It feels as though you are walking into someone’s living room, albeit one with a bar along one side and a couple of folk-ish singers in one corner. The fire in the stone fireplace surrounded by comfy couches is what you notice when you first enter in the winter. The welcome from the servers is equally warm, and they do a good job of keeping track of each customer and giving information about the wines.
Sherwood House offers two menus: the Premium Flight of four wines for $12 and the Top Reds Flight of 4 reds for $15. They also offer cheese and/or salumi plates for $15 or $20, prepared by Lombardi’s Market in Mattituck. We decide to share the Premium Flight, thinking we may stop back at some point to try the other one. The pour was generous enough that we decided we had made the right decision.
- White Merlot $19
We compared this to Anthony Nappa’s Anomaly and to various rosés we have tried, and found some similarities and some differences. Like a rosé it has a faint strawberry aroma, though we felt the smell was a bit funkier than most, and like Anomaly it was neither a red nor a white nor a rosé, but its own thing. The color is a very light pink, the taste is lemony and refreshingly dry (1-2% residual sugar, notes our server), and the aroma has a slight mushroomy tinge to it. Good for summertime barbequed chicken!
- 2013 Oregon Road Chardonnay $19
This is an unoaked chard, a bit on the sweet side for an unoaked chard, with a touch of overripe pineapple plus lemon flavors. “Not much to say,” opines my tasting buddy, as we swirl the wine to open up the flavors.
- 2012 Chardonnay $30
“This wine spends 12 months in second year oak barrels,” our server tells us. I now know what this implies! As I’ve learned, the extent to which being aged in oak affects a wine depends on whether the wine was aged in new oak barrels (in which case the oak affects it more heavily) as well as how long it was aged. As expected, we can taste and smell some butterscotch, but not too much, and some toasty, pineappley flavors. My husband claims it reminds him of Reese’s peanut butter cups. It’s not sweet and has some interesting layers of flavor (once we warm up our too-cold taste). It would be great with lobster.
- 2012 Oregon Road Merlot $19
A combination of 80% merlot and 20% cabernet sauvignon, the wine spends 12 months in oak. Noting our seriousness, our server provides us with a clean glass for the red, something I always appreciate. The aroma reminds me of perfumed soap, but fortunately it doesn’t taste like that! We get blackberry, some cherry, some woody flavors, and no tannins. Soft, we decide, and just okay.
- 2011 Cabernet Franc $45
Wait, you cry, didn’t she say you get four tastes? Well, yes, but once again the fact that we take notes and discuss each wine seriously gets us an extra taste. And happily, this is the best of the bunch. Our enthusiastic server notes that the reds are “where we shine,” and I would agree as to this one. The aroma includes some scents of forest floor and dried herbs, the taste is very cherry berry, with some tannins and some interest to it. Not sure it is worth the price, but it is a lovely wine.
Reasons to visit: Good place to sit in winter with a glass of wine (I’d choose a red) and listen to music while contemplating a fire in the fireplace; the 2012 chardonnay, the 2011 cabernet franc. They also offer a blanc de blancs.