EVERYONE KNOWS THAT SUMMER READING is a genre that owes more to page quantity than to quality, that summer attire is something few bodies are flattered by and that a summer house is one of the best ways of guaranteeing you'll never lack for friends. But what constitutes a summer wine? Is it red? Is it white? Does it sparkle like Champagne or glow pink like a sunset?
In search of consensus (and a recommendation or two), I turned to the Hamptons, that impossibly chic collection of towns on eastern Long Island where people have been known to spend more than $100,000 for the privilege of a single month's stay, a place where summer is not merely a season but a way of life. Here, I thought, I'd surely find an answer.
I began with an East Hampton wine shop, Wines by Morrell. The manager, David Mikan, readily informed me that his clients were drinking dry full-bodied rosés, preferably from the south of France: "Rosés from Provence and Bandol are big sellers in the summer, particularly from producers like L'Estandon, Domaines Ott and La Bastide Blanche. Domaines Ott is especially hot among the Hollywood set." (Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger are among those who have spent summers in the Hamptons.)