South Jersey wines for your 2012 holiday menu

It’s time to plan your Thanksgiving menu and check it twice. Turkey, check. Stuffing, check. Cranberry sauce, check. Pumpkin pie, check. Wine, wait! Before you head out to the liquor store this holiday season, consider serving a New Jersey wine to your family and friends.

Garden State Wineries offer a variety of wines that pair well every course of your meal. And you can’t beat the value. Most of the wines here are under $20 per bottle!

Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Appetizers:

Vegetable crudites, mild cheeses – Bellview Winery Jersey Devil White, Sharrot Winery Pinot Grigio, Valenzano Winery Vidal Blanc

These wines are light-bodied, dry to off-dry, with fruity aromas and a crisp finish.

Cheddar cheese and crackers – Amalthea Cellars Europa blends, Jessie Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Sharrott Winery Trio

Bordeaux-style grapes and blends with bold tannins to enhance the flavors of strong or spiced cheeses.

Creamy dips and spreads – Auburn Road Pinot Grigio, Bellview Winery Traminette, Sharrott Winery Unoaked Chardonnay

Unoaked wines with flavors of tropical fruit. Clean and crisp on the finish.

Main Course:

Turkey – Chestnut Run Farm Dry Crisp Asian Pear Wine, Heritage Sauvignon Blanc, Sharrott Winery Dry Riesling

Semi-sweet white wines are a classic pairing with your Thanksgiving turkey.

Lasagna – In South Jersey, Italian families have a long and proud heritage. Here, no holiday meal is complete without a hearty pasta dish “just like grandma used to make.”

Bellview Winery Jersey Devil Red, DiMatteo Vineyards Pasquale Red, Tomasello Winery Outer Coastal Plain Sangiovese

Red wines in the traditional Italian style.

Rib Roast, Game or Lamb – Hawk Haven Chardonnay (lamb), Sharrott Winery Cabernet Franc, Valenzano Winery Cabernet/Merlot

Dessert:

Pie – Bellview Winery Winter Spice, Sharrott Winery Winter Spice, Valenzano Winery Santa’s Little Helper

Mulled wines meant to be enjoyed warm! Simply place in your crockpot and enjoy the spicy aromas as you cook.

Chocolate – Bellview Winery Raspberry, Plagido’s Winery Blueberry Dessert Wine, Sharrott Winery Wicked (Port-style wine)

I encourage you to visit these local wineries to taste the wines for yourself, ask the winemaker questions, and to enjoy the beauty of New Jersey’s vineyards in the fall.

And don’t forget the most important rule of food/wine pairing…

Drink what you like!

Find these wines at the following New Jersey Wineries:

Amalthea Cellars
Auburn Road Vineyards
Bellview Winery
Chestnut Run Farm
DiMatteo Vineyards
Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery
Heritage Winery & Vineyard
Jessie Creek Winery
Plagido’s Winery
Sharrott Winery
Tomasello Winery
Valenzano Winery

Jersey Bites is a collaborative website of food writers in New Jersey. They write about restaurants, recipes, food news, food products, events, hunger relief programs, and everything else that tickles their taste buds.

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