Every Summer my family vacations in Wildwood, which is just a couple exits away from Cape May. During this annual trip, I usually urge my parents to try the Cape May wineries. They really enjoy resting on the beach all day while on vacation – I can’t blame them – so they usually decline my suggestions. However, knowing that I wanted them to check out the Cape May vineyards, they planned a special weekend with us to visit these wineries. So a couple weekends ago, I was finally able to go with them. This particular weekend celebration was a birthday present from them and an anniversary gift for Tom and me. This past week, Tom and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary.
Our weekend in Cape May was nice, but it was a little busier than I expected. I didn’t realize September is wedding month in Cape May. If you are planning on going to Cape May, keep in mind that some places may be closed or closing early to cater to private events. That’s what we encountered when we tried visiting a couple other places. When we arrived at Cape May Winery it looked like something was going on there. I thought they were having a special event on the back patio, but it may have just been a musician performing outside and a big crowd. All the times we’ve been to Cape May Winery, we’ve never seen it that busy! Luckily, we were able to grab a spot at the tasting bar on the upstairs deck. Which was a first for me. I don’t think I’ve tasted on their deck before. We were also able to find seats on their balcony to sit and enjoy a glass of wine.
I have to admit, I was less impressed with their wines this time around than I have been in the past. I enjoyed them better during previous visits, but it was still a nice experience. Here’s what we tried.
2013 Cape May Riesling – This wine was a dryer Riesling that tasted less sweet than others of this kind. In their Riesling, I tasted hints of honeysuckle and citrus. Dad and I ended up having a glass of this when we relaxed on the deck.
Lighthouse White – The Lighthouse White was a crisp wine with flavors of honey and apple.
Lighthouse Riesling – I was somewhat disappointed in this wine. I remembered it more favorably. This version had a tart and citrus quality. I found it to be a little sour and it left a vinegar-like taste in my mouth. It did have a lovely smell with fruit accents.
Lighthouse Red - The Lighthouse Red is a blend of Merlot, Syrah, and Chambourcin. I tend to enjoy red blends. This was nice. I tasted a bit of spice and cherry. However, I felt like I enjoyed it more in the past.
Lighthouse Blush – This wine is like a white zinfandel with a hint of cherry. It’s the fruitier wine of the Lighthouse line. Mom liked this one best. Like me, her taste leans sweeter.
Isaac Smith Apple – If you like apple flavors, this is your wine! Isaac Smith Apple is a nice fall treat. As you sip this wine, it’s like your biting into a Granny Smith and getting wine instead of juice from the apple. The apple flavor is right on point. It’s a really nice treat. But it is sweet like a treat or like candy. The smell reminded me of the apple flavored Jolly Rancher. I appreciate the taste of this wine, but for some reason, apple juice, apple cider, and other appley drinks turn my stomach a little. The flavor was so good I wanted more, but for my tummy, I held back. Mom ended up getting a glass of this one.
Wines vary year to year and some times or some days my tastes change. Although this tasting experience was different for me, I still love the experience and feel of Cape May Winery. It’s a great blend of beach and country. I love sitting on the distressed wood deck, that is reminiscent of driftwood, while overlooking the vines as I watch hawks circle above the trees and smell the salt sea air. Cape May Winery continues to improve the facility and expand. On this visit, I noticed what looked like a newer building in the back. Cape May Winery is definitely a must visit.