Did you know that New Jersey has wineries? That’s kind of a joke. Yeah, I knew; I just never went.
And I didn’t go because I am a snob. I felt like I was better than that. In my mind, wineries in Cape May had nothing to teach or offer me. It’s Cape May New Jersey – have I not traveled, studied, lived the suffering wine life and moved past this?
Well, listen, am I wrong? Sort of. I’m wrong for stopping my quest of discovery. I am wrong for being a self involved, righteous bitch. And I’m wrong for thinking I can learn nothing from sitting with myself and my psyche. (I traveled alone for three days – and whoa, what a great time). I practiced the art of being silent, letting my mind wander- and not feeling guilty about that- and tuning in to my internal rhythm, my palate sensory machine, and the study of how I articulate my thoughts and impulses. I’m performing all the things just mentioned on a “acceptable” level…. (work in progress)
So here you go – here is the unabashed, kind of emotional, complete truth of what I did, what I think NOW. My ego is still racing and stamping it’s feet, wanting to be heard – I can’t stop that chick. But, I’m going to lay it on the table for you, and hope you don’t get to pissed off.
I began at https://hawkhavenvineyard.com/ and OK – I’m going to give them a pass here. It was August, it was HOT, and I was a bit on edge from a phone call on the ride over. I’ve been diving deep (in my mind, journals- I really got to get this onto paper) into the ideas I talk about in this blog; where do we start, emotionally, before we even take a sip at wine. Can our palates keep up with the noise we have created in our heads; usually before we even finish breakfast? How can we accept that journey a sip of wine will take us on if we can’t even forgive ourselves for the futile human escapades of life?
I wanted a flight, but I didn’t want to drink Pinot Grigio. I don’t want to drink ANYONE’S Pinot Grigio. I asked to switch out a different wine in the flight, they told me that was not a thing they did. (what the…) I even pulled the “I’m in the Wine Business” card (because you know, why not just act like a complete idiot), and they didn’t care. I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and left.
And, I took a wine note: Varietal positioning correct, is there viscosity here? A LOT of alcohol, good acidity, flavors of lemon/lime pith, candied orange peel, leaner body than expected.
And that is all I’m going to say about that.
I started to drive home, but then remembered that I reached out to @njwinegirl on Instagram asking for suggestions. One of those suggestions was https://www.turdovineyards.com/ – thank you Ms! First off, how Jersey is it to park, randomly, on the side of the road to enter the tasting room. Kind of loved that. I was interested in tasting their Albarino; sold out. Ok, lets do something funky then and just go for broke with an Orange Wine. Yup, New Jersey is cooking up a skin contact white wine, natural, organic, distinctive, peculiar – I say bring it on! This one is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Catarratto, and Grillo – dense, off dry, light acidity, definite signs of oak fermentation, honeysuckle goodness. I WANT this with a stinky cheese and walnut raisin bread – and then, I did something I never do- I bought a bottle for a friend. Listen Turdo Vineyards; you and your Italian varietals can stop on my street any day.
I decided to end my time in South New Jersey at capemaywinery; I was thinking this would be the mother of them all. OK, Cape May Winery, you are pretty, and your food is amazing (cute little Tapas bar – what you totally want at the moment). I”ll give you that. I can see myself having a dinner party surrounded by your technicolor umbrellas, sprawling trellised vineyards, and sexy mood music – you got that right girl. Your wine…. um, I’m not impressed but I’m not hating it either. What I DID like was your staff; knowledgeable, accommodating (they let me change out a wine in my flight – and thank you) – and they all look like they are happy to be there. I’m sure dealing with the New Jersey public in a pandemic is not an easy or joyful task at times – couldn’t tell. I had a white wine flight that was totally passable – your Albarino needs a bit more acidity, but had a palate of fresh melon, and I could see it being very food friendly. Your rose was incredibly floral, started out to be pretty, but died a bit at the end. I was delighted by the Isaac Smith White blend – unfortunately not available to buy – but this blend of sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio (I allowed this to happen) and colombard was pleasing. Your General Manager treated me to a Cabernet Sauvignon – I LOVED the slight chill on it, smart choice, great acidity, black berry fruit, alcohol in balance.
Will I go back, yes. I am DYING to see the brewery; next trip for sure. I say go, grab some friends to go with, and drink responsibly. Be prepared to spend some dollars; I’m not used to paying for my wine adventures. (again, snobbing it up, but that is the truth)
Some changes are brewing – honestly, July and August were a shit show for a bunch of reasons. But, I survived; a little bruised and confused, but still ready for whatever life will throw at me. New wines to look at with you – I hope you listen and challenge me as well. Help me through this, send me your opinions, and let’s add to our community. We are better together – if this time has taught me anything…