Coffee Pot Cellars: Puppy Love December 1, 2018
As you enter Coffee Pot Cellars’ cozy tasting room, you will be greeted by Beasley, Laura Klahre’s adorable, friendly, and tiny black pug dog. The day we went, Beasley was sporting a set of monarch butterfly wings, to help promote their merlot to monarch campaign. For every bottle of merlot they sell, they will, with the cooperation of the Girl Scouts of America, plant a milkweed seed. Milkweed, though deemed a weed by most people, is crucial for the survival of the monarch butterfly, whose caterpillars will only feed on it in their early lives. So of course before we left we had to buy a couple of bottles of merlot, bringing the running tally on the blackboard to 731 bottles sold.
Laura, who is also a beekeeper and lover of nature, was pleased. She and her husband Adam Suprenant own Coffee Pot Cellars, a tiny winery named for the distinctive lighthouse out near Orient Point. She also runs Blossom Meadow Farm, where she not only makes honey, but also makes various beeswax products, such as candles, and promotes the usefulness to pollination of carpenter bees. If you would like to host some carpenter bees on your property, you can buy bee houses for them from Laura. We bought a little jar of her newest product, a raspberry jam.
In addition to a line-up of very good wines, Coffee Pot has an asset in the person of Laura, who is friendly and talkative, full of stories about bees and wine and Beasley. If you happen to go there the weekend of December 8-9, you will be in time for the celebration of Beasley’s twelfth birthday, which will be marked by the release of their 2015 Beasley’s Blend—of which we had a preview. And if you have ever been there before, Laura will remember you and greet you like an old friend.
The menu features six tastes for $12, but as long as they still have the Cyser (about which more in a moment), Laura will pour you seven tastes, so you don’t have to make any decisions.
- Cyser $19.99
Hard cider is made with sugar, and is often too sweet for me. Mead is made with fermented honey, and can be sweet as well, but this cyser is hard cider made with Blossom Meadow honey, and the Coffee Pot version is delicious—dry and sparkling, made with the méthode champenoise, hand disgorged by Adam. Laura informed us and another couple at the bar that it was made with 50% Liberty apples, 25% Black Twig, 10% Granny Smith, and 15% Crisp Golden, all from the local Breeze Hill Farm. It tastes like a slightly apple-flavored champagne, and would be lovely with charcuterie.
- 2014 Sauvignon Blanc $21.99
We already miss summer, so perhaps that’s why we envisioned sipping this wine with a summery salad dinner, perhaps salade niçoise. It is fruitier than many North Fork sauvignon blancs, with an aroma of minerals and honeysuckle. Good.
- 2014 Chardonnay $19.99
As she rinses our glass with a bit of the next taste, Laura informs us that this wine was fermented in thirteen-year-old oak barrels. I’m happy, because I don’t generally care for oaked chardonnays, but when they are fermented in old—called neutral—oak, the taste is different from a steel-fermented chard, but not buttery. There is s slight taste of the oak, but I mostly taste and smell apples and tropical fruits, with some nice acidity. It would go well with fish tacos, which I am making for dinner tonight with locally caught cod.
- 2014 Gewürztraminer $21.99
Although this is just called gewürztraminer, it is also 12% riesling. The aroma is quite flowery. I taste lychees and pineapple, but it is a bit too sweet for me. However, it would go well with spicy food.
- 2012 Merlot $19.99
Now we get a new glass for the reds. The famous merlot-for-monarchs merlot is aged eighteen months in French oak, and we smell cherries and spice and smoke. It’s a light, dry red, a Friday-night-hamburger wine, suggests Laura. We agree, liking the hint of spiciness which balances the cherry taste.
- 2015 Beasley’s Blend $23.99
All the labels show the Coffee Pot lighthouse, but this one also shows Beasley standing guard on the upper level of the lighthouse. Though it will be officially released next weekend for Beasley’s birthday, Laura gave us a preview taste. It’s a blend of 60% cabernet franc and 40% merlot, and we can smell the cherry of the merlot when we take a whiff. We taste dark fruit—cherries, plums—and nutmeg. A soft, dry red with nice tannins, this would be drinkable on its own. Good work, Beasley!
- 2014 Meritage $27.99
Another blend, this one is a Bordeaux-style 56% merlot, 23% petit verdot, 14% cabernet franc, and 7% cabernet sauvignon, and it’s also really good, though given the tannins I think it would be better in a few years. It is fairly complex, with layers of flavor, including that merlot cherry flavor plus blackberries and spices, and would stand up to steak or lamb chops.
Reasons to visit: Laura and Beasley; the chance to taste some lovely wines, especially the Cyser, the sauvignon blanc, the Beasley’s Blend, and the Meritage; all sorts of interesting gift items you won’t find other places, like the carpenter bee houses, beeswax candles and other products; the opportunity to support monarch butterflies by buying the merlot; and I haven’t even mention the “winasaur” they’re building from used corks on the front lawn (Laura says when it’s done she’s going to make herself a dress from corks!).