The theme of wine tasting this weekend was "Kentucky Derby" although only Alex, MM, and I participated. Jonaid felt my black dress and black hat looked as if I were going to a funeral rather than out for a jovial day of drinking. Still, I thought my ensemble was quite pleasant.
The last stop of the day puts me exactly halfway through the NJ Wine Passport (don't tell my boyfriend he still has sixteen wineries to test). The caravan of winers finished up at Heritage Winery & Vineyards, in Mullica Hill, NJ.
A fruit pathway lead into the winery and inside was a market of pastries and treats. Jonaid stuffed his face with some apple donuts while MM bought popcorn and the spicy cheese dip that I'm currently enjoying as I type.
We filled one side of the bar as we each picked our five complimentary samples. Andrea hosted AL, MM, Dr. Ali, Jonaid, Barson, Greggy and I while another gentlemen (who turned out to be from Pittsburgh!) focused on Ma, Pa, Sandy & Chris.
Chardonnay - Aged in oak; Jonaid's preference of the two chardonnays.
Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay - Very buttery and oaky; Dad, Ali and I all preferred this over the other.
Merlot - Andrea informed us this was served at a congressional dinner. Ali explained this is "very warm, like I want to be by a fireplace" to which Jonaid replied, "Fire in the disco!" Sandy enjoyed this quite a bit and I agreed as this is one of my favorite merlots in NJ so far.
Cuvee - Very smooth with muted spices. MM would drink a whole glass of this and she's not a red person. Ali loved this; I bought her a bottle for her birthday which is exactly one month earlier or exactly eleven months later than mine, depending on how you look at it.
Syrah - This doesn't have a strong flavor and seems to be more of a compliment to a food than a standalone. Very smooth.
Andrea commented she liked my ring. I thanked her, but Dr. Ali noted she liked her ring, which was a stunning engagement piece. Ma came over at this point and noted she has loved every single wine at this vineyard. Dad nodded in agreement.
Cabernet Franc - Andrea's Favorite. Jonaid said this is slightly darker than the other wines so far - smoky, but so good. Ali said this has a cheesy taste.
Chambourcin - This landed on Jonaid's tongue as mild and smooth.
Sparkling Apple - The carbonation hits you in the face. I disliked it due to the strong resemblance to champagne. Aunt Lynne remarked it was "very good, like a party in your mouth," and Ali enjoyed it.
Jersey White - I believe Greggy said, quote, "I Heart This". Alex said it was too sweet for her, resembling grape juice.
Apple Wine - Very sweet.
Peach - No notes on this! I am certain someone tried it, though.
Blueberry Wine - Alex explained it was very sweet but tasty.
Tastings here were passed around as we each shared our five. Dad, Sandy and Chris were all very impressed with all of the wines. For me, our fabulous host Andrea really made the experience enjoyable as she joked around with us.
Sitting outside at a rounded table in the sunshine, we braced the wind and relied on the heavy wines to warm us up along with the entertaining farm animals and scenery.
Halfway through us relaxing outside, to everyone's great surprise, pulled up my Uncle Michael and Aunt Tracy from central PA. Ma, Jonaid and I laughed it off as we were the only ones who knew they planned to surprise everyone by coming late in the day. "We can't make it," they kept insisting, all the while planning a surprise trip. Grabbing some wine inside, they joined our shenanigans.
All in all, a great day at the vineyards. Glad to have so many friends and family make it to NJ for the venture. Veni, vidi, vino! If that makes any sense.