What's Happening in the Vineyard
This time of year a winemaker spends a good portion of each day walking the vineyards, inspecting the fruit, and tasting the berries to determine their optimal ripeness and when they should be picked. Harvest is well underway on the North Fork and we are looking forward to picking several more tons of fruit in the coming weeks!
Our winemaker Russell has been walking the vineyards, inspecting the fruit, and testing the berries Brix (sugar) levels to determine their ripeness. Winemakers walk the vineyards for a number of reasons as there is a lot you can tell by looking at the vine and tasting the berry as to how the fruit is developing. Taste is a key indicator (as it is in every step of the winemaking process). By tasting the grapes you can assess the ripeness of the berry based on its sweetness as well as by the taste of the seeds.
If you have ever had the chance to taste a wine grape there are several seeds inside the berry. These seeds are a great indicator of a berries ripeness. Green seeds mean the grape is immature. As we walk the vineyard and taste the fruit we are looking for a desired sweetness level and a brown seed indicates that the berry has reached ripeness. An underripe seed can impart a "green" flavor to the wine and add an astringency to the tannins particularly in a red wine which will spend the first few weeks of its post-harvesting journey into wine, in contact with the skins and seeds.
What's Happening at the Winery
Harvest is well underway on the North Fork of Long Island! At this point in mid-September most of the fruit for sparkling, white wines, and rosés have been picked and have begun their fermentation process (which has been keeping our winery crew nice and busy these past few weeks). The red harvest will be starting shortly but we are enjoying the "calm before the storm" at the moment.
Once a grape has been harvested and brought into the winery there is a lot that needs to happen before that grape makes it into your glass—destemming, crushing, settling, fermentation, pressing, pumping, racking, barreling, and bottling—the journey from grape to wine is just beginning. We aren't going to dive into all of that just now (that would be a VERY long post) but let's talk briefly about the first few steps as they relate to what is happening at our winery at the moment.
Our white wines are "in tank" at the moment. When they first came into the winery they were destemmed and loaded into the press which gently squeezed the juice from the berries, leaving the skins and seeds behind. The discarded skins and seeds were then loaded into a truck and driven to the vineyard where they are being composted to be used to fertilize the vineyard for seasons to come. Back at the winery our white wine juice is pumped into tanks (as can be seen in the photo to the left). The juice is then left alone for a day or two to allow any solids to settle to the bottom.
Once the juice has settled, it is racked (the clear juice is pumped into another tank leaving the solids behind) at which point it is inoculated with yeast and the fermentation process begins. During fermentation, temperature control is essential. If the juice is too cold the yeast will go dormant and if too warm the yeast will die. All of our tanks are temperature controlled to create an ideal environment for the yeast to thrive as they consume the naturally occurring sugars in the grapes and convert them to alcohol. Once the yeast is finished consuming the sugars (all sugar is consumed when making a dry wine, fermentation is stopped while some sugar remains for a sweet wine) the fermentation process stops and the wine is again settled allowing the dead yeast cells to settle to the bottom of the tank. Once settled the remaining clear wine is racked into a new tank or barrel to begin its aging process.
Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons! I mean what's not to love?! There's apple and pumpkin picking, it's cozy sweater season, the temperatures start to drop and the leaves start to turn, fall produce hits the farm stands, and it is of course harvest season in the wine industry which makes for some very busy and exciting days!
There is so much to love about Fall but one of my ultimate favorite things about this season is the food! So I have collected a few of my favorite Fall recipes that pair perfectly with Rosé for all of you (like me) who while very excited about the changing of the seasons are not quite ready to say goodbye to summer just yet!
#1: Kale, Apple & Goat Cheese Salad with Granola “Croutons”
I love the Cookie and Kate food blog! If you haven't heard of this blog before I highly recommend it! My fiancé found it about a year ago when searching for a particular soup recipe and we have never looked back (and never had a bad meal)!
For me, Fall salads are the perfect transitional meal from Summer into Fall—they are light and bright and showcase the bounty of the Fall harvest while giving a solid nod to the Summer months when light, healthy, green foods are what we all (or I at least) lean towards.
It's not Fall without a kale, apple salad and this one is the perfect combination of bright, fresh flavors and warm Fall notes with the creamy richness of the goat cheese and the yummy crunch of the granola. Pair this with a bottle of Rosé and you have the perfect meal, the bright fruit favors of the wine perfectly compliment the crispness of the apples and the tangy lemon/maple dressing!
Checkout the Recipe on the Cookie and Kate blog!
#2: Warm Baked Brie
One of my ultimate favorite Fall/Winter snacks and the dish I bring to every holiday, celebration, or dinner party as it is always a crowd pleaser—Baked Brie! Because honestly you can't go wrong with warm melty cheese wrapped in pastry!
I have been making Baked Brie since my first high school French class potluck and there are a few tricks I have learned over the years that I recommend playing around with if you make one yourself! First of all, if you're going to add toppings, score the top of the brie before you wrap it in the pastry and put the toppings inside! There is no limit to the choices but my favorites have always been cinnamon, brown sugar and butter, raspberry or fig jam, or if you're looking to be festive around the holidays, whole berry cranberry sauce! They are all delicous choices but the jams and cranberry sauces add a nice bit of brightness and acidity to balance out the richness of the cheese. Enjoy this dish with apple slices and a glass of Rosé for a truly decadent and delicious meal!
Checkout the Baked Brie Recipe on The Kitchn!
#3: Curried Butternut Squash Soup
One of my all time favorite things about the cooler weather months are that they are a perfect excuse to pull out my soup pot and immersion blender and make all of the soup recipes I have been dreaming about all summer. Butternut Squash soup is of course a classic, but I like to give mine a little twist and make a curried soup giving it a little extra flavor and a nice kick of spice (I usually increase the amount of curry powder in mine but you do you)!
This recipe comes from Minimalist Baker, another fantastic food blog that I highly recommend you explore as there are lots of great recipes! Curried foods are great because they have a warming effect on your body which is particularly nice as the nights begin to cool. Given that, Rosé may not always be the first wine that pops to mind when you're having a curried soup. What makes this such a wonderful pairing, is that the bright fruitiness and crisp acidity cut through the spice. The acidity actually acts to "cool" your mouth from the spice. This is style of soup also pairs beautifully with our Dry Riesling, another under rated Fall wine.
Checkout the Recipe on the Minimalist Baker Blog!
#4: Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
A full roasted chicken is wonderful but sometimes you just need a quick weekday meal. This a great infusion of Fall flavors without taking up too much of your time during what we all know is a busy time of year! I love one pot or one pan dishes because not only do they infuse all of the flavors but the cleanup is super simple!
This simple recipe nicely showcases all of the wonderful Fall veggies, keeping the roasted chicken breast center stage, and as an added bonus, there's bacon! I like to throw in a few sliced radishes as well to round out my roasted veggies (because you can never have too many)!
Chicken is a classic pairing with Rosé and is such a versatile food that pairs so well with so many types and styles of wine. The list of possible pairings with a dish like this is endless. I strongly encourage you to try it with a glass of Rosé if you never have before, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Checkout the Recipe on Cooking Classy!
#5: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Hazelnuts, Quinoa, and Kale
If you're not cooking squash in the Fall I don't know what you're doing! There are so many great ones out there and such a plethora of recipes it was hard to decide on just one. I have had my eye on this particular recipe for some time now and am looking forward to trying it out this weekend now that acorn squash is readily available. While this particular recipe is new to me, this idea is not, I make a lot of stuffed acorn squash each Fall! It is such a delicious food and as an added bonus this particular recipe happens to be both vegan and gluten free which is great for when you're cooking for anyone with dietary restrictions.
There is something about roasted vegetables that just makes me happy and acorn squash is no exception. Pair it with a savory, earthy blend of quinoa, hazelnuts, kale and cranberries and you can't go wrong. All this dish is missing is a little brightness, so pair it with a glass of Rosé and the fruit flavors of the wine will play perfectly with the light sweetness of the cranberry. Plus the nice bright finish will act as a nice contrast to the heavier, rich flavors of the meal!
Checkout the Stuffed Squash recipe on Will Cook For Friends!
#6: Thanksgiving Turkey with Cranberry Sauce
Thanksgiving turkey needs no recipe as each family has their own special secret recipe and family traditions. So I am going to skip over including a recipe link here because no matter how you cook a turkey, it's delicious!
My Thanksgiving dinner usually includes most of the dishes above because why not have all of your favorites on one of your favorite holidays?! That being said, a family tradition is our house is to start off Thanksgiving with some rosé (if any has managed to last that long in our house). It is a great way to start the day with a bright, crisp, light dry wine to cleanse the palate before the heavy meal. Much in the same way that cranberry sauce acts to cut through the richness of the meal and offer a little brightness to the plate, rosé can do much the same.
So this holiday season, why not add a few bottles of rosé to your table and see what happens? Who knows, you may just make a new family tradition!
I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into my Fall cookbook and have gotten a little kitchen inspiration! These are a few of my favorite Fall dishes but I would love to hear what you are cooking this Fall—please share your recipe recommendations in the comments below!
If you are in need of a little Rosé in your life, be sure to stockup while you still can! Plus we've got a little something special—we are offering 25% Off all of our Rosé in both bottles and cans today Tuesday, September 29th through the end of the day on Thursday, October 1st!
The latest addition to the Suhru Wines portfolio, we are very excited to share the release of our 2019 Teroldego! First released to our Wine Club in early September, this delicious new wine is now available at the Tasting House!
A perfect wine for the cooler Fall months, this unique red wine has warm baking spices on the nose with hints of anise, cinnamon, and red currant. Notes of red raspberry and wild briary fruit compliment the fine tannins and bright acidity on the finish making is a perfect wine to enjoy with a meal!
A Brief History of the Grape
Teroldego is a lesser known Northern Italian varietal (best known as the nephew of an old French variety that was the parent of Syrah) and is a rarity on the North Fork and in the US. To our knowledge there is only one vineyard on the East End with this grape variety planted and we are very excited to have gotten our hands on it!
Fun Fact: 97% of the world's Terolego’s production comes from Italy
Teroldego is found across the globe in California, Australia, New York and Brazil however the majority of the Teroldego vines planted are in Italy. An Italian red grape variety primarily found in the northeast region of Trentino-Alto Adige, it is believed that the name “Teroldego” came from the traditional method of cultivation in which the vines are trained on a system of “tirelle” or wire harnesses.
A cool-climate varietal, Teroldego is a hardy grape varietal that is known for being vigorous. It is best suited to permeable, well drained soils, making it a perfect grape to grow on Long Island where our soil is comprised of sandy loam soil with great drainage.
A Note from Winemaker Russell Hearn
"Over the last 12 years Suhru has been committed to producing a small selection of wines, specifically selected to showcase the varieties that grow best in our region. Making a wine that you like is important, but it is more important to select a variety that grows well in the region otherwise as a winemaker I am setting myself up for failure, as you need great grapes to make a great wine.
As my wine preferences have evolved over the decades I’ve found myself leaning towards elegant, over powerful red wines as they compliment rather than overwhelm the meal. This led me to further exploration of Italian wines, specifically wines from the Northern Alto Adige Region, where I happened upon Teroldego.
This variety is known for fruit forward, expressive wines with elegant tannin structure. Teroldgeo does not benefit from extended barrel aging, so can be bottled and released earlier than most of our other red wines and is an early ripener which is a huge asset in our region where hurricanes have been known to decimate later harvesting varieties. For all these reasons and more, when we discovered Teroldego planted on the North Fork we jumped on it and are very excited to share our latest wine. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!”
A Closer Look at Suhru Teroldego
Grown in Southold, NY, Teroldego is known for being an early ripening (on the North Fork, Teroldego is usually picked around the second week of October, before Merlot) and early release wine. A light/medium bodied wine and a distant cousin if Syrah, Teroldego is designed to be enjoyed now and is not a wine that benefits from bottle aging.
After bring picked in early October of 2019, our 2019 Teroldego was fermented in open top tanks and then spent 9 months aging in French oak. This Teroldego is blended with 4% Petit Verdot to add body, color, and elongate the finish.
Recommended Food Pairings
An extremely food-friendly wine, Teroldego pairs beautifully with a wide range of dishes including duck, swordfish, salmon, and gamey poultry. For more adventurous pairings try a bottle with teriyaki salmon, apple pie, walnut goat cheese pear salad, or brisket!
Want to learn more abour Teroldego? Click here!
Harvest has started on the North Fork! While we are yet to begin harvesting our vineyards, a number of wineries across Long Island are busy bringing in fruit for their sparkling wines!
This is one of our favorite times of the year as this is when all the action happens at the winery! Over the next few months we will be keeping you up-to-date on the Blog and on our Instagram account on everything going on in the winery and the vineyard during the 2020 Harvest!
What's Happening in the Winery
With the beginning of our harvest season quickly approaching, this week has been spent preparing for fruit receival and readying the winery for the first grapes to arrive (aka lots of cleaning!) As our winemaker Russell loves to say "Winemaking is 70% Sanitation, 20% Perspiration, 9% Inspiration, and 1% Degustation, but only at the end of the day!"
When grapes arrive at the winery their first stop in their journey into wine is the crush-pad which is where all the action happens. The crush-pad is home to the de-stemmer, presses, weight scale, and a number of other machines that ensure that the first stages of the grapes post-picking journey to become wine goes smoothly. We have been readying our crush-pad for the last few weeks and just had new membranes installed to ensure everything is ready to go for the 2020 harvest season! Over the next few days the winery crew will be busy cleaning and sanitizing all the harvest equipment: hoses, piping, hoppers, destemmer/crusher and the presses in preparation to receive fruit, which could potentially be coming as early as next week.
While all of this is going on outside on the crush-pad the cellar is being prepared for harvest as well, cleaning tanks, making sure everything is organized, and preparing several harvest devices such as the 'punch-down tool' for red wine fermentations 5-6 weeks away.
What's Happening in the Vineyard
In the vineyards, Russell is carefully watching the grapes and monitoring their sugar content (Brix) which is used to determine the grapes ripeness to determine when to pick our grapes. He is regularly walking the vineyards, inspecting the grapes, speaking to the vineyard managers, and testing the grapes. As we get closer to picking he will be carefully monitoring the weather. The goal is always to harvest grapes after several dry days. Whenever possible you want to avoid harvesting shortly after a rain as the grapes will be bloated with water they absorbed.
A Note from Winemaker Russell Hearn
I never make predictions on the quality of the Harvest until 'all the fruit is in the building' however, 2020 is setting up very nicely and we are anticipating a good harvest. The growing season started very slowly this Spring with May and early June being much cooler and wetter than normal, which seems to be becoming the norm on the East End the last few years. Since then we have enjoyed a beautiful run of warm weather with very little rain (what we hope for in an ideal grape growing season). We are below normal in rainfall since June and have needed to drip irrigate several times during the last three months, which is always a good sign for quality. When the potato and sod farmers are grumbling about the dryness, the vineyard managers and winemakers are smiling! Grapes vines like a little stress during the growing season, with long dry summers and minimal rain being their ideal growing season. This harvest is shaping up to be very similar to 2019, so with some continued dry conditions I am very hopeful.
We have a number of exciting new Releases this September that we are excited to share with you including the 2019 vintage releases of our Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and brand new, soon-to-be-released Teroldego!
2019 Pinot Grigio
Our signature wine, we are very excited to release this new Pinot Grigio! In 2019 we saw a slow start to the growing season with a cold wet May but the summer months more than made up for it with a hot, dry summer and minimal rainfall which is exactly what we are looking for when it comes to grape growing!
With a strong growing season behind us Russell was able to do what he does best and showcase the bright, crisp, fruity flavors of the berries into the Suhru Pinot Grigio we all know and love. The stainless steel fermented white is 100% Pinot Grigio and recently received a 89pt score from Wine Advocate!
The 2019 vintage is bright and crisp, with nice lemon and lime zest notes jumping from the glass and a nice hint of granny smith apple and bosc pear on the palate. The crisp, bright flavors and refreshing acidity offers a diverse range of food compliments. Try a glass with lighter flavors such as fish, salads, chicken, cheese, or a meatier fish like swordfish. Happy sipping!
2019 Sauvignon Blanc
This may be our best Sauvignon Blanc yet! As I said above with the Pinot Grigio, 2019 was a great growing season for white wines and the Sauvignon Blanc fruit was no exception. Deliciously fruity, the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc has hints of gooseberry on the nose giving way to lush, rich flavors on the palate.
Past vintages of our Sauvignon Blanc have leaned into the tropical notes with passion fruit and pineapple being the distinctive characteristics. With the 2019 we are seeing more complexity, richness, and depth coming through while still maintaining those bright crisp flavors that we all love.
The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc has a bright acidity on the palate with notes of lime, a light grassiness and a subtle richness. Fuji pear notes and a round mouthfeel give way to a soft minerality and defined brightness on the finish, all showcasing the distinctive characteristics of the varietal which make it such a beautiful pairing with seafood and local produce.
We are also happy to announce that the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc received a 89pt score in the most recent publication of Wine Advocate!
Want to learn more about our Sauvignon Blanc? Check out the Tasting Notes!
We are beyond excited to be announcing the upcoming release of the newest addition to the Suhru Wines portfolio, our brand new 2019 Teroldego!
Teroldego is a lesser known Northern Italian varietal (best known as the nephew of an old French variety that was the parent of Syrah) and is a rarity on the North Fork. To our knowledge there is only one vineyard on the East End with this grape variety planted and we are very excited to have gotten our hands on it!
This unique red wine is the perfect Fall release as it is rich with warm baking spices on the nose with hints of anise, cinnamon, and red currant. Dark red, almost black in color and completely opaque in the glass this medium-light bodied wine is deliciously fruity with red raspberry notes mingled with wild briar fruit.
An extremely food friendly wine, this Teroldego pairs nicely with fish, duck, swordfish, salmon, and gamey poultry. For more adventurous pairings try the bottle with teriyaki salmon, apple pie, walnut goat cheese pear salad, or brisket!
This wine will be released on our website on Tuesday, September 15th and in our Tasting House on Thursday, September 17th. Want to learn more about this exciting new red? Check out the Tasting Notes and keep an eye on our Blog for an in-depth History of the Grape!
Each Month we will be taking a closer look at one of the grape varietals Suhru works with. Check back each month for more interesting facts, history, and tidbits about the wines we know and love! This August we are taking a look at Pinot Grigio and its twin Pinot Gris!
Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are genetically identical, these two styles of wine are made from the same grayish purple-hued grape. Identical twins with different personalities, the two styles each harken back to a national style.
Fun Fact: Pinot Grigio is a white variant-clone of the red grape Pinot Noir. Its skin is not green like other white grapes but is grayish, purple hued in color in pinecone shaped clusters.
The varietal itself originated in the Alsace region of France, from there it found its way to Switzerland in the 1300's and eventually made its way to Northern Italy, where it found wide acceptance in the wine world. As with many varieties (think Shiraz vs Syrah) the same grape varieties are often made in different styles based on the geographic region in which the wine is made and it is these differences that are at the root of the difference in style. In France, it is referred to as Pinot Gris, while in Italy it is called Pinot Grigio. At Suhru we focus on the Italian style, striving to make bright, crisp, refreshing Pinot Grigios.
When made in the French style, Pinot Gris are generally speaking made from very ripe grapes which have had more sun exposure, resulting in lush, richer, fuller, flavors with soft acidity. These wines tend to be fuller-bodied, richer, barrel fermented with the intention to age, and often feature tropical fruits notes such as nectarine, melon, mango, and honeysuckle. Typically they are also finished with some residual sugar via stopping the fermentation prior to completion.
Pinot Grigio on the other hand are made with the intention of being consumed and enjoyed within 1-2 years. Light in body and often fermented completely dry, Pinot Grigios lean towards bright, crisp, dry flavors and are usually unoaked which accentuates the bright, crisp zesty flavors of the grape. Whereas with Pinot Gris you are looking for extended sun exposure to create a lush, rich wine when you are making a Pinot Grigio the key factor is acidity. As the grape ripens in the vineyard you are watching the acidity levels. As soon as the acidity starts to drop you know it is time to pick because with this style you are looking for bright, crisp flavors which are enhanced by higher acidity levels in the wine. Common tasting notes for Italian style Pinot Grigios include granny smith apple, meyer lemon, and lime zest. When describing Pinot Grigio our benchmark are the Northern regions of Italy Venezio and Alto Adige not the warmer regions where this variety becomes a little blander in description due to too much heat.
A Closer Look at Suhru Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio was one of the first white wines Sue fancied when she first became interested in wine. The wide variation in the Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigios found around the world struck her interest and has captivated her ever since!
This strong interest in the variety has led to trips to France where Sue and Russ toured the regions of Loire, Burgundy, Champagne, Alsace, Bordeaux, Languedoc, and Provence as well as trips to Italy where they spent time tasting their way through Tuscany, Piedmont, Alto Adige, Umbria,to name a few.
When first starting Suhru Wines and deciding on the varieties they would make, Sue knew that Pinot Grigio needed to be one of them. Being based on the North Fork of Long Island, our cool maritime climate offers ideal conditions for this variety as our long hot summers and cool fall nights create an ideal environment to grow the variety.
Our signature wine, the Suhru Pinot Grigio—made in both bottles and cans—is the first wine we chose to make when starting Suhru Wines. Pale straw yellow with an earthy aroma and hints of lemon zest on the nose, the Suhru Pinot Grigio has notes of granny smith apple and bosc pear.
Made entirely of Pinot Grigio fruit, this white wine was fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel tanks, resulting in a finished wine that accentuates the vibrant varietal fruit aromas and flavor while retaining a clean, crisp acidity that compliments the refreshing finish.
Recommended Food Pairings:
The crisp, bright flavors and refreshing acidity of our Pinot Grigio compliments a diverse range of foods. Try a glass of this Pinot Grigio with lighter flavors such as fish, salads, chicken, cheese, or a meatier fish like swordfish.
Some of our favorite pairings include: creamy cheeses like Brie or Camenbert, richers seafood dishes like lobster, scallops, or salmon, and Parmesan focused pasta dishes!Whatever you choose, the bright crisp finish makes this an excellent pairing wine, happy sipping!
This August we are celebrating a few of our favorite summer varieties with a Summer White's Pinot Trio featuring a pre-release of our 2019 Pinot Grigio paired with the 2015 Lenz Estate Pinot Gris, and the 2019 Lieb Estate Pinot Blanc!
Enjoy a personal tasting from the comfort of your home as you taste through a variety of pinot styles from three award-winning North Fork wineries!
One of our favorite things about summer is the plethora of delicious food and drink options available to refresh you after a long day in the sun! Below we've included up a few of our favorite wine & goat cheese pairings for the summer months! Check back throughout the year for more wine & cheese pairings suggestions but today we're focusing on goat cheese, which pairs beautifully with a few of our summer favorites!
Miracle Springs Signal Rock with Brut
This deliciously soft pasteurized goat cheese has a bloomy rind and a layer of ash running through the center. With bright creamy flavors, a hint of minerality and a touch of lemon this spreadable goat cheese pairs perfectly with our sparkling Brut.
The light delicate flavors and touch of brioche in our sparkling Brut compliment the minerality of the goat cheese, beautifully accentuating the flavors of both!
Learn More About Miracle Springs Signal Rock
Catapano Farms Chevre with Pinot Grigio
This deliciously creamy goat cheese is one of our favorites on the North Fork! Made locally at their farm in Peconic, Catapano Farm Dairy has been making award-winning cheeses since 2005! Focused primarily on goats milk, their chevre is the flagship cheese at Catapanos. This deliciously fresh, creamy goat cheese comes in a variety of flavors but the plain chevre and the lemon pepper are two of our favorites!
Pair it with some local peaches, crackers, and a bottle of Pinot Grigio and you have a treat in store! Stop by the farm in Peconic to meet the goats and get a true sense of a local North Fork dairy!
Learn More About Catapano Farms Chevre
Miracle Springs Camembert-Style with Sauvignon Blanc
A beautiful bloomy rind camembert-style cheese, the Miracle Springs Camembert is best when left out of the fridge before serving, Let this cheese get to room temperature and then enjoy the spreadable cheesy goodness and it melts in your mouth!
The rind gives it a nice texture and when paired with the Sauvignon Blanc really brings our the tropical flavors of the wine. Bright and bursting with fruit our Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect pairing for any cheese plate but this duo is a step above the rest!
Learn More About Miracle Springs Camembert
For more fun wine & cheese pairings, keep an eye on our Tickets page,
for upcoming Wine & Cheese Tastings!
People have been making wine for millennium, with the first evidence of winemaking dating back to sometime between 8000 B.C. and 4100 B.C. However since the beginning the challenge has always been how to store the wine once it was made.
Glass bottles were not used in wine on a large scale until the 17th century, although they were different shapes—squat, with large bases and short necks—than the wine bottles today. It wasn’t until the 1820s that glass wine bottles began to resemble the ones we use today.
The main reason for the delay in the adoption of glass bottles for wine storage was that for centuries it was illegal to sell wine in a bottle. There were so many different bottle types (and volume variations) that it was far too easy to cheat, so merchants measured out wine from their barrels into containers that customers supplied themselves to ensure accurance.
In the 17th century that all changed. Up until the 17th century glass bottles were considered a luxury item due to the fact that they were made to order and handcrafted in a wood or charcoal furnace. Bottles were a time consuming product to make and therefore very expensive. However in 1615, King James I decided that English forests were better used to make warships. Wood was in short supply so manufacturers turned to coal, which burned hotter and produced stronger glass.
Sir Kenelm Digby is cited as “the father of the modern bottle” for discovering a process that resulted in stronger bottles that were able to be made and distributed on a wider scale. A controversial adventurer, privateer and alchemist Sir Digby was known for turning sand into gold by adding some secret ingredients (metals and oxides) and using a blower system to get the fire even hotter. His new formula produced glass bottles that were stronger, thicker, darker—and cheaper thus bringing a stronger better suited glass bottle to market.
This discovery made glass more widely available, but it wasn’t until the 1900s that mass production began. In 1887, an English company created a semi-automatic machine that could produce up to 200 bottles an hour. Over the years this process has been pefected and refined to allow modern machines to produce more than 600 containers per minute.
Want to learn more? Checkout
Did you know? Decanting red wine separates the wine from any sediment in the bottle. Decanted wines often taste softer, because the act of decanting adds oxygen to the wine softening the tannins in the wine.
What is decanting?
Decanting is simply the process of pouring (decanting) the wine from one container (usually a bottle) into another, the decanter. The wine is often then served directly into the glass from the decanter itself.
Why decant wine?
This process is not necessary with every wine, but is usually reserved with older, heavier wines (think our T'Jara Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot). Aged, heavier red wines often have sediment at the bottom of the bottle, which if disturbed can end up in your glass. The process of decanting separates the wine from the sediment, making for a more enjoyable drinking experience. The sediment itself, is harmless to drink but can make the wine taste more astringent and will often give the wine a gritty mouth feel.
Another reason to decant is to aerate the wine. This is generally most beneficial to younger wines that may taste a little "tight" when first opening, as well as highly tannic and full-bodied wines. This is often why people talk about opening a wine to let it "breathe;" decanting or aerating the wine speeds up this process, ensure the wine is ready to drink when you are. Swirling your wine in the glass is another way to aerate your wine.
How do I decant?
To decant a wine, you will need a bottle of wine, a small flashlight (or the flashlight on your smart phone), and a decanter (this can be any 750ml or larger vessel). Prior to decanting your wine, let the wine rest upright in the bottle for an hour or so to let the sediment settle to the bottom of the bottle. Then, with your flashlight in hand, slowly pour the contents of the bottle into your decanter. Once about half of the bottle's contents have been poured into the decanter, place the flashlight under the neck of the bottle to illuminate the stream of wine so you can better see the sediment. Once you start to see a cloudy haze in the wine, stop pouring the wine into the decanter.
You will usually have about a glass of wine remaining, so to ensure that you can enjoy every last drop of this very nice wine you have just decanted, pour the remaining wine from the bottle into a glass or Champagne flute. This will allow any remaining sediment to once again settle to the bottom of the glass. Once the wine has settled, you can repeat the process and pour the clear wine off the remaining sediment.
Mother's Day weekend is one of our favorite Spring weekends, it is the indicator we have all been waiting for to announce that Spring has officially arrived! Everyone is outside gardening, spending time in the backyard, and enjoying a day with mother nature after the long winter and rainy Spring!
With the current world health crisis going on, this Mother's Day is going to look a little different for everyone so we wanted to share a few helpful hints for making the most of the weekend, while maintaining social distancing.
What to Give Mom the Mother's Day
Whether you are going to be together for Mother's Day or celebrating from a far, Mom still deserves a great day!
Keep it Classic: Wine & Flowers
Looking for a classic gift this Mother's Day? We have partnered with our local florist—Blooms by Design—to offer beautiful floral bouquets paired with a bottle of wine for a classic Mother's Day Flower & Wine Gift!
Flower & Wine Gifts include your choice of one (1) bouquet option paired with your choice of one (1) bottle of wine OR one (1) gift card. These Mother's Day Flower & Wine Gifts are available for pickup and local delivery (shipping not available) Wednesday, May 6th - Sunday, May 10th. All Mother's Day gift orders including flowers must be placed by Wednesday, May 6, 2020 to ensure availability.
The Gift that Keeps in Giving: Wine Club Membership
Looking to show Mom just how much you love her today and everyday? Give the gift that keeps on giving, a membership to our Wine Club! We offer 3 club levels with something for everyone! Our Wine Clubs include quarterly wine shipments/pickups, access to a number of great member benefits such as discounts on wine, one (1) complimentary wine tasting for you and a guest at the Tasting House per month, early access to all Suhru Wines events, access to pre-releases, library wines, Wine Club exclusives, and more! Join today and become a part of the Suhru Family!
A Little Something Sweet: Wine & Chocolate
The only thing we love more than wine is chocolate, and what could be better than the two together? Our Merlot Dark Chocolate Bars, hand crafted by local chocolatier North Fork Chocolate Company in Aquebogue, are a delicious treat to enjoy on its own or with a bottle of red! For a match made in heaven, pair the chocoate bars with a bottle of our 2017 T'Jara Merlot and watch the flavors sing, a taste of red wine and dark chocolate in every bite!
Indulge at Home: Relaxation Care Package
While going to the spa is not an option at the moment, you can bring all of the pampering of spa life home! Enter our Relaxation Care Package—everything Mom needs to relax and unwind at home! Care Packages come in both Red and White and include a bottle of wine, a Suhru stemless wine glass, North Fork Chocolate Company Merlot-Infused Dark Chocolate bar, and two (2) Ney Tiv Spa Organic Bath Bombs.
Where to Pickup Brunch on the North Fork
Mother's Day and Brunch are synonomus in our brains, but if you can't go out for brunch, why not bring the brunch to you! With so many amazing restaurants offering takeout at the moment; how do you choose? We've compiled a few of our favorite brunch spots that are currently offering takeout:
Much as their name would suggest, this cute little spot is all about the biscuits and their honey butter is to die for! Do yourself a favor, pickup one of their Biscuit Samplers for a real treat! Checkout their Takeout Menu
Love Lane Kitchen
A classic North Fork institution, Love Lane Kitchen offers a great takeout selection including too many favorites to list here but, do yourself a favor and add a Bloodly Mary to your order, you won't regret it! Checkout their Takeout Menu
North Fork Roasting Company
One of our favorite casual coffee shops—North Fork Roasting Company is offering coffee, baked goods and breakfast items to go from both their Southold and brand new Westhampton Beach location! Don't forget to pickup a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans with your order! Checkout their Takeout Menu
North Fork Dougnut Company
Place an order in advance or try your luck day of to pickup a few of NoFoDoCos delicious doughnuts! With their ever changing menu, you are sure to find something that everyone will love! Plus, they are currently doing a collaboration with Sail Away Coffee for coffee and doughnut delivery. Checkout their Takeout Menu
How to Celebrate while Social Distancing
Take a walk, hike, or bike ride outside
One of the best things about living on the East End is how many amazing places there are to explore! With all of the time we are currently spending at home, this is a great opportunity to get out of the house and stretch your legs for a bit. (Pro Tip: go early in the morning or at dusk to avoid the crowds)
A few great North Fork hikes to explore are the Hallock State Park Preserve, Laurel Lake Preserve, Downs Farm Preserve, Inlet Pond County Park, and one of the most popular destination hiking spots, Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island.
Go on a family picnic
Looking to make this Mother's Day a little extra memorable? With the beautiful Spring weather here to stay why not pack up a few of your favorite brunch foods or pickup takeout , grab a bottle of wine, and take Mom on a family picnic! Head over to the beach, the backyard, or your favorite quiet spot for a memorable Mother's Day picnic!
Don't forget the adult beverages! A picnic is nothing without a beverage, so pickup a bottle or one of our new canned wine 4-packs for easy packing and cleanup.
Plant Mom a Garden
With the temperatures rising and the beautiful weather here to stay, one of our annual Mother's Day traditions is planting the garden! This is a great way to enjoy the sunshine and get something productive done that you will all be able to enjoy in the months ahead! Pickup a few herbs and vegetable plants from a local nursery and get your hands dirty! Whether you're planting an outdoor garden in the backyard or potting a few herbs into a windowsill herb garden, this is a gift Mom is sure to appreciate!
Spend the day on the water
With the temperatures rising and the summer just around the corner why not spend your day on or by the water?
Lucky enough to have a boat? Spend the day sailing, paddling or cruising about the sound!
Looking to stay a little closer to home and entertain the kiddos? Grab a shovel, a blanket, and some snacks and head down to the beach to soak up a little Vitamin D and relax the day away!
No matter how you celebrate, we're wishing a very happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful women, mothers, and mother figures out there—cheers to you!