Welcome to Long Island by the Bottle. Every week, we’ll showcase a wine that we’re enjoying and think you’ll dig too—with some of the story behind the wine and food pairing suggestions, too.
Harvest is upon us on both Forks and while I never suggest reserving sparkling wine just for celebrations, it is a great way to celebrate most anything—a good day at work, a bad day at work, surviving open house at your kid’s school or the 2019 vintage on Long Island.
There is more delicious sparkling wine being made on Long Island than casual fans might realize and a lot of it is made at Sparkling Pointe in Southold.
I stopped in recently to taste through their all-sparkling lineup and honestly, I could have chosen to highlight several of the wines in this space, but ultimately decided on Sparkling Pointe 2016 Topaz Imperial, which was also one of the wined I bought to enjoy at home.
The 2016 was made with 52% pinot noir and 48% chardonnay, a ratio that changes a bit from year to year, but according to Melissa Rockwell, the winery’s direct-to-consumer sales manager, “[It] is usually close to an even split between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pinot Noir is really important to the fruit profile of this wine.”
One of the winery’s more popular wines—because it’s consistently delicious and hey, it’s pink—it’s actually been a wine club-only wine since 2009. “We wanted our biggest supporters—the wine club members—to be assured an allotment,” Rockwell told me in an email. “As the club has grown, their allocation has continued to absorb the entire vintage.” They do sell some in wine shops and to restaurants through their distributor too.
Bright and berry driven, this is the kind of sparkling wine that will appeal to most anyone—from wine geeks to folks who only drink wine occasionally. And it’s great with a wide variety of foods.
“Sparkling Rosé is such an easy food pairing wine,” said Rockwell. “The Topaz Impérial has a real depth of flavor, but a good amount of acidity too, which makes it great with so many different dishes. Seafood is a real go-to, especially shrimp and shellfish, but salmon is also a favorite. A creamy saffron risotto with local Peconic Bay Scallops would be perfect. We also just enjoyed a white pizza pie with mozzarella cheese, caramelized onion, and local purple potatoes from 1943 Pizza that paired wonderfully!”
Unfortunately, I bought one of the last 750ml bottles available of this wine. But, there are 400 magnums that will be released soon for the holiday season—and you don’t need to be a wine club member to buy one. If you’re interested, just email email@example.com to be put on the allocation list and they will contact you when the time comes.