Wine Flights at Heritage Vineyard

This weekend I crossed another winery off my list as I enjoyed a wine tasting at Heritage Vineyard. Unlike your traditional wine tasting, Heritage offers Wine Flights, which consist of five different wines to sample. There are three different flights to select from. The Jersey Wine Flight consist of sweet wine such as Penlyn Place Moscato, Jersey Blush, Jersey Red, Jersey Shiraz, Jersey Apple. The Classic Flight consist more traditional wines such as 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Cuvee Blanc – 5th Edition, Cuvee Rouge – 3rd Edition, 2012 Merlot, 2013 Chambourcin. The last options is the Reserve Wine Flight which dry wines such as 2014 Estate Reserve Chardonnay, 2013 Cabernet Franc, 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 Coeur d’Est, 2012 BDX. Explore these photos to see what wine flights we selected and what we enjoyed at Heritage Vineyard. 

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Uncork The Fun At Sharrott Winery

 

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Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to visit Sharrott Winery located in Hammonton, New Jersey. Between tasting new wines and meeting new friends,  it was sad to sip the last drop of wine and leave.

img_9294My friend Marlania and I arrived at Sharrott Winery on Saturday, October 15 2016 around noon for a tasting. When we first entered the tasting room we were greeted right away from a friendly staff member. She then, helped us purchase our tasting while explained to us that in depth that we had to select six wines of our choice to taste. When a spot opened up at the tasting bar, Marlania and I moseyed our way to the bar for a wine tasting. Once we posted up at the bar, we took out the list of wines to try. Marlania and I started to discuss what wines we wanted to try when the family next to us who were Sharrott’s Wine Club Members started to give us some suggestions. They raved about Sharrott’s famous wine called Wicked.

Sharrott Winery is known for their sweet, rich and powerful dessert wine called Wicked. Wicked is made in the style of a ruby port from Chambourcin grapes of the 2009 vintage. This wine has a deep, dark, black cherry red in color with overstones of oak, rich fruit aromas and a long sweet finish. When I tasted Wicked I could taste different hints of chocolate and thought it had had a bold port style but not overly sweet. Wicked would be a perfect wine to warm you up on a cold night.

My taste palette has changed within the year as I am transitioning from sweet white wines to red dry blends. That being said, I tried to stay away from the sweet wines for my tasting at Sharrott Winery. The six wines that I selected to try were Pinot Grigo, Dry Rose, Dry Riesling, Crimson Sky, Summer Sangria and Wicked. My least favorite wine due to its sweetness was the Summer Sangria and my favorites were the Pinot Grigo and Crimson Sky .The Pinot Grigo was very light and refreshing, which is why I loved it. I was surprised I enjoyed Crimson Sky as much as I did. I expected Crimson Sky to be too sweet. I was wrong and thought Crimson Sky was delicious. It was lightly sweet yet refreshing.I couldn’t resits but to buy a bottle of Crimson Sky to enjoy outside on the patio. 

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Once Marlania and I finished our wine tasting, we each bought a bottle of wine to enjoy on the outside patio. When walking to find a table for the two of us to sit at, we ran into the family who suggested us all the wines to try during our tasting.Walter, Lucia and their son Michael Musterer invited to us to join them. We pulled up a chair to their table and started to discuss our opinions about Sharrott’s wine. I learned so much new information about wine and got so inspired about life after speaking with the Musterer Family. After many hours of laughter, bottles of wine and great conversations I was so grateful to have to opportunity to meet the Musterer Family. 

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Sharrott has been my favorite winery that I have visited so far. I feel in love with the wine and outdoor patio sitting where you overlook the vineyards. I had an amazing experience and I recommend all wine lovers to visit Sharott Winery. Sharrott host several events throughout the year. Saturday, November 5th and Sunday, November 6th Sharrott will be participating in the seventh-annual Grape Adventure Wine and Food Festival. Mark your calendars now.

Meet Joanna Clarke

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On Friday, October 14 2016 my friend Nicole and I took a study break to explore the South Jersey Vineyards. It was a beautiful crisp Autumn day. While driving on the back roads to Coda Rossa Winery, we had the wind blowing in our hair while singing along to our favorite songs. When we pulled into the parking lot of Coda Rossa, the sunlight sparkled on the vines. It was a beautiful sight I will never forget.

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This photo was taken at Coda Rossa Winery. The green checks are the wine I tasted. I tasted Riesling, Peacho Grigio, Harmony, Blue Moon Port, 1526 Blend and Super Tuscan

Nicole and I went inside the winery while we had the privilege to meet Joanna Clarke who is a Sale Representative and manager at Coda Rossa Winery. Joanna Clarke explained her love for wine as she poured delicious wine in our glasses to taste. We tasted six different wines while she was willingly able to answer these questions:

Q) What sparked your interested to work in the wine industry?

A) I came in as a customer and I never left. This was 3 years ago back in the end of 2012. I was living in New Jersey and was not convinced New Jersey had good wine until I stumbled across Coda Rossa one afternoon. After I tried Blue Moon Port, I asked if they were hiring and never left after that. I had no previous experience professionally in the wine industry but growing up Italian I always had wine on the table. I  had personal experience with wine but no professional training. The past three years I have learned a lot. New Jersey has exploded with wines so there is no shortage of good things to drink in this state right now.

Q)What type of work did you do before you worked at Coda Rossa?

A)It is very interesting because I had an English degree from Villanova University. I worked in various environments doing special writing. I worked at an international consulting firm, pharmaceutical and animal hospital. Then, I had my son and shortly after that I stumbled in here.

Q)What is your job title and responsibilities here at Coda Rossa?

A) I am the manager here in the tasting room. We have someone else who manages the outside vineyard area. I manage right in here and I am also the sales representative. I deal with all the liquor stores and restaurants that sell our wine. During the week I work on the road managing those accounts and on the weekends I am managing the tasting room.

Q) Do you travel  to different wine festivals to show case your wine?

A) We do festivals all throughout the state. We have primarily staff members who just work at the festivals. My job is to be at the restaurants and the liquor stores that are selling our wines. While the staff at the festivals are responsible for giving out information and selling the wine there as well. It’s a fun job.

Q) What is the hardest part about your job?

A) Probably, monitoring the alcohol consumption because we all know how that can be tricky at times. Whether it’s in your own house or at a public place. If someone is determine to drink, it can be difficult to manage in a professional and proper way. Our staff here at Coda Rossa goes through Tips Training, so we can manage alcohol consumption. It’s a challenge to handle the situation without offending anybody.

Q) Could you explain the Two Bridges Wine Trail?

A) These coaster are talking about the Commodore Barry and the Delaware Memorial bridges and the great little cluster of wineries in between the two bridges. There are nine of us here. The only one you cant just show up at is Chestnut Run Farm because they don’t have a tasting room. But, they participate in most of the wine festivals. The reason we are actually a wine trail is because we are all so close together. We help to promote one another. Its not necessarily recommended to do them all in a day or have to stay on this trail.It makes sense  to have a wine trail like this because we all have the same customers. When people go to one winery they don’t just necessarily stay there all the time. They hop around and taste different wines. We encourage that and support each other. 

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I also want to show you the Vintage Atlantic Wine Region Map. The Vintage Atlantic Wine Region is actually what they have named this area now. It includes New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. We now have what they consider being the critical mass which is number of wineries to be consider an actual wine region. So people are starting to look at this area in East Coast. So within 90 miles, you have 90 wineries. Just 50 in New Jersey. In the map they also have breweries in yellow and some other places of interest. This is a great tool. Central and South Jersey are where most of the wineries are. There are a some wineries up North but most wineries are in our area.

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Q) Why do you think that is?

A) I think the soil has a lot to do with it. If you look at this map, Bordeaux, France and New Jersey actually have the same water ways and land structure. New Jersey has similar climate and soil as Bordeaux, which gives us such a great opportunity to produce fantastic wine.

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Q) Could you explain the process of making sweet white wine and red?

A) It depends on the grape, wine maker and how long they firm the wine. For instance, what happens with sweet wines is that the process of fermentation is stopped early so all the sugar in the grape doesn’t convert into alcohol. The longer you ferment it, the more alcohol your getting out of it. We ferment our wines for about 10 months in American Oak or stainless steal for the white wines. But, for the sweet wines we stop that process earlier and then your left with what they call residual sugar. Which is where the sweetness comes from. Depending on the wine maker, they also might add different things to it. Other sugars or other syrups. But that is sensually the main difference. Now, of course the grape can also be an impacting factor as well. The concord grape is natural very sweet. So most of the time concert dry wines. In order to get a dry wine, you have to age it longer.

Q) Why do you make white wine in Stainless Steal?

A) Expect for the Chardonnay. Chardonnay is sometimes aged in the wooden barrels, they call that being “Oak”. I don’t know all the science behind it so I’m not trying to tell you wrong information. Typically with the white wine, they are aged in the stainless and with the red they want the tannins. Tannins come from the grape’s skin as well as the wood in the barrel. So when you age a wine in the barrel. The wine is getting some of the tannins flavor. Most of the time with white wine, they want to reframe from the tannins flavor so they make it in stainless.

Here are some photos when Nicole and I explored Coda Rossa. 

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SJS Wine Trail

I am happy to announce that next weekend I will be starting my very own wine trail called SJS (South Jersey Sips) Wine Trail. Over the weekend, I will be adventuring to three wineries, starting at Heritage Vineyards and completing the trail at Monroeville Vineyard & Winery. 

SJS Wine Trail will include these three wineries:

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    This photo is a map of all the local wineries sounding Glassboro, New Jersey. This Photo was taken as a screenshot from Google Maps.

    Heritage Vineyards

  2. Auburn Road Vineyard & Winery
  3. Monroeville Vineyard & Winery

I have selected these wineries for two reasons. First, all these wineries have received outstanding reviews from pervious consumers. On Google Reviews consumers have rated each winery to be between 4.5 -4.9 stars. Secondly, these three wineries are local and less than a half hour drive from Rowan University. I would recommend SJS Wine Trail to anyone who lives in Gloucester County. 

The first winery I will be visiting is Heritage Vineyards located in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. Heritage Vineyards is the closest winery to Rowan University with only a 5 minute drive. Heritage Vineyards is a family owned and operated estate vineyard which was established in 1999 by Bill and Penni Heritage . The Heritage family puts great effort in grape growing because the key to making great wine is to grow the best quality grapes. In 2011 Heritage Vineyards was named New Jersey’s “Winery of the Year”. When visiting Heritage Vineyards I want to put my focus on tasting their different wines. I want to learn the different grapes they grow and their grape growing procedure.

After Heritage Vineyards, I will be visiting is Auburn Road Vineyard in Pilesgrove, New Jersey. Auburn Road Vineyard is a twenty-five minute ride from Rowan University and has received a 4.8 out of 5.0 stars on Google Reviews.Auburn Road Vineyard caught my attention when reading their mission statement because it seems that their winery is more than just the wine. The owners strive to make Auburn Road Vineyard a place to relaxing and enjoy your life with a glass of wine with family and friends. Auburn Road Winery host many events and live music. For instance, this upcoming Saturday, October 15 at 7:00pm to 9:00pm a Classic Rock/Blues Band called No Alibis will be performing from the Vineyard Stage. I plan to enjoy a wine taste while listening to No Alibis this Saturday night. 

The last winery on SJS Wine Trail is Monroeville Vineyard & Winery in Monroeville, New Jersey. Monroeville Vineyard &Winery is a 10 minute drive from Rowan University and received 4.8 out of 5.0 stars on Google Reviews. John and Debra Basile purchased their farm in 2009 to start their winery. The Tasting Room has been opened since March of 2012 and is located in Salem Country that is surrounded by beautiful neighboring farms. When visiting Monroeville Vineyards make sure sit outside and enjoy the vineyard view. I decided to visit Monroeville Vineyard & Winery last so I could enjoy a wine tasting inside and then bring a bottle of wine outside to enjoy the sunset. 

When visiting each winery I will be sure to take notes and photos to share on my blog. Contact me if everyone is local and wants to join me this weekend on the SJS Wine Trail! 

The 5 S’s of Wine Tasting

At first, Wine tasting can be intimidating and confusing. Most of us think of wine tasting being classy, but if you don’t know what your doing it can get pretty messy! If your going wine tasting for a work event, a date, birthday celebration or just want to look like you know what your doing! Use these 5 S’s to impress and learn the basis of wine tasting!

14542649_10155544069294848_275619233_nSee: Start by observing the wine colors. If it’s a red wine, is the color maroon, purple, ruby, garnet, red or even brownish? If it’s a white wines, is it clear, straw-like, golden, light green, pale yellow or brown in appearance? Color of the wine can be clues to the varietal and age. Just by studying the color of the wine you can learn a variety of things, such as age, type of grapes used and flavors concentration! Wines made in cooler climates usually have a lighter color than wines grown in warmer climate.

14528332_10155544069369848_1807354036_nSwirl: After Observing the wine color, the next step is to swirl your wine around the glass. How do you swirl? Its quiet simple because everyone has their own unique technique! Some leave the bottom of the wine glass firmly planted on a flat surface and make circles with the base for about 10 to 20 seconds. While others prefer to pick the wine glass up and slightly flick their wrist, making little circles in the air. Try both techniques at home with a wine glass filled of water. This will make you feel more comfortable at a party so you can carry on a conversation and not worrying about spilling your drink!

You might be thinking to yourself,Why do I need to swirl my wine?” Swirling making wine taste better and allows oxygen to penetrate the wine. The purpose of swirling wine in a glass is to aerate the wine and release vapors, evaporating from the sides of the glass, for you to smell.

14543514_10155544125564848_673800746_nSmell: Your sense of smell is critical in properly analyzing a glass of wine. To get a good impression of your wine’s aroma, gently swirl your glass, close your eyes and take a quick whiff to gain a first impression. Now with your eyes closed stick your nose down into the glass and take a deep inhale through your nose. A wine’s aroma is an excellent indicator of its quality and unique characteristics. It’s really important to smell a wine because you’re introducing your brain and taste buds to what you’ll be drinking. Now that you have  observed the color, swirl your glass and smelt the wine, the next step is sipping!

14568991_10155544175359848_498665393_nSip: Finally, You are able to taste the wine! Take a sip and let the wine roll around your tongue. What did you taste? Was the wine sweet or dry? The taste should be similar to what your sense of smell detected earlier when you smelt the wine. Although it is natural to sip your wine, slurping it will continue to oxidize the liquid, allowing you to taste the flavors more fully. After gathering your initial impression of the wine, allow a small breath of air in through your lips and lets the wine mingle with the air.

14528297_10155544208099848_1204651413_nSavor: Lastly, Savor the wine and hold it in you mouth. Once the wine is out of your mouth, by either swallowing or spitting. Let the flavor deepen on your palate for about 60 seconds. Some wine will fall out quickly and some wines will have new flavors develop and linger in your mouth. When swallowing the wine have a thoroughly examined the wine. Some questions may include, Does each sip make you want another taste? Is the taste similar to what I smelt? What type of food would I eat with this wine? Would I think this wine if I purchased it? Those are some key questions you should ask yourself to determine how much you liked the wine.

 

Sangria Sundays

Heading to the liquor store to grab your company some beverages to drink during the football season? You already have beer in the cart for the guys but roaming the isle to decide what to purchase for the ladies. Try Apple Cider Sangria! It one of my favorite drinks during this time of year and I look forward making it every Sunday! I found this Apple Cider Sangria on Pinterest and it has become a necessity at every party. This receipt is easy to make at home and DELICIOUS, even the guys will be pouring a glass. When you and your guest try Apple Cider Sangria you all will understand the meaning of Sangria Sundays!

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Direction: Combine all ingredients and stir, stir, stir! Refrigerate for an hour or so (no longer!) before serving!

Ingredients:

1 bottle (standard size) of Pinot Grigio

2 ½ cups fresh apple cider

1 cup club soda

½ cup ginger brandy

3 honey crisp apples, chopped

3 pears, chopped