Monday, September 30, 2013

In the land of wine and petrochemicals

This weekend I enjoyed the lovely weather by getting out of town to partake in the subtle beauty of New Jersey wine country. Some friends had been to a vineyard in eastern New Jersey and enjoyed their bounty. I had personally enjoyed a bottle of wine they brought for us to share from this vineyard a month before, but interestingly those grape were imported from Argentina, so I still had lingering doubts about New Jersey's own vintages. That's not true. Actually, I have a very unsophisticated palette when it comes to wine and mostly just pick bottles on the dual criteria of price and label art. At any rate, when these friends mentioned this vineyard was hosting a wine festival with live music and a bunch of nearby vineyards around for tasting, I was sold. 

Every time I go to New Jersey, I'm surprised by how for such a small state with such a sad reputation, that it really does have a lot to offer. On our camping trip, I learned that the south is full of peach orchards, and on this trip, I learned the east is full of vineyards. Well maybe not "full of" but I can vouch for there being at least five. Some were definitely better than others, but I did find one bottle of Syrah from a vineyard in Cape May that was worth buying despite costing twice as much as my normal price criteria (luckily not having a sophisticated palette allows me to set this number quite low...) and having minimal cover art. Made a nice addition to brunch with Sam's parents the next day.

Sam sadly wasn't able to join me because his superior strength was called to help a friend move. But thanks to my camera phone, I was able to persevere in his absence with some photos of the day: 

A Saturday afternoon in New Jersey. 

My friend and I sampling some of New Jersey's finest. Actually, this vineyard was not the finest. We confused it with the much finer booth next to it and kept telling them we wanted to buy their Syrah which they insisted they didn't make. This was a few tastings in...

They offered $5 "carriage rides," but I wasn't fooled. Hay bales or not, I know a hay ride when I see one.

We walked (because I refuse to pay $5 to ride in a wagon) around the vineyard. Here's a view of the festival from a bit further away. 
All in all it was a lovely autumn jaunt. And if this gorgeous weather holds, I hope there are many more such day trips in the plans for this fall. 


  1. Looks lovely. You are showing why they call it the garden state.

    Did I mention that we did wine tasting in Silicon Valley? (That's not what they call it on the labels.)

  2. No, but I'm sure it was good! New Jersey wine is still not quite California caliber, but it was fun.