Wine Of The Week: EV&EM Classic Merlot 2021

A winning red wine from the vineyard owned by media entrepreneur and NewsNation host Dan Abrams.

(EV&EM’s white, rose, and merlot. Credit:  Michelle McSwain)

Imagine a red wine that’s giving and voluminous, with notes of toned black cherry and rich plum, balanced with a slight touch of bitter chocolate. What if I told you it was made on Long Island, New York? In 2021, NewsNation host Dan Abrams ( who’s also the chief legal affairs correspondent for ABC News and a longtime wine collector) purchased a vineyard on Long Island’s North Fork. Abrams revitalized the property, gussying up the interiors, instituting more sustainable and holistic practices in the vineyard and zeroing in on Northern French varietals — wines that work surprisingly well in New York’s humid summers and frosty winters.

The vineyards were already in pretty good shape—previous owner, Juan Sepulveda, had come from a long line of winemakers back in Chile (and, he’s stayed on to help with the winemaking). Since acquiring the property, he’s brought on sommelier and Big Macs & Burgundy author Vanessa Price to act as managing partner to help guide the future of EV&EM.

A scenic place to sip, at EV&EM’s Long Island tasting room. Credit:  Michelle McSwain.

A few years in, and the wines are charming. There’s a crisp rosé, an east coast Pinot Noir, and a cool climate Cabernet Franc, all which make a compelling case to drink locally when spending time on the North Fork. $75

Kate Dingwall is a WSET-trained sommelier and spirits writer. Her work has appeared in Wine Enthusiast, Eater,, and Food & Wine, and she pours wine at one of Canada’s top restaurants.