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Suhru Blog

 

Suhru Wines
 
February 1, 2023 | Suhru Wines

History of the Grape: Merlot

Suhru Wines Blog | History of MerlotOne of the world's most popular red wines—Merlot is loved for its versatility! Here on the North Fork of Long Island it is one of the most prolific and widely planted varieties. A consistent ripener, Merlot makes beautiful blends as well as single varietal wines. 

Although currently one of the most popular wines in the world, Merlot was originally considered a secondary grape by winemakers, believed to be best suited for blending rather than as a “stand alone” varietal. While there are now a plethora of delicious single varietal Merlot’s to choose from on the East End as well as around the globe, Merlot continues to be a favorite amongst winemakers when it comes to blending.

A Brief History of the Grape

Merlot was first mentioned in 1784, in Bordeaux. Back then it was called Merlau or Merle. It is said that Merlot was named after the “blackbirds” that loved to eat the ripe grapes, these birds were a similar blue, black color to the ripe grapes.

Still the most planted grape in Bordeaux France, Merlot grows alongside the other classic Bordeaux red varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In Italy, Merlot was originally called Bordo and is widely used as a blending grape in Super Tuscan wines.

Planted all over the world, Merlot grows well on sandy loam or well-drained soils that have good moisture holding capacity. Well suited to cool climate regions (think Long Island) Merlot ripens into dark blue to black berries with thin skins and loose, large bunches.

Fun Fact: the most expensive Merlot was sold at auction in 2011. A case of 1961 Petrus went for $144,000 USD which comes to $12,000 a bottle!

Merlot reached its peak popularity in the US in the 1990’s, then experienced a drop in popularity after the movie Sideways came out in which Paul Giammatti's character poked fun at the wine, saying Merlot is bland and the market is oversaturated with the varietal. In the two decades since, Merlot has made a comeback and is currently the second most popular grape varietal in the United States.

Suhru Wines | T'Jara MerlotA Closer Look at our Merlot

Classic old-world style, our 2017 T'Jara Merlot is the last wine made under the T'Jara Vineyards label and will be succeeded by the first Suhru Wines Merlot which will be released in 2023. A medium to full bodied wine with beautiful blueberry, maraschino cherry and tea leaf aromas on the nose mingled with a hint of mint. On the palate you'll see notes of red raspberry and cranberry with fine tannins on the mid palate through the finish.

Recommended Food Pairings

Like all reds, Merlot is best served at room temperature (60 – 65 degrees F). Medium to full-bodied reds in general are recommended to be served at a low 60 degrees Fahrenheit to best showcase the ripe fruit notes and soft tannins. Merlot pairs well with a variety of foods including white and dark meats from chicken, turkey and pork as well as pasta, burgers and pizza.

Make sure to open your favorite bottle of Merlot on International Merlot Day this November 7th, and toast this versatile grape as you savor every sip!

Learn More About our Merlot

 

Time Posted: Feb 1, 2023 at 4:00 AM Permalink to History of the Grape: Merlot Permalink
Suhru Wines
 
November 6, 2022 | Suhru Wines

Cooking with Suhru: Baked Brie

Cooking with Suhru: Baked Brie Recipe It may seem the obvious choice, but you can never go wrong with a baked brie! Hot, gooey cheese? Yes please! However if you are looking for an elevated approach I highly recommend dressing this classic appetizer up with a handful of chopped nuts, fresh fruit or fruit jam and a few fresh herbs which will take this simple (albeit delicious) dish to the next level.

While there are a variety of wines that you could choose to pair with this particular dish—think Brut, Sauvignon Blanc or a variety of reds—at Suhru we are partial to the Teroldego. The bright red fruit flavors, subtle tannins and soft acidity make this an excellent pairing for a rich, savory dish like a baked brie. The fresh fruit of preserves will bring out the ripe red fruit notes on the pallet while the fresh herbs nod to the savory quality of the wine on the finish.

 

Baked Brie Recipe

Suhru Wines
 
October 23, 2022 | Suhru Wines

Cooking with Suhru: Shiraz

Cooking with Suhru: Lamb Roulade RecipeOnce the cool weather sets in there is nothing quite like a Sunday Roast served over a bed of root vegetables, paired with a bottle of Shiraz and shared with family and friends!

Given our family's Australian heritage—winemaker Russell Hearn was born in and grew up in Australia—lamb and Shiraz are a regular occurrence on our family dinner table. There is something about the soft, spicy hints of pepper and ripe red fruit notes that make Shiraz—Australian style Shiraz in particular—such a fantastic pairing with lamb. 

This particular recipe was developed by Assistant Winemaker Brad Ulrich and showcases the classic Lamb Roast in a new way. Stop by the Tasting House to pick up a Lamb Roulade Recipe Card complete with wine pairing and tasting notes. 

Lamb Roulade Recipe

Suhru Wines
 
October 6, 2022 | Suhru Wines

New Release: 2021 Sauvignon Blanc

2021 Sauvignon BlancWe are excited to announce the release of our new 2021 Sauvignon Blanc! The 2021 vintage brings a slightly different flavor profile, showcasing bold tropical notes along with the classic minerality and soft finish. We hope you stop by the Tasting House to taste the new vintage sometime soon!

This vintage has a lively fruitiness with rich tropical notes of passionfruit, mango, and papaya on the nose. Tropical flavors continue to flow on the pallet. Bright flavors give way to a cleansing crisp finish, all showcasing the distinctive characteristics of the varietal. 

While often associated with warmer weather, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular winter white varieties. Its minerality and soft fruit notes make Sauvignon Blanc an excellent pairing option with poultry, pasta, roasted vegetables, winter soups, and more.

We highly recommend trying our Sauvignon Blanc paired with Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo! You can find this recipe and more in the Cooking with Suhru section of the Suhru Blog or stop by the Tasting House for a recipe card, happy sipping!

Shop Sauvignon Blanc

Time Posted: Oct 6, 2022 at 3:00 AM Permalink to New Release: 2021 Sauvignon Blanc Permalink
Suhru Wines
 
September 20, 2022 | Suhru Wines

Hand vs Mechanical Harvesting

Behind the Bottle: Hand of Mechanical Harvesting, Which is Better?As you drive around the North Fork, you likely will see many teams out in the vineyard working to ensure the grapes ripen to their full potential throughout the growing season. While often an overlooked component of the winemaking process, good vineyard management is essential to good winemaking.

A wine is only as good as the grapes it comes from and good vineyard practices throughout the year mean less intervention and a more hands off approach can be taken by the winemaker and the winemaking team once the fruit arrives at the winery. 

There are two main ways to harvest grapes, by hand and by machine. At Suhru, we hand harvest the majority of our grapes. The decision to hand harvest vs mechanical harvest depends on a multitude of factors including the grape varietal, condition of the grapes, and style of wine you are trying to make. Let's explore the differences!

 

 

Mechanical Harvesting in the Suhru VineyardMechanical Harvesting

For many grape varieties and styles, particularly early ripening white wine grapes, mechanical harvesting is a more efficient and cost effective approach. In mechanical harvesting a harvester machine straddles the grape vine, gently shaking the vine which dislodges the berries dropping them into a conveyor belt that carries them to a holding bin. When the harvester reaches the end of the row the holding bin is emptied into a gondola which then transports the grapes to the winery to be loaded into the press.

Mechanical harvesters are a great option for larger vineyards that lay on flat level ground. They can very quickly harvest an entire block of fruit and get it to the winery and loaded into the press in a fraction of the time it would take to hand harvest the same block.

At Suhru we machine harvest our Pinot Grigio. The vineyard where it is grown is well suited to a mechanical harvester and it allows our early ripening Pinot Grigio berries to arrive at the winery very quickly after being harvested which is important for machine harvested fruit as the berries are often split open during the harvesting process. 

Hand Harvesting in the Suhru VineyardHand Harvesting

Hand harvesting, while extremely labor intensive, allows our vineyard team to examine the fruit as they move through the vineyard, selecting only the best grape clusters and discarding the bruised, damaged or underripe fruit. A skilled hand harvester can pick between one and one and a half tons of grapes in a 10 hour day, which is the equivalent of 800-1,200 bottles of wine or 66-100 cases.

While more expensive, laborious, and time consuming there are a number of reasons to hand harvest your grapes:

  1. Allows for more precision. The grapes are better protected during harvesting greatly reducing the possibility of oxidation due to damaged skins. 
  2. Winemaking Style. For a number of styles including méthode champenoise and some styles of white wine we whole cluster press, meaning that the entire cluster, stems, seeds, skins and all are loaded into the press and discarded as one once the juice has been pressed out.
  3. Fruit quality. When you machine harvest all the berries are mixed in however when you hand harvest as the vineyard crew is moving from cluster to cluster they can pick out any berries damaged by birds or any that have not fully developed ensuring that only the best berries make it to the winery. 

We would like to take a moment to applaud the hard working men and women who cultivate and care for our grape vines throughout the year. THANK YOU for all that you do, we could not do it without you!

More Behind the Bottle

Time Posted: Sep 20, 2022 at 3:00 AM Permalink to Hand vs Mechanical Harvesting Permalink
Suhru Wines
 
August 21, 2022 | Suhru Wines

Cooking with Suhru: Garden Pesto Gnocchi + Sauvignon Blanc

Garden Fresh Pesto Gnocchi with Sauvignon BlancLate August brings warm days, soon to be cooler nights, and an abundance of fresh produce! One of our favorite summer traditions is harvesting basil from the garden to make homemade pesto. With my garden currently overflowing, this recipe has been on regular rotation.

The key to a good pesto (or a good wine for that matter) is good ingredients. The better the ingredients, the better the end result. You can easily make pesto year round but garden or farm stand fresh basil makes the best pesto if you ask me! Throughout the month of August I try to make as much pesto as possible, filling my freezer with jars of pesto to last the entirety of the year.

I like to think of pesto as a building block. It is such a delicious staple to start a meal and works wonderfully in hot or cold pasta dishes, with sausage, as a veggie dip, spread on a sandwich, over roasted veggies and more! It's a very simple summer option but is a great starting point to build a wide variety of meals. With an abundance of fresh, home grown tomatoes and basil overflowing from our gardens, we at Suhru are sharing our go to summer pesto recipe served atop gnocchi and paired with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

Try the Recipe

Suhru Wines
 
August 1, 2022 | Suhru Wines

What's Happening at Suhru: August 2022

Suhru Wines, What's Happening August 2022I can't believe August is already here! In case you missed it, be sure to checkout the lastest on our Blog including an Update from Owner Susan Hearn detailing what she's been up to these past few weeks.

As you may have heard, we have had an exciting few weeks with a number of wonderful announcements including that our 2020 Teroldego won Best in Class at the 2022 New York Wine Classic while our 2021 Rosé recieved Best in Class at the 2022 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

And in case you missed it, we have a new Cooking with Suhru post! Fish tacos are a summer staple and we have a quick and easy mid week recipe to share! Our Assistant Winemaker, Brad, loves to fish, particularly for fluke. One of his favorite summer recipes is Blackened Fish Tacos, pair with a bottle of Dry Riesling and you can't go wrong!

It's been a busy July at Suhru but Summer isn't over yet and we have lots of great events planned at the Tasting House, so be sure to make a reservation and mark your calendars!

 

August Special Events:

A sneak peak at our Labor Day plans—we have Lobster Rolls Sliders Saturday and Sunday and Southold Bay Oysters serving up freshly shucked Long Island oysters from 1-5pm on Sunday!

We are currently hard at work planning a number of great wine events this Fall and Winter. If you have a suggestion on future events or a wine topic you'd like to see at Suhru Wines, let us know! Thank you again for your continued support and happy Summer!

Time Posted: Aug 1, 2022 at 3:00 AM Permalink to What's Happening at Suhru: August 2022 Permalink
Suhru Wines
 
July 24, 2022 | Suhru Wines

Best in Class Rosé at the 2022 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

Finger Lakes International Wine & Spirits CompetitionWe are thrilled to announce that our 2021 Rosé received the Best in Class award at the 2022 Finger Lakes International Wine & Spirits Competition (FLIWC)!

FLIWC is one of the largest charitable wine and spirits competitions in the US. Internationally certified judges from around the globe converge in Rochester, NY each year to taste and evaluate thousands of internationally crafted wines and spirits.

All proceeds from the competition benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and families, whose lives have been touched by cancer and sickle cell anemia. At Suhru, we are very proud to support this cause and the important work done at Camp Good Days.

In addition to the wonderful recognition for our Rosé, our 2021 Pinot Grigio and 2021 Dry Riesling both took home Silver medals. In celebration of these exciting awards we are offering 10% Off on 6+ bottles of our three award winning wines—2021 Rosé, 2021 Pinot Grigio, and 2021 Dry Riesling. Enter discount code "GOODDAYS" at checkout to save an extra 10%.

Please Note: Discount code valid ONLINE ONLY through August 31, 2022. Discount cannot be combined with any other offer or discount. Online orders can be placed for delivery or pickup at checkout. Shipping is available to 40+ states across the US. 

Learn More About our 2021 Rosé

Time Posted: Jul 24, 2022 at 3:00 AM Permalink to Best in Class Rosé at the 2022 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition Permalink
Suhru Wines
 
July 19, 2022 | Suhru Wines

Cooking with Suhru: Blackened Fluke Tacos + Dry Riesling

Cooking with Suhru: Dry Riesling + Blackened Fish TacosSummer brings many things—long days, warm weather, the opening of pools, time spent on the water, lazy days at the beach, and in my house endless talk about fishing and a fully stocked fish freezer!

Fluke season opens on Long Island in May with the peak of the season occurring in the beginning of July. Over the last few weeks Brad (Suhru's assistant winemaker and my husband) and I have spent quite a bit of time on the water fishing from kayaks, boats, and the beach which means we have lots of fluke to go around. There is no shortage of excellent ways to cook this delicious local fish, however one of our summer favorites is blackened fish tacos!

A few years ago while looking for spice rub recipes I stumbled across a recipe on EverydayMadeFresh.com that became the inspiration for the recipe below. When it comes to freshly caught fish I like clean, simple flavors that highlight the natural flavors of the fluke which is why I tend to keep the toppings pretty simple and scarce. If you are looking for additional flavors, shredded carrots and chopped green onions both make excellent additions to the cabbage slaw.

Fluke Taco Recipe

Time Posted: Jul 19, 2022 at 3:00 AM Permalink to Cooking with Suhru: Blackened Fluke Tacos + Dry Riesling Permalink
Suhru Wines
 
July 13, 2022 | Suhru Wines

Best in Class at the 2022 New York Wine Classic

2020 Suhru Teroldego, Best in Class at the 2022 New York Wine Classic

We are very excited to announce that our 2020 Teroldego received a 95 point score and Best in Class at the 2022 New York Wine Classic competition!

The New York Wine Classic celebrates a diverse selection of world-class wines from producers within New York State. Judging for this year’s competition included 694 entries from 101 wineries from across the state.

In addition to the wonderful review and top marks for our Teroldego, we are beyond excited to share the good news that our 2019 Cabernet Franc was awarded 94 points and a Gold Medal, showing among the best Cabernet Francs in New York! We also recieved silver medals for our 2021 Sauvignon Blanc (coming soon), 2021 Dry Riesling, 2019 Shiraz,  and 2019 Ember.

We could not be prouder of the hard work and long hours that our winemaker and winery team put in on all of our wines. It is their hard work, creativity, and dedication that allow Suhru Wines to continue to produce the high quality, innovative wines that rank among the best in New York and we all know and love!

Time Posted: Jul 13, 2022 at 3:00 AM Permalink to Best in Class at the 2022 New York Wine Classic Permalink
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