Summer means lots of trips out east for Le Bernardin wine director Aldo Sohm. Here he shares his tips for how and where to drink in the Hamptons this season.
Pair a crisp, dry white wine with summer-friendly fish dishes like Eric Ripert’s Cod Serenata salad.
What comes first—food or wine? “At Le Bernardin, food always comes first! It takes a lot of time to develop a dish, so I step in when Eric [Ripert] is finished. Sometimes I experiment with upwards of 12 different styles before we settle on a pairing that complements—not complicates— the dish and excites us both.”
What varietals work with the seafood out East? “I’m always looking for something crisp and light with a good minerality. The Austrian in me goes for Gru?ner Veltliner: It’s clean, fresh, and tasty. But I also love crisp, light Chardonnays and really minerally Sancerres.”
What is your go-to rosé? “The Domaine Tempier Bandol rosé is always a favorite, with its full fruitiness balanced by fresh acidity. Plus, the 2016 [vintage] just landed here in the US. But, when I have the option, I love to stay local—which means Wölffer rosé or the Syrah rosé from Channing Daughters.”
Which are your favorite East End wine lists? “Besides Jay McInerney’s cellar? Pierre’s in Bridgehampton and Nick and Toni’s in East Hampton. And I’m excited to check out Le Bilboquet in Sag Harbor.”
Where do you most like to open a bottle? “I love to sit outside at Duryea’s Lobster Deck—the incredible sunset views over the ocean, the best lobster roll, and a bottle of something delicious. It’s the epitome of summer.”
Is there a secret to chilling wine quickly? “I’ll put a bottle in the freezer for 30 to 40 minutes—just don’t forget it in there! You could also mix a bucket of ice and water and then add salt to it; the salt will bring the temperature down even more, chilling your bottle more quickly.”
What is the ideal temperature for wines during the summer? “It’s part preference. Personally I don’t like my wines super cold, so I aim for somewhere between 47 and 50 degrees.”
Is a red acceptable for a summer party? “Absolutely! The rules that red shouldn’t be served during the summer, or can’t be paired with fish, were meant to be broken! Just pick something lighter and fresher; Paumanok makes a really good Cabernet Franc that’s perfect during warmer weather.”