Posts Tagged ‘ NJ Social events ’

South Jersey Wines & Steak

South Jersey Vines

Jersey Fresh Wine & Food Festival, Heritage Winery, Sat & Sun 12-5 PM, 480 Mullica Hill Road (Route 322) in Mullica

Want a chance to taste some of the wines of Amalthea Cellars I have been so excited about? Up against other wineries of the region? Then come find me roaming about Heritage Wineries Property today during the Jersey Fresh Wine and Food Festival from Noon till 5 PM.

If you miss it today, then you have another chance Sunday from Noon till 5 PM. I will be unfortunately (or not) tasting twelve Zin’s with Adrienne, and we will be reporting back!

You can read my report on a great ribeye steakhouse in south Arizona over at Food ~ Wine ~ Fun! ‘Warning Steak Lovers’. The Pinot Noir I had with it was not so bad either, but the Zinfandel would probably have been a dead on tasting…

Cheers!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food & Wine Writer/Chef-Owner CookAppeal, LLC Princeton, New Jersey

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More Wine(ing) To Come

Corky is on the job as we speak!

Partners In Wine Club Press will be bringing you new and updated information on the marriage of food, wine, technology, and social media…

Both Chef Elizabeth Stelling and Adrienne Turner are attending classes, meeting with wine producers, and getting ready for Wine Art Music Poetry Project, and will begin regular posting soon…

The Garden State Wine Has Arrived

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This and a bottle of Europa!

To borrow from written history, various documented internet sources, and my own education in and around the New Jersey Vineyards over the past year, I have discovered my new home makes more than just ‘Okay and fruity’ wine.

The state has begun to take back its bragging rights of being ‘The Garden State’* in the last few years, and is staking a claim in some of the best wines produced outside of California and France. In 1767, London’s Royal Society of the Arts had already recognized two New Jersey vintners for their success in producing the first bottles of quality wine derived from the colonial agriculture. The problem I believe, started when everyone wanted a stake in the wine industry here and began buying up land and growing wine grapes further north, where the soil and weather are vastly different. Thus the huge difference in wine.

The GSWGA website with its marketing verbiage of ‘Savor The Experience’ and hearing from locals about how great their wines are in the central Jersey area (as they showed me their local fruity blueberry and cranberry wine), I was beginning to think no one knew what good vino really was. I already hail from Texas where there are very few, if any drinkable to my mature palate in the Lone Star State ( Texas grows wine grapes, and bottles it!). Yes laugh! Five years ago when I hit what I call the central Jersey wine trail…well…I was more than disappointed. De ja vue hit me like a mad bull in a packed rodeo parking lot!

I am sure a few winery cowboys would love to come after me on that comment, but I do agree in the spring along the east bound highways of I45: blooming wildflowers, historical site seeing, and a few stops at wineries can break up the ‘out of the AC lock down’ lifestyle of the Lone Star State, but I discovered something MORE breath taking in Jersey.

The Outer Coastal Plain American Viticultural Area– beautiful acres of green grass, pine barrens, and shore line. New Jersey is a puzzle so spread out that it can take years to place each piece together and find your way around, but its worth the wait. New Jersey wineries are generally in one of two areas: the triangle defined by Atlantic City, Cape May, and Philadelphia or the strip from near Trenton to High Point along the Delaware River.

Last year while taking a weekend excursion, which there are so many here to discover with its rich history, I ended up in the Marlton, Berlin, and the Atco New Jersey area. Noticing the clump of wineries on the ‘Garden State Wine Growers Association’ map, we decided to visit a few and see if they differed from the upper regions near our home in Princeton. Some were more drinkable, but our last stop was Amalthea Cellars. We walked away more than two hours later with over a case of wine, and I have made a few trips back since.

A big southern Thank You to ‘The Garden State’* as is well known for; it consist of rich cultural food history, small historical towns dotted up and down its old highways, sprawling farmland, farmers markets and (in my opinion) some of the best wineries down south. Put them together, and the sweltering summer heat of late aside, I have come to embrace my new home of wine and foodie paradise.

There is a lot going on now that the New Jersey Outer Coastal Plain AVA is getting noticed, and I would not miss it if I were you!

*HISTORY: New Jersey’s nickname, the Garden State, derives largely from the more than one hundred year history of growing of fruits and vegetables in this area which supplies such produce to the mid-Atlantic region and as far north as Montreal.

Cheers!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Cup Cakes and Wine Pairing

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Reeses Iron Cup Cake #3

Do not always reach for the ‘Dessert’ Wine when you are paring wine with a full course, or even just a light snack to guests that include sweets; it will overwhelm the end, and might ruin the party’s great momentum. Desserts and Dessert wines can leave a bad taste in your mouth, so try a dry or different pairing!

Iron Cup Cake Challenge, South Jersey

What more could you ask for having a cup cake contest in one of the most colorful eateries in Collingswood, New Jersey? Set after a 1950’s diner- serving up the usual burgers, fries, onion rings, malts, grilled cheese and more; it was a perfect setting for one of the hottest buzzes in the blogging community, or actually the world has gone cup cake crazy! Hosted by Katies Kupcakes of Moorestown, New Jersey- she had a vision to turn this popular food into a charity event.

The newest recipient of the challenge was the Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation. In fact, there was a special judge, Miss Kelly Rouba who is a JRA spokesperson/advocate, a journalist, public speaker and young woman with a strong passion to help others who, like herself, have lived with the disease. They raised one thousand dollars on July 7th, 2010 at the Pop Shop.

Unanimously four judges picked the winners and announced to them to the crowd. Cheers rang out for each person as they came to the front to claim their prizes. What a great group of bakers and attendees, I was proud to help be a part of this event as a judge. In all honesty and in the name of fun- there were no losers that night. Each person that took their time to creatively, lovingly bake and decorate each small cake, packed them up, and haul them down to the Pop Shop for charity- screams first place winner!

The only thing missing- WINE! I took a few home and enjoyed a glass…of course I did!

Wine & Cup Cake Winner Pairings

Adult Division:

1st Place-Deanna Gordon (Campfire Pb Smores)

Graham Cracker, Cinnamon and creamy Marshmallow- Sparkling White, Beaujolais, or even a Pinot Noir
2nd Place-Molly Rowland (Molly’s Monsters- was my first pick)
Vanilla, Sweet and Sour candy- Sauternes with the sour, and of course a slightly oaked Chardonnay for the vanilla!
3rd Place-Rich Potosky (Reese’s Cupcakes- the young man who created them explained their size)
Chocolate and Peanut Butter- A big Cabernet would offset the overly sweet, but chocolate flavors, and Bava “Libera” Barbera d’Asti, Piedmont Italy- a Pinot Noir could work, but I would have to say Old World, the new world Barn Yard’iness might not work so well with the peanut butter!

Junior Division:

1st Place-Annabelle Jiaconetti (Mini Me Mint Cupcakes)
Peppermint- Not so sure about this, I would have to say a sweet wine like a Muscato, or a light table white, like Elara from Amalthea Cellars in New Jersey!
2nd Place -Gwen Godisil (Gummi Worm Cupcakes)
Fruity- New World Pinot Noir, like one from Oregon or Russian River Valley region of California!
3rd Place-Kayla West (Cotton Candy Cupcakes)
Now there is a new one, Cotton Candy, just plain sugar- well I would say the Asti from Peidmont, Italy again, or even just a dry wine like a Shiraz/Syrah!

Pairing wine with desserts can be daunting, a sure challenge, but if you find the main component of the flavor profile, then it should make it easier. Dry wines are almost a sure bet with pure sugar, but you will never know until you give it a try!

Monster Madness- How I felt after 31!

See what Dr Vino says about pairing wine with cup cakes…

Cheers and Sweets on this one!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Destination Ironbound translates Little Portugal

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Ironbound District/Ferry Street

Many neighborhoods have their history, but few have their history re-written in such a strong way as the Ironbound District of Newark. Typically in Central Jersey (depending on where you really live), the area is full of Asian culture cuisine. You want your pick of Indian food and markets? You will find eateries all along Route 1, Princeton to Edison. Of course New York City has wall to wall ethnic food choices that over flow into the bordering state of New Jersey.

As it does today, the Ironbound had inhabitants of many ethnic groups in the 19th century, with Germans, Lithuanians, Italians, and Poles being prominent. As well as during the mid-twentieth century it was also home to a large African-American population, so I am sure the restaurant scene was a cultural variance before now. With its streets dotted with Portuguese eateries and the greater influx dominating the area in the 1950’s; its well worth the drive from any section of New Jersey for an early dinner on Saturday and Sunday.

The Ironbound is a large working-class neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. This close-knit, multi-ethnic community covers approximately four square miles. Historically, the area was called “Dutch Neck,” “Down Neck,” or simply “the Neck,” because of the way the Passaic River curved to form what looked like a neck. Today, the neighborhood is sometimes referred to as “Little Portugal” or “New Jersey’s Portugal” owing to its large Portuguese community. The Ironbound is part of Newark’s East Ward and is directly east of Penn Station and Downtown Newark, and south and west of the river.

The name “Ironbound” was once said to have originated from the many forges and foundries that were found in this area during the latter half of the 19th century, however, the name probably came from the rail tracks that surrounded the area when the railroads were constructed during the 1830s.

Want to get a taste of the foods and culture of Portugal? Visit the Ironbound District now. Since 1910, the area has deep roots and is home to many Portuguese Social Clubs. This past weekend a Portuguese music festival was taking up the block of Independence Park off . Taste of Portugal was the site for our Women For Winesense Tasting, and did they do a great job serving up healthy portions of various well know dishes. The largest selection of restaurants are found off Ferry and Market Street, north Ironbound area.

Check back Wednesday when I share the ‘Best Of’ wines and food we all enjoyed!

Cheers!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Taste Of Portugal Paella- Yummy!

Pairing Wine with Food- Grenache

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Pulled Pork & Beer 'Butt' Chicken BBQ


First of all, let me mention a good friend of ours, Doc @ What’s Cookin’ With Doc. He brought up a great fact about how Rose wines are so overlooked. Because they are not as popular, they are cheaper than the big reds of the old world and new world wine industry.

Pair it with the perfect plate of food, and your guest will feel you are amazing, talented, and a genius! Doc is a genius for bringing up that point! Rose is a wine that goes great with warmer weather and cool fruit laden salad or dessert. Even a simple crostini with a marinated brushetta topping fresh from the cooler, and onto their plates. Not too heavy on the garlic!

Barbecue is also a food people find hard to pair with wine. Beer always enters the picture. Nothing wrong with a good cold brew, but what if your guest do not like beer? They want a cool wine to fight off the heat of summer, or in my case I cook barbecue all year long, so I have taken on the challenge. Grenache is a great wine to pair with barbecue. As long as the sauce is light in heat/spice, and remember to leave some fat on the meats when cooking them. A California Grenache goes great with skin on ‘beer’ butt chicken on the grill. Why? Because the fat helps take down the tannic cheekiness of the big bold wines of this nature.

Maturing them a few years longer helps, but we do not always know when we open a bottle it is ready. Some of it is guess work. Shhh, do not tell my superior wine aficionados I just said that. Buying wine and trying it can be a guessing game. Basic knowledge will help steer you to becoming a better judge as time goes by. That is the fun of trying wines. Find the ones you like.

Go out and add a few bottles of Grenache to your cellar, basement, closet floor or where ever you keep it on its side in a cool dry place.

A few Grenache suggestions:
Rose- Chateau D’escians ‘Whispering Angel Rose’, France 08
BBQ- Herman’s Story Larner Vineyard, California 06

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food and Wine Writer Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Perfect Pairing- Rose & Strawberry's

Grenache- Around The World

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Granache From Around The World

[gruh-NAHSH] Grape that comes in both red-wine and white-wine varieties. When used by itself, the word “Grenache” refers to the red version Grenache Noir, one of the world’s most widely cultivated red grapes. The Grenache grape does well in hot, dry regions, and its strong stalk makes it well suited for windy conditions.

It ripens with very high sugar levels and can produce wines with 15 to 16 percent alcohol. Grenache wines are sweet, fruity, and very low in tannins. They’re usually lacking in color, except in growing areas where yields are low. The vine originated in Spain where it’s called Garnacha and Garnacha Tinta (or Garnacho Tinto) and is the most widely cultivated red-wine grape in that country. It’s widely planted in navarra and in many of Spain’s hotter areas including cariñena, la mancha, penedès, rioja and utiel-requena. In southern France not far from the Spanish border, Grenache is widely cultivated in the areas around languedoc-roussillon, provence and the southern rhône.

Also extensively grown in Algeria, Australia, Corsica, Israel, Morocco, Sardinia (where it’s called Cannonau), and California’s central valley. Guarnaccia is a Grenache strain native to southern Italy’s Ischia island, at the entrance to the Bay of Naples. Red Grenache wines are usually blended with those made from other varieties; 100 percent Grenache wines are rarely found. In Spain Grenache is blended with tempranillo, and in most of France it’s blended with cinsaut and carignan. In châteauneuf-du-pape it’s used as the primary grape, although it is blended with as many as twelve other varietals including clairette, mourvèdre, muscadine and syrah. In rosé wines-particularly those from côtes-du-rhône, côtes du ventoux, lirac and tavel-Grenache is often the dominant grape used. In California and Australia, it’s most often used as a blending wine for inexpensive jug wines. Grenache Blanc (or Garnacha Blanca) is the white variety of this grape.

Although not as popular as the red, it’s still widely planted in both Spain and France. The white wines produced are high alcohol and low acidity. Grenache is known by many different names including Alicante, Cannonao (or Cannonau), Carignan Rosso, Granaccia, Granacha, and Roussillon.

REDS:

  • Marco Real, navarra Granache Spain 05
  • Domaine d’Anderon, Cotes Du Rone France 08
  • Yalumba Barossa Valley, Bush Vine Granache Australia 08
  • Herman’s Story, Larner Vineyard California 06

My impressions, were this group was comparing apples to oranges. Each glass/bottle had their own characteristics, so it comes down to a preference, and mine- all of them were great. The California Herman’s won on overall points at our AWS- American Wine Society tasting event. My taste buds lean towards old world, so I did feel if there was a bottle of Domain d’Anderson left on the kitchen table, I would have found room in my pocket book, and quietly steal away into the night!

Food pairing:

  • Smoked Pulled Pork with homemade canned tomato BBQ sauce
  • Yengling Beer ‘Butt’ Chicken, whole
  • Roasted White and Peruvian Fingerling Potatoes and Squash
  • Cheese Cake
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Maple Brown Sugar Cured Bacon with chocolate, in homemade ice cream

Food Pairing Notes: The fat of the chicken was most notable with its perfect pairing with the California Grenache, as the fat helped balance out the tannic ‘cheekiness’, and this wine could have aged a bit longer. Most all other foods went well with the wines as courses were served, another notable pairing was the Rose with Strawberry Salad!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling & Adrienne Turner were in attendance and contributed food!