As I’ve mentioned the past few days, Labor Day weekend is something I look forward to every year. I’ve dubbed it my favorite weekend of the year and probably drove my husband nuts with all of my excitement! Picking figs in Brooklyn has been a family tradition for the past 2 years…but for the past 3 years our Sunday tradition has been visiting the Jazz and Blues Wine Festival at Allaire State Park.
Basically, about 20 wineries from all over NJ are vendors at the festival. They each set up a tent and sample anywhere between 4-15 of their wines. In addition to a complimentary wine glass, you are given a sheet listing the wineries and their offerings along with a pencil to take any notes.
We make a day of the event and set up picnic style with chairs and blankets. To cut down on cost from food vendors, we pack our own snacks and lunches to enjoy whenever we need a break.
Our method this year was to simply start at one end, buy as we go, and work our way down. This is a reason it’s great to have a “homebase” type area because as we buy our wine, we just bring it back over to our area so we don’t have to carry it around all day.
This year we had a group of 12 people between my family and Pete’s. We typically all disperse, then meet back to exchange notes, talk about our likes/dislikes, make recommendations, all while enjoying the food we brought.
I did a bad job taking pics of our snacks, but here’s what they included: fresh figs, raspberries, mozzarella rolled with proscuitto, syrah soaked cheese and pinot grigio soaked salami, gorgonzola crackers.
Munching on some Trader Joe’s Gorgonzola Crackers- yum!
For lunch, my mom made pizza patate and mozzarella sandwiches on hard rolls- we’re so Italian it cracks me up!
Big bites :).
The Garden State Wine Growers Association has festivals year round. If you live in NJ or are visiting, you should plan to check one out! It’s an absolute great time.
Here is a list of NJ wines we recommend:
- Spiced Sweet Asian Pear by Chestnut Run Farms
- Ugly Duckling by Working Dog
- Frappe Vino by 4JG’s Orchards and Vineyards <—–a wine slushie, ya’ll!
- Holiday Seasoned by Four Sisters Winery
- Rosso della Valle by Hopewell Valley Vineyards (White Merlot and Barbera are two other favs from there)
- Burgundy by Renault Winery
Do you have any Jersey wines you know and love?
Have you ever been to a wine festival? Or another type of festival for a food/beverage you enjoy?