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Archive for the ‘Alba Winery’ Category

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Between the cold weather, Tom getting the flu, and busy weekends, we have not been able to get to wineries outside of our area. We often travel to the Central Jersey wine trail when we can, which includes Cream Ridge Winery and Working Dog Winery. We did slip in a couple trips to these vineyards recently, but we haven’t had enough time to make it to the wineries in South Jersey. These might require a weekend trip since there are so many around Gloucester, Atlantic, and Salem counties. In the meantime, until we have the time, money, and favorable weather to get to the South Jersey locations, I’m glad there are online wine retailers that sell NJ wines! They can ship some of my favorite wines or NJ brands right to me. In some cases, it would take an hour or 2 for us to travel to one of these wineries. Of course, I love visiting the vineyards and when we stop there I try to stock up on the wines I enjoy. But on occasion it’s easier to have it shipped to us and do an in home tasting.

I recently received Tomasello’s Pomegranate Champagne, Chambourcin, and Sparking Pinot Noir, as well as Alba’s Riesling from WineChateau.com. When the box arrived it felt like Christmas! I might just order wine more often.

Tomasello’s Sparkling Pomegranate – This is a fun, unique champagne. Being pomegranate it was on the sweeter side, which I can appreciate. Of course, there was a lot of fizz at first, but it settled down for a delightfully refreshing, effervescent, fruity champagne. I think I’ll bring one of these to a family Easter party as a way to celebrate the occasion. The flavors will be fitting for the event too, bright, fruity, and fun.

Tomasello’s Chambourcin – This smooth, light wine had a smoky and peppery quality to it. It reminded me of black cherry without the sweetness. Tomasello’s Chambourcin is a true red wine.

Alba Riesling – It’s gone! I drank it all and enjoyed every sip of it. It was an appropriate amount of sweet. It was reminiscent of apple flavors, but not tart. Alba’s Riesling is good, fruity, and citrusy. These qualities made me yearn for summer and warm weather. This Riesling is nice – satisfying for fans of sweeter wines.

Tomasello’s Sparkling Pinot Noir – I have to admit I was not crazy about this champagne. It struck me as a weird combination. It was very effervescent. For some reason it seemed hard for me to get past the fizz. When I did, I really noticed the Pinot Noir quality on the finish. Since I’m more of a white or sweet wine drinker, this one didn’t appeal to me. But since Tomasello has so many great wines and I really enjoyed the Pomegranate Champagne, I didn’t think much of it.

I love supporting NJ entrepreneurs and businesses. Wine Chateau is a NJ based online wine store, with 2 physical locations. You can go there right now and order the wines I talk about. Not only is it a NJ business, but the founder also went to a NJ college, NJIT. He one upped me on that, because I went to NYIT. Anyway, WineChateau.com has about 53 NJ wines for you to pick from.

I can’t wait to get to the actual Tomasello winery. I’ve had so many good wines from them. But in the meantime, I’ll get my fix from their small shops when I can get there and WineChateau.com. I suggest ordering some wines for Easter or Spring celebrations. I often bring NJ wines to parties and they’re a great conversation piece. Guests learn about NJ’s agriculture and burgeoning wine business and we get to chat about one of my favorite topics, wine. Next, I may order Tomasello’s Sweet Cakes Sweet Concord and their Red Raspberry Moscato. How about you? What will you order? View this link and search by US region to see what NJ wines WineChauteau.com carries.

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Last Sunday, Tom and I ventured on a west NJ wine trail that included Alba, Villa Milagro, and Beneduce Vineyards. Two of these wineries are on the same road, rt. 627 and the other is about 2o minutes away. As we headed west on 627, we arrived at Alba first. The stone structured building is close to the road. There’s a narrow driveway between the building and a patio on the right. On this day, even though it was chilly, there was a band playing outside on the patio. We parked up hill just beyond the building. From up here you can see the vines extend for acres.

Upon entering the winery, you walk into a large room that seems like a tasting room and a shop. The room itself resembles a stone wine cellar. We paid for our tasting in this room where we also received a delicious cheese and cracker platter. Then we were instructed to walk down to the adjacent room where there was a long table parallel to the back wall for our tasting. There was another table across the room from that one as well as a few circular tables dispersed throughout the room. We walked to the the long table at the far wall and were greeted by a kind and knowledgeable sommelier. I’ve heard good things about Alba Winery and based on our experience, I can see why. Alba makes quality wines that wine afficionados can enjoy. Here’s what we tried:

Gewurtztraminer – This Gewurtztraminer isn’t nearly as sweet as others. It was the dryest one I’ve had and that quality emphasized the fruity flavors in the wine. This unique wine gave off flavors reminiscent of rose and spice. The sommelier said it pairs well with sushi. Alba’s Gewurtztraminer won GOLD and Best of Class in the Long Beach Grand Cru Wine Competition and in the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition.

Mainsail White – Alba’s Mainsail White is made of Vidal Blanc, Cayuga, and Reisling. It’s an easy drinking white that’s dry, fruity, and refreshing.

Riesling – The Riesling was too sweet for Tom, but good for me. It presented flavors of tropical fruits. This was the sweeter option. They also had a dry Riesling, which we didn’t try. Alba’s Riesling also won awards, GOLD in the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition and Silver in the Long Beach Grand Cru Wine Competition.

Rosa Semi-Sweet Alba’s Rosa was sugary sweet. At first, I really enjoyed it, but I think I have to limit my consumption. I bought a bottle and realized one glass is great, but two becomes too sweet for me. However, this is still a tasty wine with subtle hints of peach and grapefruit.

Old Mill Red Alba’s Old Mill Red is an easy drinking red table wine, that’s light and flows easily. It’s a blend that’s aged in French Oak barrels. This wine won Silver in the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, Tasters Guild International Wine Competition, and New Jersey Wine Competition.

Syrah – Alba’s Syrah was my favorite of their selection. The Syrah grapes are grown in Washington state because they require dryer growing conditions. They are then shipped to and fermented in NJ and aged in French Oak. This wine is a slightly spicy wine with berry flavors.

Blueberry – The Blueberry wine was surprisingly light. It wasn’t as tart and sweet as others. Alba’s Blueberry was pleasantly refreshing. It won Bronze in the New Jersey Wine Competition.

Raspberry – The Raspberry wine was also surprisingly light and mild. The fruity flavor is so rich that it has a jam like quality. This wine won 6 awards, including the New Jersey, Finger Lakes, Pacific Rim, San Diego International, Tasters Guild International, and San Francisco Chronicle Competition.

I recommend checking out this winery, especially in the Spring or Summertime. The facility is lovely and the wines have a rich quality.

Rating

4 Wine Glasses (out of 5)

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