It all started with an email from our friend David during the week, informing us about a wine tasting event at Robert’s Restaurant in Water Mill Friday evening. David thought it would be fun if a group of friends went together. “Wine not?” I thought. An escape from our kitchen will be a welcomed change for one night. We’ve been frequenting Robert’s with many of our friends since it first opened, but this was our first wine tasting event there. So last night eight of us took over a table at Robert’s – some with pen in hand – eager to sample some new wines, ask questions, and take notes.
Once we were adequately surrounded by a sea of wine glasses, spittoons, water pitchers, and warm bread for palate cleansing, a comprehensive list of 12 wines was handed out to everyone and the sampling began! Coincidentally, it turns out that I knew Christopher, the sommelier in charge of the wine tasting event, from our mutual tennis club in Quogue.
Christopher Miller is not only an advanced sommelier, but he’s also a very talented restaurant consultant, a food and wine columnist for various publications, including Long Island Pulse, Dan’s Papers, Hamptons Magazine, New York Post. Chris is also a partner in Hamptons Wine Shoppe in West Hampton and the co-founder and co-director of Sommelier Wine Academy. With the myriad questions coming from the eight of us, we managed to have Chris spend a lot of time at our table and infuse us with his broad wine knowledge. Our friend Jeanne, a wonderful chef and food stylist, enthusiastically shared her excellent ideas for wine and food pairing while Claire, who loves reds, let the wines intoxicate her simply with their fragrant bouquet.
The very enjoyable evening unfolded as expected, with conversation becoming increasingly animated as more wine was happily sniffed and consumed, and lots of fun was had by all. In spite of the fact that each of us made an effort to pour off the wines after tasting, it was difficult to waste the ones we really liked. For example, the citrusy-fruity Italian Tocai, the nicely balanced, crisp New Zealand Sauvignon, as well as several delicious reds, such as the Lewelling, Napa Valley 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon or the Languedoc reds. Not surprisingly, before long we were somewhat tipsy. Well, lucky for us, we were at Robert’s restaurant. No sooner did the wine tasting end that we began ordering food from Robert’s extensive menu and, of course, more wine! Salute!