Wine Tasting at Comtesse Therese
Looking for a great tasting room with delish wines, and the opportunity to have a great bistro lunch or dinner too? That is what you will find when you visit Comtesse Therese Vineyards. We headed there one Thursday afternoon after enjoying lunch in Riverhead. You can read about that visit right here.
Where is the Comtesse?
If you are heading out on the North Fork wine trail, Comtesse Therese should be one of your first stops. Heading east on Rt. 25, it will be on your right hand side (the south side) of Main Road (Route 25) in the village of Aquebogue. When you see the Modern Snack Bar on your left, get ready for the Comtesse Therese Vineyard and some terrific wine.
Comtesse Therese has an outdoor area for tasting and light fare, as well as an indoor tasting room, and a dining room. Tasting outside is great, but this particular day, we chose the indoor tasting space. The dining room is a very comfortable space and the food is great.
We lucked out and picked an odd hour of an odd day when we had the entire restaurant and tasting room to ourselves. It was an oasis of quiet, and we felt very lucky. Of course, we were not alone. Kate Golder was in charge of Comtesse that day. She gave us an exceptional tasting experience. We tasted five wines and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
The Whites and Rose
Do you love white wine? We do. Kate started us with the 2011 Stainless Steel Chardonnay that was light, crisp, and would pair wonderfully with seafood. After a trip to Alsace years ago, we threw off the yoke of oak, and began to appreciate the clean taste of wine in which the oak is restrained, or absent. This one is a good bet, and goes for $22.00 a bottle.
Next we tasted the 2010 Russian Oak Chardonnay. We found this wine had a “cheesecake” nose, and tasted of honey and toasted marshmallow… nearly caramel. The wine is delicious. Also at $22.00/bottle, we took one home. Done right, oak is fine. What would we pair with this wine? Not missing a beat, Marian said “fried oysters and sweet potato fries, or panko-crusted pan fried flounder with a mayo-potato salad”. Quite a mouthful, that. And it sounds delicious.
Kate took us next to the 2011 Comtesse Rose. Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, we found it to be a food-friendly “party wine” that will please a crowd at your pool-side party. At $16.00/bottle, it’s easy on the wallet as well.
Moving on, we tasted the 2011 Blanc de Noir, made from Malbec and Syrah grapes. Without question, this wine is worth trying. It is a very rich off-dry wine that reminded Marian and me of a Hungarian Tokaji of 3 Puttonyos. What is a puttonyo? Improve your mind and read about it here. We immediately thought of pairing it with spicy Asian foods, or chocolate. While there was no spicy take-out at the ready, Kate was way ahead of us. She brought out some house-made chocolate truffles to confirm our suspicions. Yes, the excellent truffles paired perfectly with the delicious wine. Having lunch or dinner? Make sure to have some truffles.
Still game, we asked for a taste of the 2010 Cabernet Franc. Comtesse Therese offers many other reds, but we enjoy Cab Franc and like to see how well it has ripened. If the grapes are not ripened properly, the wine will smell like bell peppers (a distinct “green” note) or like strawberries. Well, none of that happened here. We found the 2010 perfectly ripened with good acid on the finish, but still “tight”. This wine needs more bottle time, so buy it now, and drink it later. Our guess is 4-5 years in your cellar, and it will really please you.
After relaxing with the Cab Franc and some good conversation with Kate, our idyll came to an end. It was time for the ride home and back to the reality of the Hamptons in summer. We will be back to Comtesse Therese in the fall for lunch or a glass of wine by the patio fire pit. Perhaps we will see you there.
We will be telling you about a terrific breakfast spot in Riverhead, great tastings at Laurel Lake Vineyards and Coffee Pot Cellars, and the mystery and magic of Lambburguesa. Stay tuned, and enjoy your trip around town.