Last Saturday an entire household and hotel of guests slowly rustled up. Jonaid bounced up off of the floor and kicked Cam and Nate out of their air mattress as he made some omelets. Alex, Greg, and Dr. Ali shook off the beer from the night before and brushed the booze off of their teeth. This weekend, for the 25th birthday celebration, friends and family joined me on my escapades to visit the NJ wineries.
The first stop of the day was Cedarvale Winery. Our group of fifteen easily filled the whole tasting room. Jonaid, Alex, and Greg, all whom have tasted with me in prior posts, joined along with the parents, aunt, and grandmother. Underagers Cam and Nate came armed with a deck of cards for entertainment. In addition to the family, Dr. Ali, the newly engaged couple, and my parent's old friends Chris and Sandy, joined us.
Our host, Marsha, owns the winery along with her fourth-generation-farmer husband. She single handedly conquered the whole group. For $5 you get five wines or for $10 you get all eleven wines and you keep the glass.
Pinot Grigio - Dr. Ali noted this is crisp and dry while mama dearest commented it is tart.
Villard Blanc - Mama identified this as "Light. Nice. Yum."
Sunrise Chardonnay - For me this was fresh, tasty, and smooth. I wrote down this is aged in stainless steel, but the description on the tasting sheet disagrees. Both Greg and I preferred this over the oaked chardonnay below.
Chardonnay - very buttery; Alex and Chris preferred this over the Sunrise. MM, the chardonnay snob, said this was just okay.
Cabernet Franc - Chris bought a bottle. Greg hated it but he was the minority as the rest of the group voted this as the best wine at Cedarvale. Liz described it as flavorful and "meaty".
Merlot - With a very spicy aroma I was surprised at how smooth it was. A merlot that stands well on its own and has a ton of flavor.
I've been cutting back on the alcohol due to playing biggest loser with work, but it's birthday week. I'm abandoning the gym for a glass of wine as I type. Which though - red or white?
Fruit Table Wines - The peach and nectarine are grown on site; the rest of the fruits are purchased in NJ.
Blueberry - Alex said it tasted like blueberry juice.
Peach - To me it tasted like brown sugar without any trace of peach in flavor or aroma. It was very sweet to me; Dr. Ali downed the glass as I couldn't finish it. Marsha agreed the peach is very light in this.
Cherry - "Very good! Very cherry!" is all I got out of Alex on this one.
Apple - Marsha poured a bit in a glass, inserted a cinnamon stick, and heated this in the microwave. She then aliquoted this out to give each of us a taste. It was very thick but the apple flavor wasn't strong. Personally I prefer a more robust apple in this kind of wine so I was disappointed; for those who may not like apples as much they may find this more agreeable. Dr. Ali bought a bottle for the holiday season.
Nectarine - "Most beer drinkers like this one," Marsha explained. Dr. Ali said this wasn't as sweet as she was expecting.
With such a large group it was difficult to record all of the tastes and reviews. The spectrum of drinking varied vastly; the sweeter the better for my Aunt to the dryer the more delicious for my Dad. But wine is never about what one person thinks, it's about what you like.
The grapes are all grown and produced on site, although we couldn't see the vines from the tasting room. Three small rows of grapes are outside by the parking lot, which is jokingly referred to as "Marsha's Vineyard".
Cedarvale is a quaint winery with a warm interior decor. The wines are well done for only being in their second year of operation. Marsha explained they have a number of expansion plans for their patio and events, such as an upcoming roller skating wine day. Sounds delicious and dangerous!
"Friends and wine should be old," the wall reads. Certainly true. Cheers to my old age and all who have been here for the last twenty five years!