October 15, 2021
Watch for the large dinosaur—excuse me—wine-o-saur on their lawn to find Coffee Pot Cellars’ tasting room. Made from corks inserted into a wire frame, this not-yet-completed structure symbolizes the quirky charm of this little winery. When you walk in, you will get an enthusiastic greeting from Laura Klahre, the wife of winemaker Adam Suprenant, and possibly also from their little black pug, Beasley. Beasley, however, is less enthusiastic these days, as his age of fourteen has begun to take its toll, and he was fast asleep during our recent visit.
Though we last visited Coffee Pot (named for the lighthouse near Orient Point—and no, they do not serve coffee) in November 2019, Laura immediately recognized us, and included us in the conversation she was having with another couple, who also had not been there for a long time, about an amusing incident they had witnessed. Several new customers came in while we were there, and, since they all opted to sit outside on the wrap-around porch, we had Laura to ourselves for much of our visit. For them, she set up their complete tasting on a labeled tray, while for us she poured each one separately, so we had time to chat.
According to the chalkboard, a complete tasting includes six of their seven wines for $15: three whites and three reds, but not the rosé. However, as Laura put it, to acknowledge the tough year we have all had, and because we are on vacation and shouldn’t have to make decisions, the six is actually seven, as she also pours the rosé. At the moment, she is using “corn plastic”—which is compostable—rather than glass, because their dishwasher is broken. It would, she confesses, “hurt my soul” to use regular plastic. That’s because in addition to her work in the tasting room—which is open Friday-Monday—Laura is a beekeeper and environmentalist, and sells her Blossom Tree Farm honey in the tasting room. She also makes award-winning jam—we bought a jar of blueberry—and has a project to plant milkweed to help stem the decimation of the monarch butterfly population. On our last visit, Beasley was wearing little monarch wings to promote this last project, but he’s getting too old to parade around in a costume.
As we sipped and chatted, we noted how much we like the wines, as well as the conversation! And when we left, we took with us, in addition to the jam, a bottle of the Meritage and another of the rosé.
- 2019 Sauvignon Blanc $21.99
Aged in stainless steel, this has a lovely aroma of melon and flowers, and is quite tasty. We get lemon/lime, but it is more fruity than tart, though it is dry. As with most North Fork sauvignon blancs, this would be lovely with some clams or oyster.
- 2015 Chardonnay $19.99
I was a bit leery of this, since it is oak aged, but then Laura noted that it is aged in fourteen-year-old barrels—in other words, neutral oak—so I took a sip. Very nice. Though you do get a bit of that I -chewed-on-my-pencil taste, overall it is more lemony than oaky.
- 2017 Gewürztraminer $21.99
Thanksgiving is coming, so we discussed what a good wine gewürztraminer is for that holiday, because it is so versatile. It also has enough taste to stand up to turkey, cranberry sauce, etc. This is a dry one, which is good for me, with lovely honeysuckle aromas and tastes of pineapple and nutmeg.
- 2020 Rosé $24.99
A blend of 95% cabernet sauvignon and 5% merlot, this is a rosé with more oomph than most, with lovely aromas and flavors of strawberry. This is also dry, and we got into a conversation about dry versus sweet wines, since one person had come in asking, did they have any sweet wines. I suggested that she could offer them this rosé because, though it is dry, it has lots of fruit, which might read sweet to some.
- 2016 Beasley’s Blend $21.99
Laura observed to another customer who had come in and opted to just taste the reds, that her husband loves making reds. That shows, as all three reds are better than the average North Fork ones. Beasley apparently likes Bordeaux wines, as this is a Bordeaux blend of 58% merlot, 31% cabernet franc, 6% petit verdot, and 5% cabernet sauvignon. It smells like cherries, no doubt the effect of the merlot, and is a soft and very drinkable red, with tastes of plums and chocolate.
- 2014 Merlot $25.99
If you buy a bottle of this, they plant more milkweed to help the monarchs, as a little blackboard keeps track of them. Aged 18 months in French oak, this is a fairly typical North Fork merlot, with cherry flavor and aroma.
- 2015 Meritage $28.99
Yum. We bought a bottle of this to put in our cellar, as it is too good for just weeknight hamburgers. A blend of 83% merlot, 12% cabernet franc, and 5% cabernet sauvignon, this has interesting tastes that include ripe cherries and cocoa and spice.
Reasons to visit: a quirky little winery that has very good wines; Laura’s conversation and Beasley’s charm; you can also buy jam and honey and other interesting items; all the wines, but especially the rosé and the Meritage; you can bring your dog if you sit outside.
There’s an antique store next door, in case you want to browse.