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Archive for the ‘Dessert Wines’ Category

I keep thinking about wines! Which wines to bring to all our upcoming holiday parties? I often buy seasonal wines, NJ wines that I know the host likes or something unique to introduce to everyone. Below are my suggestions of NJ wines to gift or bring to parties for different types of wine drinkers. You’ll certainly notice my favorite wineries listed because they have good selections and great wines. You can find some of these wines at local liquor stores. Or if the winery is near you, stop by and purchase it at their establishment. I also use www.wine-searcher.com to track down some wines. Just enter the wine into their search box. Call before you make the trip to make sure they have it in stock.

Dry Whites

Cape May Barrel Fermented Chardonnay – Tom and I both prefer oaky Chardonnays. The buttery, vanilla, and oak flavors sit well and provide a relaxing experience for us. This one contains those features and gives just a hint of lemon. Our favorite Chardonnays in NJ are made by Cape May and Working Dog Wineries.

Working Dog Winery Chardonnay – One of this variety, an older vintage, took 4th place among white wines in the “Judgement of Princeton” wine contest held by Princeton University, which paired French wines against NJ wines in a blind taste test.

Unionville Vineyards Pinot Grigio – This wine was one of the best Pinot Grigio’s I’ve had. It’s just right. It’s not as harsh as some others, yet it provides qualities true to this varietal.

Dry Reds

Old York Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec – Their Cabernet Sauvignon is well balanced. It presents a cherry like flavor and tobacco taste on the finish. The Malbec is slightly spicy with a fruity taste. It smells like blackberries with a smoky quality. Both of these wines are dynamic by offering fruit flavors at first and earthy flavors afterwards.

Brook Hollow Winery Cabernet Franc – This is another interesting wine. It reminded us of grilling. It’s suitable for meat dishes. This Cabernet Franc had a peppery spice and grapey taste. It seemed heavy in flavor.

Sweet Whites 

Cream Ridge Winery Eastern White – Cream Ridge Winery classified the Eastern White as being “back by popular demand.” So your friends and family just might enjoy this one, as long as they have a taste for sweet things. It’s made from Niagara grapes, which tend to be used in sweeter wines. It had a white grape juice quality.

Working Dog Winery Traminette – This is a pleasing white wine for someone who likes whites and sweet wines and something other than Riesling. It’s an interesting grape because it’s a hybrid that was developed at Cornell University. It comes from Gewurtztraminer grape. Traminette is one of Working Dog Winery’s most popular wines, so it would most likely be a party pleaser. It’s taste is reminiscent of honey and apricot.

Cape May Isaac Smith Apple – This wine would make an interesting story at a holiday party. The label is shaped like a coffin and this wine is called Isaac Smith Apple because Mr. Smith used to be a local coffin maker in the 1820’s and the vineyard property belonged to his estate. The wine itself is interesting. Those who enjoy apple flavors would really enjoy it. It tastes like you’re biting into a Granny Smith apple and the juice running into your mouth happens to have alcohol in it. It’s sweet like candy and the apple smell reminded me of the same flavored Jolly Rancher.

Sweet Reds – My Favorite Category

Valenzano Winery Shamong Red and Red Reserve – Made from concord grape, Valenzano describes Shamong Red as NJ’s best-selling native wine. They also say it’s a popular all-occasion wine. I would have to agree. I could drink this on any occasion and now that I’m talking about it, I want it. I often find this one in area liqour stores. Shamong Red Reserve is real similar to the Shamong Red. It may just have a slight difference, possibly being the Ives grape. The Reserve is a three-time “Best American Varietal” winner at the NJ Wine Competition held by Rutgers. Keep an eye out for these!

Four Sisters Winery Beaver Creek Red – Also made with concord grapes, this wine is one of their best sellers. It’s one of my favorites! It’s described as having a candy apple like flavor. Maybe the sweetness gives it a candy-like quality. I don’t really get apple from it, more like a sweet grape. It reminds me of concord grape jelly.

Working Dog Winery Ugly Duckling Red – I don’t really consider this red a sweet one, but it has sugar added. However, this wine is certainly a crowd pleaser. Everyone I introduced to this wine enjoyed it. Ugly Duckling Red presents a unique flavor combination. It presents the heavyiness and spice of Cabernet Franc or Chambourcin, but it goes down gently with a hint of sweetness because of the sugar added. It’s best served chilled. You probably won’t have any of this left by the end of the night, so buy 2 bottles – get one for yourself!

Tomasello Winery’s Rainier Red – I mention multiple Tomasello wines because they’re good, but they also have a couple tasting rooms in different areas and their wines are sold in many liquor stores. The availability of these wines increase the chance that you may be able to buy them. Rainier Red is classified as a red table wine, which indicates it’d be a good for a group of people with different tastes. This wine is slightly sweet and it’s made from a concord grape.

Dessert Wines

Tomasello Cranberry or Blueberry Moscato – These wines are definitely for people who like SWEET or guests who are ready for dessert. The cranberry is tart, which you would expect from cranberries. They also have blueberry and raspberry. The blueberry is milder than their other fruit Moscatos.

Old York Cellars Blackberry – Their blackberry wine is naturally sweet, like a blackberry. This would be excellent with cheesecake and chocolate. It’s not tart like other dessert wines. Even people who don’t like sweet wines may like this one.

Seasonal Wines

Cream Ridge Winter Spice – Winter Spice can be served warm or chilled. When it’s heated the flavors really come alive and it becomes more fragrant. This wine isn’t available all year, so get it while you can. It’s on the sweeter side. It’s a blush wine spiced with nutmeg, clove, and allspice. Just describing it, I want some now! I also like how the name suggests I can drink it all winter and not just for the holidays!

Tomasello Spiced Apple or Mulled Spice Wine – These both are good wines and slightly different. Obviously, the apple wine has more apple flavor with added spices. Mulled Spice is a basic red with mulling spices added. It’s sweet without going overboard. One time my Aunt had this in a crock pot at a holiday party. The aroma filled the room. It’s best served warm as the heat releases the flavors.

Four Sisters Winery Holiday Seasoned – Their Holiday Seasoned is the Beaver Creek Red, but with cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg added, a great combination of flavors. Again, this wine served warm ignites the flavors and aroma.

Ports

Four Sisters Winery Poppa Joe – Tom had described this as being a “good after dinner treat.” Finish off your meal with this one. This was among their top 3 wines. It was like the concord, but with more alcohol.

Cape May Winery Isaac Smith Port – This is another interesting wine to talk about. It’s part of Cape May’s Isaac Smith line that’s named after the coffin maker. The flavor of this Port is also interesting. It’s mostly Chambourcin with some Syrah. The taste is like blackcherry. It’s a little strong for me, but it’s a nice after dinner drink for those who might follow up their meal with liquor.

Plagido’s Winery Empire Port – Tom also really liked this Port. It’s aged in oak. The Empire Port is a red blend with a kick.

Tomasello and Valenzano wines can be found in some liquor stores throughout the state. There’s also a few Tomasello retail stores/tasting rooms. They’re located in Lambertville, Freehold, Smithville, and Chester. The other wines may have to be purchased from the vineyards.

If you try any of these wines, let me know what you, your friends, and your family think. Happy Holidays!

 

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My 30th birthday was a few weeks ago. For the occasion, my husband, Tom, planned a fun day of wine drinking at our favorite local wineries. We stopped first at Cream Ridge Winery and then at Working Dog Winery. We had 3 cars of people with us. Somehow we all got split up along the way, but we happened to get there at the same time! When we arrived at Cream Ridge and parked in their lot, we noticed people outside walking along the vines. I hadn’t really thought of doing that here, but I want to mention it, so you know it’s something you can do. I also noticed that they expanded their outdoor patio area, which is great. The one thing I thought Cream Ridge Winery was missing was more of a hang out spot. We usually go here just for a tasting. It’s nice to see that they increased their outdoor seating area so you can spend more time visiting. However, on this particular day, the weather was gray and there was a lingering threat of rain, so we wouldn’t be able to sit outside for long.

As we approached the door and passed through the front patio seating area, there was a band getting ready to play. To the left on the front lawn, there was a small food trailer, like a truck, set up to offer visitors some meat treats, like hot dogs and such. As we entered the wine tasting room, the bar was filled with visitors. We waited just a little bit for some space to clear. We were a somewhat big group, so 3 of us stood at the counter and the rest hung behind. We reviewed the wine lists together and leaned in to get our samples. We all had different tastes. Here are some of the wines I tried during this visit.

Riesling – The Riesling was juicy with a lemony flavor. It was somewhat sweet and packed a little punch on the end. The tasting notes say that their Riesling is a good match for spicy food.

Eastern White – The tasting list said the Eastern White is “back by popular demand.” Personally, I can see why. It’s made from Niagara grapes and that gives it a Welch’s white grape juice quality. It was slightly tangy, but definitely sweet. My tastes lean to the sweeter side, so i liked it. It was a little too sweet for some of the others that were with us.

Cabernet Franc – I found the Cabernet Franc to be interesting. It had a roasted characteristic and it gave off a flavor of black cherry with a hint of licorice.

Summer Sangria – The Summer Sangria had a perfume-like aroma and the taste reminded me of cherry. This wine was more on the sweeter side. It’s made with concord, my favorite grape, and Niagara.

Strawberry – Tom sat out this tasting since he was our DD. But I saved the strawberry wine sample for him, since he loves strawberries. He thought it was good. He said it tasted like strawberry, but with a punch. Cream Ridge Winery’s Strawberry wine was a silver medal winner.

Almondberry – I knew I liked this wine, but it was even better than I remembered. It may have been a different year than the ones I tried before. Almondberry is made with raspberry, Niagara grapes, and touched with an almond accent.

Frozen Sangria – The Frozen Sangria was really intriguing. The freezer pouches were pre-made with the winery’s branding. When you purchase this wine, they pour the bottle into the pouch for you. You take it home and freeze it. This sangria is made with the Eastern White wine. Since, I liked the Eastern White and sangria in general, of course, I enjoyed this one too!

It was really difficult deciding which wine I wanted to buy. I wanted the Frozen Sangria, Summer Sangria, Eastern White, and Almondberry. I ended up getting the Almondberry. If you’re thinking about checking Cream Ridge Winery out, I’d recommend it for the experience and their specialty wines. Their wines lean towards the fruitier or sweeter side. However, they do have options for those who enjoy more traditional or dryer wines. As I’ve mentioned before, the staff is very friendly. The winery itself is cute. They have a nice shop and they put on fun events throughout the year.

This past weekend was their 23rd Bluegrass & Pig Roast Harvest Festival. If you missed it this year, mark it on you calendar for next year. On September 27, Cream Ridge Winery is hosting their 2nd Annual “Finish Wine” Bicycle Rally. Visit their website here for more details.

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Last week, I tuned into Old York Cellars latest edition of Virtual Vines, which highlighted their Blackberry and Stagecoach Red, as well as Laurie’s (amazing) Chocolates from Bucks County, PA. I really enjoy these Virtual Vine tastings. It provides an opportunity to really indulge in the qualities of the wines and fully savor the flavors. My appreciation for Old York Cellars grows more and more during each Virtual Vines session. I love how they interact with the audience and answer all questions. I feel like I’m getting to know the staff and in a way their getting to know me through our Tweets and chats during Virtual Vines. I’ve been to Old York Cellars in the past and I’m really looking forward to getting there again. In the meantime, I enjoy experiencing Old York Cellars through Virtual Vines.

Stagecoach Red – The Stage Coach Red is 50% Malbec 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot. The sommelier said this wine pairs well with veggie burgers as well as other foods. Coincidentally, this was exactly what Tom and I were eating! We didn’t have time for much else when I walked in the door late because my bus hit traffic heading home! I have to say, they did go well together. Tom said he thought it would also pair well with Italian food. Stage Coach Red is a lighter style red with less tannins that makes it easier to drink. It’s fruit at the front, plum in the middle, and peppery on the end. It captures different characteristics and qualities while you sip. If you’re not typically a red wine fan, you may enjoy the dynamic qualities of the Stagecoach Red. We served this wine chilled, as we prefer to drink our reds at a cooler temperature. I asked them if this was okay and they said, it’s fine in warmer months, but they would suggest only chilling it for about 10 minutes. Another interesting note, Stagecoach Red was named so because Old York Cellars Rd, obviously what the winery was named after, used to be a stagecoach road, one of the oldest that went from Philly to New York.

Blackberry – I have a sweet tooth, but Tom doesn’t, yet we both loved this wine! I knew at first sip that I could easily finish the whole bottle! Tom said it tasted naturally sweet and just like blackberry. He added that it would be great with cheesecake. Yum! I agree. It’s semi-sweet, not tart like other fruity dessert wines, and refreshing. The Blackberry is a nice dessert wine that’s accommodating for people with different tastes. Chocolate pairs amazingly with Blackberry. It becomes a dessert in itself that’s creamy, fruity, and smooth.  Someone asked a good question and we got a good answer. The question was, “What’s the serving size for dessert wines?” The answer, “Whatever you like.” My response, “Good!”

Some suggestions from Laurie about pairing chocolates with wines were put something in dark chocolate, like almonds to make it more palatable, salt in chocolate softens wines, and wine should be sweeter than the chocolate.

If you’re free, make sure you visit Old York Cellars Winery on May 3rd and 4th. They’re hosting a Spring Festival and Laurie’s Chocolates will be there! The Festival will feature food, music, wines, ours, hayrides, crafts, and fun stuff!

The next Virtual Vines is May 29th. Check back here to purchase your tasting kit.

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Tom and I kept trying to make it out to Cream Ridge Winery this winter. I follow them on Facebook and as soon as I saw that they released their Winter Spice wine I knew I had to try it. Things got busy before Christmas and we couldn’t make it out there before the holiday. Then, winter storms prevented us from making it there every time we attempted to visit. This past weekend, NJ wineries were participating in the Wine Growers Association event, Wine & Chocolate Wine Trail Weekend. Spending our time at our favorite local wineries is just what Tom and I wanted to do for Valentine’s weekend. We planned to go Saturday and then nature dropped another couple of inches of snow on the 10 or so that we have already, so we waited one more day. On Sunday, the roads were clear and nature looked lovely. There are beautiful houses in this area and expansive farm land that looked charming under fresh fallen snow.

Each time we go to Cream Ridge Winery I like it more and more. There’s an inviting warmth here that’s palpable. It’s an added component that not every winery provides. The friendly atmosphere suits the cozy environment displayed within. As we approached the tasting room, snow enveloped the building and topped the wine barrels that sit outside. As we entered the wine room, they were noticeably busier than a normal weekend day. For special events, they draw patrons into their barrel room where they’ve placed additional tasting bars for the occasion. This opened up the main tasting room that we walked into. Conveniently, there were 2 spaces available for us right at the end of the bar. We were quickly greeted by the sommelier and we were excited to try what was new. It seems that there’s always something new and exciting at Cream Ridge as they continue to introduce original wine flavors. I skipped most of the regular wines and spent more time tasting their new, fun options.

Blue Mooney – I really enjoyed Cream Ridge’s Blue Mooney wine. It’s another unique flavor that surprised me. Blue Mooney is a combination of Chambourcin and blueberry. As I brought the glass to my nose, I got a delightful blast of the blueberry aroma. If this was in a candle, I would buy it! The fragrance was so nice that I kept sniffing it! The wine was just as delicious as it smelled. The Chambourcin gives the wine characteristics of red. It mixes well with the sweetness of blueberry. Blue Mooney was real light, smooth, and slightly tart. It wasn’t as sweet as dessert wines, but sweeter than reds typically are. I bought a bottle of this one!

99 Rows – 99 Rows features a Fredonia Grape and celebrates Cream Ridge’s 99 rows of vineyard. I found it to be a mild wine with a mix of sweetness.

Spring Tide Sangria – Spring Tide Sangria is a mixture of concord, plum, and citrus flavors. This wine tasted sweet and mild. I got a hint of the concord accent. Being a big fan of concord grapes, I would have preferred it to be a heavier on the concord. But that’s just me. Spring Tide Sangria had a nice refreshing quality. This seems like it would be a good party wine that would present a variety of flavors while not being overpowering.

Plum – The Plum wine tasted like a white wine that was light on the fruit side. On the finish, I felt a slight kick on the way down.

Almondberry – I find the Almondberry wine to be very enjoyable and apparently so do many others. I heard a sommelier say that this is one of their most popular wines. This wine combines raspberry and Niagara grapes and showcases an almond accent. It’s an interesting and delightful mix. I wouldn’t mind if it went even heavier on the almond flavor.

Winter Spice – Winter Spice was the one we really came to try! We were glad that there was still some Winter Spice left. This wine reminds me of one of my favorite wines. So of course, I had to get 2 bottles, especially when I saw that their supply was limited. Winter spice can be served warm or chilled. It’s a fruity tasting, blush wine spiced with nutmeg, clove, and allspice. When heated the flavors really come alive and become more fragrant. I like spiced wines served both ways. I appreciate that this one is called ‘Winter’, so I’m not limited to drinking it just around the holidays.

If anyone I know likes sweet or fruity wines, I always recommend Cream Ridge. They have a special touch when it comes to sweet wines and original concoctions. And they’re just so nice that you’re almost guaranteed a pleasant experience. I hope you enjoy their wines as much as I do. For more on Cream Ridge, check out my article on our past visit.

www.creamridgewinery.com

Rating

4 Wine Glasses (Out of 5)

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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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Silver Decoy has been one of our favorite wineries in NJ. We visit this winery in East Windsor, NJ more than any other vineyard. Recently, because of unforeseen reasons, Silver Decoy Winery had to change their name to Working Dog Winery. You can still enjoy the same awesome wines and the same comforts of the winery, it just has a different sign. Working Dog Winery is a fitting replacement. Often, when we visit, there are friendly dogs roaming around, helping out, or just relaxing with guests. Working Dog Winery also hosts a popular, annual Hair of the Dog 5K that raises funds for homeless, abandoned, and neglected pets. Furry friends are very welcome here.

When family members visit us from out of state, we usually make a trip here. We also delight in taking our local friends and family to Working Dog Winery. This past trip was my parent’s first ever visit to a vineyard! All together, there were about 7 us for this winery visit: my husband, Tom; my sister; our friends, George and Irene; my parents, and me. On this trip it was a cold Fall day. The foliage was at it’s peak. The stove fire was rustling in the back of the tasting room at Working Dog, creating a warm, cozy, welcoming environment. In the tasting room, barrel tables were set up with stools for hanging out in the room. In the adjacent room a baby shower was taking place. (That seems like a great idea, but if I were pregnant that would be rubbing it in my face that I couldn’t drink! Good for the guests though.) We took our places at the tasting bar on the right with glasses and tasting sheets in hand. Russ and Jerry were there to greet us. I stood next to mom and dad so I could see their reactions to each wine. We made our selections and began tasting. Although I already knew what everything tasted like, I thought it would be good to follow along with everyone so we can compare our flavor experiences. Also each vintage brings slight variations and sometimes my tastes vary, so it’s all worth trying again (wink… wink).

Here’s what we tried:

Traminette (2011) – I like Working Dog’s Traminette. It suits my sweeter side. As I sipped this, I really get the hint of apricot and slight spices. It’s a light fruity wine, that’s not all the way sweet, but definitely on the sugary side. It was okay for Mom. Irene thought this was one of her favorites. I have to agree with Irene. It might be my 2nd favorite of their’s.

Pinot Grigio (2011) –  The Pinot Grigio is dryer than the Traminette, a typical level of dryness for a Pinot Grigio. It’s less fruity. Dryer fans might appreciate this one. I must inherit my taste for sweet wines from my mother. This one was less to her liking, mostly because she prefers sweeter wines. Aside from our sweet preference, this is a good Pinot Grigio.

Barrel Chardonnay (2011)  The buttery flavors from oak aging really come alive in this wine. As I sip a glass, the oak fragrance fills my nostrils and adds to the experience. It’s dry, not sweet, and just as a barrel chardonnay should taste. This is one of the best in the state. I asked if this was the winner of the Princeton Competition. Jerry said it is the award winning one, but the actual winner was a different vintage. This was too dry for mom, but it met Dad’s approval. He liked this one.

Sangiovese (2011) – Sangiovese is Kristen’s favorite wine at Silver Decoy and possibly her favorite all together. It’s a milder red, not sugary sweet, but rich in fruity flavor with hints of cherry. This is an easy drinking red.

Mom and I skipped most of the other red selections, since we both have a sweet tooth. Sorry dry fans.

Sunrish Blush – I knew mom was going to like this one and she did. Sunrise Blush is definitely sweeter and vibrant without being tart like some other blush or white zinfandel wines. There was a taste in this wine that I enjoyed, but I couldn’t place. It made it even more enticing and quick to sip.

Ugly Duckling White – This wine is mildly sweet and light. It’s also easy to drink.

Ugly Duckling Red – Everyone we introduce this wine to enjoys it. It’s a very easy drinking wine. It provides a unique flavor combination. I asked Jerry about it and he said its made with barrel aged Cabernet Franc with sugar added. That makes a lot of sense! I always say this wine is a great balance of spices, which it receives from the Cab Franc, and mildly sweet, which it gets from the sugar! It’s best served chilled and great for any occasion.

Raspberry – The Raspberry wine was really fruity in a good way. It really captures the raspberry flavor and robustness. I felt a little pucker in my mouth at the end, but in a good way. It wasn’t overbearing. Mom ended up ordering a glass of this to enjoy on their back patio.

Blueberry – Their Blueberry wine was sweet, tangy and rich. Dad ordered a glass of the Blueberry wine. He said it would be great for dessert. Well, it seemed like my parents were having dessert before dinner!

Don’t let the name change throw you off. Working Dog Winery still serves the brilliant, tasty wines that they’ve been making for years. If you haven’t been here yet, definitely check it out. If you have been here, go again and invite some friends and family.

Rating

5 Wine Glass (Out of 5)

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So, I’ve been putting my review of Laurita Winery off for a while. We visited this winery with our friends from Michigan during the Spring. This is one of our stops along our local wine tour. It’s about 40 minutes away from our home and within 15 minutes from Silver Decoy and Cream Ridge wineries. Laurita was our last stop on this wine trail.

The Atmosphere

At the entrance to Laurita Winery, there’s an old truck with a bed filled with about a dozen wine barrels marking the point where you turn in. You ascend a long driveway to a beautiful rustic building. If someone was having a wedding at a winery, this is the place I would picture. There’s even a long, sloping, inviting walkway into the facility. Upon entering the building, there are counters to your left with edible goodies including cheeses, crackers, and sandwiches. Continue straight through that room into a larger welcoming room with a cavernous ceiling and all of their wines distributed throughout the room on wine racks. Other fun wine items are also displayed throughout this room. On you’re right are large windows overlooking the vineyard. On the other side of the windows are picnic tables and seating where you can relax and sip some wine while overlooking the sprawling landscape.  Straight ahead is wine tasting bar.

The Wines

Zwiegelt – This red wine had an interesting spiciness and a hint of cinnamon. It was nice light and on the dryer side. Not too sweet or too dry.

Windswept White – Had a slight hint of strawberry and lemon and a subtle sweetness.

Beachcomber Blush – This is a light blush wine that’s not too sweet and shows a slight characteristic of berry and cherry flavors.

Relaxing Red – This red is on the lighter side and tastes like a semi-sweet blush.

Tailgate Red – I  preferred this one to the other wines. The scent and flavors of strawberry, cherry, and raspberry present a delightful fruity wine.

Chocolate Therapy & Strawberry Wine – When you get to Laurita’s dessert wines, this is the best part of their selection. These tastings are served in shot glasses and they recommend trying them together for a decadent treat. It certainly was delicious and surprising. Instead of a typical wine feel, these dessert wines were creamy and reminiscent of strawberry and chocolate milk, but with an kick. I was most impressed with these and found myself preferring the strawberry wine. I ended up bringing this wine to a family party and it was a big hit. Mostly because everyone was curious and wanted to try it. By the end of the night, the bottle was empty.

Laurita Winery is an aesthetically pleasing vineyard, but for me it falls short on the flavor and quality of their wines. Red wine drinkers may prefer this facility, however, I feel that white wine drinkers may be disappointed. They do create a nice experience when you’re there and often feature musical entertainment. Just don’t expect much from their wines.

Rating

2 Wine Glasses (Out of 5)

 

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