When you think about what Montauk is famous for—seafood, surfing, parties—it’s not likely wine came to mind. Anneris Blair, owner of the Montauk Wine Company, is working on changing that, as her brand is expanding past rosé this year.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Are you Hamptons born-and-raised, a transplant, or just a frequent visitor?
I was born in the Dominican Republic and came to U.S. in my late 20’s. I lived in NYC and when I met my husband, who spent his summers in Montauk since 1979, I fell in love with the area. We got married in Montauk and [have lived here] year-round for the last four years after a decade in Manhattan.
Is there something you see in Montauk that inspired the creation of your rosé?
Montauk always provided me with a sense of natural beauty, open space, and sparked my creative juices.
We felt we could make wines that represented the spirit of Montauk in summer and the carefree, laid-back lifestyle we all seek in the Hamptons.
Grapes grow aplenty on the East End. Do you get yours from the North or South Fork, or off-Island perhaps? Can you tell us what kind of grapes you’re using and who grows them?
Our Montauk Summer Rosé wine is a blend of mostly Syrah mixed with Malbec and Merlot, and our new Montauk Great White wine is made of four grapes: Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Riesling,
all grown on the North Fork of Long Island! We are proud of our wine country here and wanted to make our wine and source grapes locally.
Did you have any personal input in the creation of Montauk Summer Rosé? And if you’re not the mastermind behind the wine, would you like to give a nod to that person or people?
Our team behind Montauk Wine Company, which included consultants Mike Carolan and my husband Mark Blair, have all been wine lovers with varied work experiences and collected travels. We modeled our wines from the great rosés from the south of France and our white wine from the delicious table wines of Europe.
I understand seafood is your thing, and of course Montauk is a pescatarian paradise! Which fish dish would you most recommend to pair with your wine?
That’s a tough question. Here in Montauk we have so much seafood to choose from. I would have to say with our Montauk Summer Rosé, some grilled shrimp and fresh-made pasta. And with our Montauk Great White, fresh Montauk fluke with some organic potatoes and fresh veggies would be my two go-to favorites.
Word is you’re working on a new product for 2018. Care to give us the scoop on what we’ll be seeing from Montauk Wine Company this year?
Last year we launched our rosé and its was very popular, so we ramped up production this year are introducing, in limited production, a new white table wine.
Do you know which restaurants might be pouring your product this season? And if you could pick an eatery that will be serving MWC, give us the lowdown on what’s the perfect menu item at each to pair with your beverage.
At Navy Beach Montauk I would suggest starting with the Maryland Jumbo Crab Cake in a Korean BBQ Aioli, followed by the Soy Glazed Hake with sushi rice in a Coconut Red Curry Sauce with our Rosé, or the Grilled Avocado with Spagettini Pomodoro with a half lobster for our new white in that beautiful setting on Fort Pond Bay and you can’t go wrong!