We are very excited to be releasing our new 2020 Rosé, which has recently won a gold medal and a 91 point score at the 2021 Wine & Spirits Experience Rosé Awards! We have taken our rosé in a new direction with this vintage focusing on the soft, subtle flavors that we are currently seeing in rosés coming out of the Provence region of France which this style of rosé is designed to emulate.
A Note From our Winemaker, Russell Hearn
What makes a great Rosé? At the moment based on wine consumption trends, the benchmark for rosé is rosé made in Provence, France which typically produces pale, salmon-colored rosés with soft, subtle flavors and very light acidity. Right or wrong as a winemaker you have to be conscious of what is 'perceived as a top wine'. One of the most fun parts of a winemaker's job is to be constantly tasting the wines of the world and assessing the trends coming out of each region.
Over the last year we have spent some time tasting a wide variety of rosés from across the globe but have primarily focused on rosés from Provence, France which based on the current wine market the average wine drinker perceives as the top rosés in the world.
Given all of this we have taken our rosé which we have always made in the Provence style and taken it one step further. North Fork rosés, particularly those made from predominantly Cabernet Franc fruit as ours is, tend to have bright, crisp acidity that lifts the fruit and lingers on the finish. While the goal is always to make the best Rose expression from our region, we can make a rosé that emulates aspects of the style, for example in our 2020 Rosé we have used a little less Cabernet Franc and added a little Pinot Noir which softens the flavors and adds more roundness to the pallet. We have also intentionally de-emphasized the acidity giving it a nice, gentle finish.
More About the 2020 Rosé
A delicate Provencal style rosé with soft, subtle aromatics, our 2020 Rosé—a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Pinot Noir—has hints of watermelon and carnations on the nose with raspberry, quince, and starfruit mingling on the palate giving way to soft, round flavors and a nice brightness on the finish. Our rosé is purposely made by harvesting the fruit a full 2-3 weeks earlier than we would for our red wines. After 6 hours of skin contact to extract a light salmon hue, the fruit is pressed. The light flavors and crisp finish make this a versatile wine able to stand up nicely with a wide range of lighter fare including seafood, salads, chicken, chilled pastas, lobster, and pork. This wine is perfect for the beach, sitting by the pool, and a summer BBQ!
We look forward to hearing your thoughts and seeing which style you prefer—the 2019 Rosé or the 2020 Rosé. Throughout the summer months we will be tasting both our 2019 and 2020 Rosés side by side in our Summer Sippers Tasting flight. Stop by the Tasting House and give these two delicious wines a try. We would love to know your preference!
Summer months call for crisp, bright, refreshing white wines during the day and bold, rich, full-bodied reds to pair with BBQ or sip around the fire at night. Our Ember is just such a wine, crafted with summer evenings around the bonfire in mind!
As soon as June turns to July I find myself reaching for a bottle of Ember again and again. This delicious Bordeaux Blend comprised of the five main Bordeaux red varieties—Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot—has rich red and black fruit notes, mellow tannins and a rich, round finish with just a hint of oak! Pair it with a July 4th or summer BBQ and you can't go wrong!
A Note from Winemaker Russell Hearn
The beauty of red wine blends is that irregardless of the vintage a winemaker can adjust the blend to stylize a very similar wine year over year which still showcasing the best of that vinatge. In warm years you are able to use larger percentages of the later ripening varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot) with the reverse in cooler years, focusing on larger percentages of Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. This adjustment from year to year allows us to ensure we produce a perfectly balanced wine from the first wine that hints your toungue through the mid palate and onto the finish. With our blend as well as with all of our wines, I aim to ensure that we are always showcase fruit expression while maintaining a balance of tannin throughout the wine.
A Closer Look at Suhru Ember
This classic Bordeaux blend has notes of cranberry, cassis, mixed spice and thyme on the nose giving way to red fruit notes on the mid-palate with hints of raspberry, dark cherry and cranberry with hints of vanilla. Soft mellow tannins with a medium full bodied finish. The blend is comprised of 49% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, and 4% Petit Verdot and aged for 12 months in Hungarian oak. The five different varietals were each fermented in open top tanks and punched down during their time on skins. The goal is to extract color and tannin without remaining too long (14 – 18 days) on skins before pressing to retain the vibrant fruit notes.
Want to Learn more about this wine? Checkout our 2018 Ember!
It's been a hell of a year but Summer has officially arrived and we are READY for it! Fourth of July is one of my favorite summer weekends out East as it is a pure celebration of all of the wonderful things that make summer on the North Fork so special—good friends, great local foods, backyard BBQs, day spent on the water, and an all around good time outdoors and it doesn't get better than that!
There are always a plethora of events happening across the North Fork and Forth of July weekend is no exception. We've listed a few of our favorite July 4th activities but for a complete list of what is happening out East this Weekend checkout the Northforker!
Shop Local for a Backyard BBQ
One of the best things about the North Fork is our plethora of local seafood and produce, stop by a farm-stand and pickup all of the necessities for your weekend BBQ—asparagus, tomatoes, fresh berries, corn, the list goes on! Plus if you want to really impress and take your BBQ to the next level, head over to Braun Seafood or Southold Fish Market to pickup some fresh seafood, shrimp cocktail, or baked clams. Then swing by one of the local oyster farms for a couple dozen oysters to throw on the BBQ (check this out for a favorite grilled oyster recipe!)
Enjoy a glass of Wine Poolside
With the hot weather we have been experiencing nothing sounds better than lazing by the pool this weekend! Put together a delicious cheese spread with local cheeses from Catapano Dairy Farm and crack open a bottle of wine and you have a weekend fit for the kings! Just be sure to drink some water too, its hot out there!
Vist a Tasting Room
Wineries and Tasting Rooms across Long Island are open for the weekend both for tastings as well as to pop in to pickup a few bottles for your backyard BBQ so dont forget to shop local and pickup a few of your favorites this week to enjoy with family and friends.
As always, but particularly on these busier weekends be sure to <make a reservation or call ahead at your favorite wineries to ensure you have a table. At Suhru we are open Thursday - Saturday and Monday from 12noon to 6pm and will be closed on Sunday, July 4th to allow our staff to enjoy some well deserved time with family and friends this holiday weekend!
Spend some Time on the Water
Summer time means boat season! Grab a 4-pack of Suhru Pinot Grigio or Rosé cans and hit the beach, boat, kayak, or paddle board! So easy and convenient, our Suhru cans make all of your outdoor summer activities nice and simple. As we like to say, Suhru cans, wine made easy for wherever life takes you! Wherever life takes you this holiday weekend we hope you have some Suhru in hand!
Stay safe, stay hydrated, put on SPF, and have a wonderful July Fourth holiday weekend with family and friends! From our family to yours, cheers to Summer!
There are few things that say "Summer has Arrived on the North Fork" quite like Strawberry Season! All of the local farm stands have gorgeous pint containers of bright red berries filling their shelves and the U-Pick strawberry fields are open and ready for the picking!
Given the plethora of delicious, fresh, local strawberries on the North Fork at the moment it seemed only appropriate to feature Strawberries in our "Cooking with Suhru" post this week! And what better to pair with strawberries than rosé?!
When it comes to strawberry shortcake there are lots of different options, however I like to keep it simple as the strawberries are, and should be, the star of the show! Therefore I skip the fancy cake options and go for personal strawberry shortcake towers that are fit for a king. Pair with a glass or can of our Suhru Rosé and you will be dreaming of summer no matter the season!
The below recipe is adapted from the Strawberry Shortcake Puff's recipe from Taste of Home with a few small tweaks. We hope you enjoy!
Quick & Easy Strawberry Shortcake Towers
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 TBSP butter, melted
- 4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 TBSP powdered sugar
- 1 bottle Suhru Rosé
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
On a lightly floured surface, spread out your puff pastry and lightly roll until just smooth. Cut your puff pastry into four equal squares. Repeat with second sheet on pastry.
Place your puff pastry on an ungreased baking sheet and brush the tops with melted butter. Bake until golden brown, approximately12 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss sliced strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar. Let stand for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In another bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
To serve, place one puff pastry square in the middle of a plate. Top with a healthy serving of whipped cream and strawberries. Place second square on top and repeat. Do this for all pastry squares.
Serve with a chilled glass of Suhru Rosé and enjoy!
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If you have spent much time on the North Fork of Long Island or in any wine country in the Fall you likely know that September and October are harvest season. Typically starting the second week of September on the North Fork the white wine grapes begin reaching optimal ripeness and harvest season begins!
When the grapes have reached optimal ripeness they are harvested either by machine or by hand depending on the winemaker's preference and brought into the winery. Once they arrive at the winery, the grapes are destemmed and then loaded into the press where all of that delicious grape juice is gently extracted from the grape skins.
Fun Fact: The sugar content in a grape is measured using a system of measurement called "Brix" the higher the brix number, the more sugar in a grape.
Once the grapes have been pressed, the grape juice is pumped into a tank where it is chilled and settled. The settled juice is then racked off any remaining grape pulp and brought back up to temperature to prepare to start the fermentation process. At this point the juice is inoculated with yeast and fermentation begins.
During fermentation the yeast cells consume the naturally occurring sugars in the grape juice. As the yeast consumes the sugar it produces alcohol and releases carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 as it is released creates a protective barrier at the top of the tank, preventing oxygen from coming in contact with the wine. Once all of the sugars have been consumed and converted into alcohol the yeast cells die and precipitate out of the liquid, settling to the bottom of the tank. Once everything has settled, the clear wine is racked (aka transferred) off the solids (aka dead yeast cells) into a new tank where it undergoes the final finishing touches (heat stabilization, cold stabilization, filtering, etc) before it is bottled, chilled and served!
Learn More About Our White Wines
At Suhru we make a number of crisp, bright, dry white wines with each grape variety specifically selected to offer a wonderful compliment to our local cuisine. If you are looking for a big, bold white wine with lots of acidity look no further than our Pinot Grigio! Made in the Italian style, this dry white wine is crisp and refreshing making it an excellent compliment to our local seafood and a perfect wine for sitting by the pool, zipping around the bay, or lounging on the beach!
For a wine with softer flavors leaning into the minerality of the grape our Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent choice! While also an excellent accompaniment to our local seafood and all of the wonderful outdoor activities available to us here on the North Fork, one of our favorite pairings for this wine is a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and fresh local oysters! The brininess of the oysters offers the perfect balance to the soft, subtle fruit flavors and light minerality present in the glass.
Last but certainly not least is our Dry Riesling! Made using fruit grown in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, this fruity white wine offers a dynamic wide range of flavors. Dry Riesling is commonly referred to in the wine world as one of the most versatile food pairing wines because while it has all of the brightness and crispness of a dry white wine it also has a small amount of residual sugar that softens that bright acidity allowing it to compliment a much wider range of foods than your typical white wine. The classic pairing suggestions for Riesling are Asian dishes such as sushi and curries and while both of those are delicious we tend to gravitate towards blackened fish tacos and dry rub BBQ with this wine. It's a great wine to play around with as you'll see as you taste it, every sip holds something slightly different. Happy sipping!
Shop Suhru's White Wines!
One of the many wonderful things about the North Fork is our abundance of seafood! The East Ends proximity to the bays and ocean make it home to some wonderful fisherman and when you have freshly caught seafood there isn't a lot you need to dress it up!
All that being said, one of our favorite summer go-tos is Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp served on Grilled Sourdough. This dish is all about the shrimp and focuses on the rich, bright flavors! Quick and easy, the whole meal can be made on the grill in just minutes—which makes it the perfect summer meal for those days when you want every excuse to spend another minute outside.
Whether you are having friends over for dinner or just looking for a simple and quick meal to prepare at home, this dish is sure to please and is a great excuse to fire up the grill. Pair it with a bottle of Suhru Pinot Grigio and dinner is served!
I prefer to cook this dish in a cast iron skillet on the grill, but it can also be prepared on your stove top.The below recipe is adapted from the Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp recipe from Cafe Delights with a few small tweaks. We hope you enjoy!
Lemon Garlic Shrimp on Grilled Sourdough
- 4 TBSP butter, divided
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 lemons
- Sourdough baguette, sliced
- Fresh chopped parsley, to garnish
- 1 bottle Suhru Pinot Grigio
- While your BBQ is pre-heating, chop your garlic, slice one lemon in half, cut butter into two 2 TBSP pieces, and cut sourdough baguette into 1 1/2 inch thick slices.
- Melt 2 tablespoon butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the BBQ. While the butter is melting, place sourdough slices directly on the grill to toast.
- Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Add shrimp and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes on one side, stirring occasionally.
- Flip sourdough slices so grill marks appear on both sides.
- Flip the shrimp in the pan and cook 2 minutes on the other side until JUST beginning to turn pink.
- Add in the remaining butter and lemon juice. Cook, while stirring, until the butter melts and the shrimp have cooked through (do not over cook them).
- Remove from the heat. Taste test, and add more lemon juice, salt or pepper, if needed.
- Chop parsley and slice second lemon into wedges.
- Place grilled sourdough slices on plates and top with shrimp. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve with a lemon wedge and a glass of Pinot Grigio. Cheers!
Discover more Cooking with Suhru recipes and Food & Wine Pairings!
At Suhru we have always focused on making Pinot Grigio in the classic Italian style which characteristically is known for big, bold, fruit notes with a bright, crisp acidity.
When we first opened Suhru Wines and were deciding which grape varieties we wanted to work with Pinot Grigio was the first one we selected. In our cool maritime climate we grow crisp, bright, fruit expressive whites so well that making a Pinot Grigio in the Italian style seemed like the obvious choice, although no-one was doing it.
Pinot Grigio was the first wine we made under the Suhru label and now over 10 years later it still remains one of our most popular wines!
What's the Difference Between Pinot Grigio & Pinot Gris?
Domestically here in the US Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris have become synonymous, however they describe two different styles of winemaking for the same grape, Italian vs French.
Pinot Grigio when made in the Italian style is all about lightness and fruit forward flavors culminating in crisp acidity, a perfect compliment to our Maritime cuisine. Pinot Gris made in the Alsatian style however are characteristically made using riper fruit, which results in lower acidity with enhanced viscosity on the mouthfeel and is typically finished with some residual sugar remaining in the wine. This style although enjoyable, is stylized behind a totally different cuisine than what we see in our region.
If you're interested in learning more about the differences between the two styles, checkout our History of a Grape: Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris blog post where we take a deep dive of these two styles!
A Closer Look at the Vineyard
Of all of the vineyards we work with, the Pinot Grigio vineyard sees the most consistency from year to year. Located slightly further west than the rest of our vineyard partners, this particular parcel of land is extremely flat and uniform across the entire block which allows for uniformity in ripening leading it to be one of the first vineyards to ripen each year.
In the 2020 growing season we saw nice growth on the vine with warm days and lots of sunshine however as we entered the harvest season we experienced cooler than normal temperatures with very cool evenings. This delayed ripening which allowed the berries to retain the acidity in the grapes much longer, allowing for riper flavors to develop at lower sugar ripening stages.
As a result our 2020 Pinot Grigio has rich fruit flavors and more complexity and depth than years past while still maintaining that crisp acidity that makes this wine so wonderfully refreshing!
Fun Fact: Pinot Grigio grapes ripen to have red rather than green skins and give off an orange tinge to the grape juice when it is pressed that dissipates as it undergoes fermentation.
Want to Learn more about this wine? Checkout our 2020 Pinot Grigio!
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! Sometimes simple is best and with seafood that is often the case, you can't go wrong with a perfectly seared sea scallop!
The summer months on the North Fork scream for seafood and seared scallops with a bottle of crisp, dry Pinot Grigio are one of our all time family favorites!
As a wonderfully wise chef once told me—the key to a perfectly seared scallop is an extremely hot pan! Drop those babies in for a few minutes on each side letting them get a nice crisp on the exterior without over cooking in the center and enjoy with a side of Sang Lee Farms bok choy for a quick & easy but most importantly tasty summer meal!
Seared Sea Scallop Recipe
- 1 tbsp avocado oil (or other high smoke point oil)
- 1/2 lb sea scallops (patted dry)
- salt (to taste)
- pepper (to taste)
- 2 tbsp butter
- Preheat a cast iron skillet with oil in the pan over medium high heat.
- While the pat is heating up, pat the scallops dry with a paper towel, being sure to remove any excess moisture. Once the scallops are dry, season them by sprinkling a small amount of salt and pepper on either side of the scallops.
- When the pan is hot (test by sprinkling a small amount of water into the pan, if the water crackles when it hits the oil the pan is hot enough) place your scallops into the pan, giving them ample space so they do not touch.
- Cook scallops for 2 minutes on medium-high heat.
- Using tongs, flip each scallop over and add butter to the pan. Let the scallops cook for 1 more minute in the butter before removing them from the heat. A nice golden brown crust should be present on each side.
- Serve & enjoy!
Recommended pairing: grilled Sourdough toast, sesame oil sauteed Sang Lee bok choy, and a chilled bottle of Suhru Pinot Grigio!
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From the outside looking in, winemaking is a glamorous profession filled with days spent drinking wine, nibbling cheese, and wandering the vineyards. And while we do do all of that sometimes, the majority of a winemaker's time is spent doing the hard work. As our winemaker Russell is so fond of saying, "Winemaking is 70% sanitation, 20% perspiration (doing the sanitation), 9% inspiration, and 1% degustation but only at the end of the day!" However the exception to that is blending season!
At Suhru, one of our favorite activities (and not just because we get to sit and taste) are blending trials, which are the fascinating and often painstaking process of selecting the best expression of a wine in that particular vintage.
When you are making a blend, be it red or white, you have two main courses of action. You can either make a field blend or a traditional blend. Field blends are made up of two or more types of grapes planted alongside each other in the vineyard, brought in together at harvest, and co-fermented in the winery. The other method— which we employ at Suhru—is to make a traditional blend, harvesting, fermenting, and barrel aging each of the varietals individually allowing each to develop independently before bringing the flavors together.
Each Spring—typically in April and May—we blend our reds. The main blend that tends to take the majority of our focus is Ember, our Bordeaux style red blend. Once our winemaker has deemed the individual varietals ready, he puts together a series of blends for us as a group to blind taste. After collecting barrel samples of each of the wines—Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Petit Verdot—he pours them into labeled beakers and assesses them each individually for their strengths and weaknesses. It is these strengths and weaknesses that determine how the wines will be blended together. For example, if we had an early winter then the later ripening reds (think Petit Verdot) may not have developed as fully so may not have as much tannic structure in which case we will lean more heavily on the early ripening varietals (think Merlot and Malbec), and barrel influence.
Once the wines have been assessed individually, Russell measures out samples of each variety into a graduated cylinder using a pipette. By doing this he is meticulously selecting the amount of each varietal as he blends them together into a series of different blends (typically 4-5) that best showcase the different directions we can take the wine. Of these 4-5 blends he typically makes one that he feels is the best overall expression, one that mimics as closely as possible the previous vintage and then 2-3 that fall in between those two starting points.
After all that work (by Russell) comes the fun part! We all get together and taste the blends blind so that none of us knows which wines are which. As we taste we discuss each blend, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses, what we like and dislike, providing feedback that Russell will take back to the winery with him to fine tune the blends. This is our opportunity to give any and all feedback and leave our thumbprint on the wines. We repeat this blending and tasting process as many times as necessary until we find the one that we all love and best represents the vintage, our style, and the individual varieties in the wine!
While of course important work, this is one of our favorite decisions to make and is a great way for us as a winemaking family to come together to share ideas, opinions, and shape the next vintage of Suhru Wines!
Learn More About Ember, our Bordeaux Blend
With Spring upon us and the first of the seasonal produce beginning to hit the farm stands it seemed only right to showcase rhubarb in this week's recipe! So I have combined two of my favorite recipes into one this week and paired it with a glass of Merlot, the perfect dish to wow at a dinner party or savor on your own for a deliciously, decadent night in!
Rhubarb is a fruit that most people don't cook with other than in pies. And while it does make a particularly delicious addition to a fruit pie, my favorite way of preparing it has always been homemade rhubarb jam.
Every Spring I patiently await the opening of Wickhams Fruit Farm farmstand which signals the arrival of rhubarb season! You can regularly (at least once a week) find me walking across the street from the Tasting House with bags bursting with rhubarb in hand. I make rhubarb jam by the gallon in the Spring, can it and squirrel it away for the rest of the year spreading it on toast, pouring over my oatmeal, enjoying with ice cream, or just eating it by the spoonful! The tangy tartness of rhubarb paired with the sweetness of raspberries or strawberries makes for the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Pour it on top of a rich, ooey gooey, decadent baked brie and you can't lose!
Baked Brie with Rhubarb Jam
- 10 stalks fresh rhubarb, chopped
- 1 pint raspberries (or strawberries)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 TBSP cornstarch, dissolved in water
- brie wheel
- puff pastry sheet
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 TBSP butter, melted
- 1 bottle of T'Jara Merlot
- Wash the rhubarb stalks and raspberries and let air dry. While the fruit is drying, cut off the top and bottom few inches of your rhubarb stalks and discard the ends. Lay the middle section of the stalk lengthwise across your cutting board and cut widthwise into small pieces.
- Combine chopped rhubarb, raspberries, lemon juice, sugar, and water into a saucepan and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes or until the rhubarb has broken down and all is well combined.
- While the fruit is cooking, make a cornstarch slurry combining the cornstarch in 2 TBSP water.
- When the rhubarb mixture is finished cooking, pour the cornstarch slurry into your rhubarb mixture and stir on high heat until the fruit mixture begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat and let cool. Once room temperature, pour fruit jam into a jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
- When you are ready to make your baked brie, remove puff pastry from the fridge and let warm up on the counter for at least an hour. While the pastry is warming, chop walnuts and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll out your puff pastry into a sheet on your cutting board and place the wheel of brie in the center. Using a sharp knife, score the top of the brie creating a lattice of cuts half way through the cheese. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top of the scored brie, putting a few nuts aside.
- Fold the puff pastry over the top of the brie one corner at a time, brushing melted butter on the corners of the puff pastry to ensure the sheets stick together.
- Once all four corners of the puff pastry have been wrapped around the brie, flip the brie over and place it on your parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush the exterior with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle the top with remaining chopped walnuts.
- Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve topped with raspberry rhubarb jam and crackers. Pair a bottle of T'Jara Merlot (or another of your favorite Suhru Wines), relax, and enjoy!
Stop by the Tasting House to pick up a T'Jara Merlot or a bottle of your favorite wine, then run across the street to Wickhams Fruit Farm for some fresh rhubarb and get cooking!