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Viva Le Vin! French Wines of the Hamptons

Summer 2013 is finally here – and with it comes long, balmy days by the sea, the most magnificent sunsets on the East Coast, and of course unwinding on a patio, deck or beach with an offering of fine wines unrivaled anywhere in the world. With its exotically rhythmic music, multilingual crowd and signature hillside curve and yacht views evocative of the French and Italian Rivieras, Andre Balaz’s Sunset Beach on Shelter Island is the very essence of barefoot international beach chic – and where both vacationers and residents can expand their palates and sample a Dionysian array of elite French vino.

Of course, no afternoon or evening of Sunset Beach lazing, frolicking or mingling would be complete without Provence rose. The salmon-colored Chateau Minuty Prestige is silken smooth yet refreshingly tart, with notes of red currents, raspberries and apricot. Delicate and aromatic, Whispering Angel is a crisp but creamy medley of strawberry, mango and dried cherry with hints of sage honey.

For those who crave citrus, Sunset Beach features the Sancerre “French Blonde” Xavier Flouret from the Loire region. Grapefruit, lemon, honeysuckle and mineral notes drive this elegant, slightly smoky white that pairs perfectly with fish, white meats and goat cheeses.

Sunset Beach’s newest temptingly unique French offering – currently available in the United States only in the Hamptons – is the passion project of East Hampton resident and wine aficionado Brian Mota, Co-Managing Partner of The Wine Trust LP. Following his wine-themed 2012 wedding at New York’s Bowery Hotel (where guests where asked for input on the wine selection with their RSVP) Mota was touring the Bordeaux region of France in April for the annual en premier week when he happened on a rare local jewel – L’Abielle de Fieuzal. In a region long heralded for its reds, the white Bordeaux Blanc produced by Chateau Fieuzal is a strikingly exquisite mix of acacia, honey, mint and melon produced by some of France’s most sophisticated winemaking equipment with triplicate sets of tanks that painstakingly craft each vintage according to taste. In continuing his trip, Mota noticed that Bordeaux Blanc had recently become the summer wine of choice among discerning French palettes who frequent the exclusive resorts ringing the famed wine region – and on every other table at the world-renowned beach eatery La Corniche, savored with oysters and fish.

“When I realized this wine wasn’t available anywhere in the United States, I made it my mission to bring it to the Hamptons,” noted Mota. “It is a real find – a wonderfully crowd-pleasing, easily paired wine, a standout at a surprisingly moderate price point.” East End restaurant and wine shop owners agree, and this silver-hued Blanc is now available at some of the Hampton’s most notable spots and stores, from Sunset Beach and Maison Blanche to Sen, Nammos and the Muse in the Harbor.

As summer 2013 kicks off, put your toes in the sand, raise your glass to the stars and ring in the summer season with exquisite taste and international style!