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The 2017 Saltbird Cellars Harbinger is our pick for the wine of the week. (Courtesy photo)

Sailing and winemaking seem like two things that would require pretty different skill sets. They have more in common than you might think, though: Success in both arenas relies on the ability to embrace both beauty and unexpected chaos, all the while retaining an innate sense of tenacity and calm under pressure. It’s probably why Robin Epperson-McCarthy is so good at both.

Since she launched her label nearly 10 years ago, back in 2014, her obsession with crafting the most beautiful snapshot of each vintage of Long Island has been exciting to watch, especially with her reds. Epperson-McCarthy just simply gets it when it comes to merlot, and her work with the grape shows how the varietal can shine in our maritime climate.

In the 2017 Harbinger, she blends 76% of merlot (Long Island’s most widely grown grape) along with an even split between cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. It is bright and intensely ruby-hued, with concentrated aromas and flavors of raspberry and juicy red cherry, with traces of lilac, mint and sage around the edges. It’s medium bodied and yet hits all the good spots on your tongue, with just-right stakes of tannic grippiness digging in to make it a win with fatty, savory roast duck–or, ahem, turkey.

When she was deciding what to call this particular merlot-driven red blend, it was her father-in-law, Patrick McCarthy, who gave her exactly the right name: Robins are the harbingers of good things to come. He got that right.

Get it at Cork & Jug, 252-10 Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays, 631-728-0024