light, chilled elegant Rosé on a hot afternoon is undeniable. So savor a Long Island Rosé. Our climate is not only ideal for making this distinctive wine, but for enjoying it as well.