Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Screw Cork Awards

The Garden State Wine Grower's Association Passport is done. Finished. It took roughly eight months, crossing all four seasons, to complete this monstrosity. We saw vines in snow, vines in sun, vines in fall, and vines in rain. But all of the wineries - all thirty-two of them - are tasted, blogged, and stamped.

As Jonaid decisively stated, "You are sending that thing via certified-tracked-approved-GPSed-triptoItalyguaranteed-USPS Mail." The passport is being sent in for the $50 gift and hopefully for the grand prize.

And here's what you're all waiting for.
The 2010-2011 Screw Cork Awards
The Superlatives for the New Jersey Wine Passport.

We didn't judge wines based on quality. There's no way I could compare a chardonnay tasted in August to a chardonnay tasted in February. There are just way too many outside factors to skew it. So these are purely for fun, although the official awards were sent out very formally, including seals of approval. In order of visitation:

Valenzano Winery - The Genesis of the Passport Nonsense
Alba Vineyard - Most Photogenic
Villa Milagro - The dream retirement - have you met these people? Ask them about their day job.
Hopewell Valley Vineyards - Crowd Pleaser
Unionville Vineyards - Most Welcoming
Swansea Vineyards - Pittsburgh Pride
Coda Rossa - Winery I'd most like to work at
Bellview Winery - I Felt Like Family
Sylvin Farms Winery - Most Educational
Renault - Best Hours
Silver Decoy - Jonaid's Choice - truly an honor, as Jonaid not only requires good wine but also a welcoming atmosphere for him to be content.  Something about Silver Decoy... He loved the environment, talking to the Silver Fox, watching the landscape, tasting grapes - the whole experience. Possibly the most prestigious award on this list.
4JGs - Best Holiday Decor
Laurita - Winery I'd Like to Get Married At
Cream Ridge Winery - My 1st Taste of NJ Wine (back in 2004! So once I picked up the wine passport, I knew NJ wasn't kidding around. The wines would be good.)
Cedarvale Winery - Best Place for Girl's Night Out
Auburn Road - "I forgot I was in NJ" (a great escape)
Heritage Vineyard - Most Fun for the Whole Family
Four Sisters Winery - Best Labels
Brook Hollow Winery - Most Willpower Inducing (I said I wouldn't give a taste award. I lied. I've never have anything quite like the Proprietor's Red before - which is why I brought it to my family's Thanksgiving dinner. Which is why it sat on my wine shelf for two weeks, waiting to be brought to Turkey Day, while every night I had to talk myself out of drinking it right then and there. It was hard. Next time I'll get two bottles. Or forty.)
Natali Vineyards - VIV Club (Very Important Vineyard - when we were there, they offered us a couple of tastes of pre-fermented wine, not-yet-released varieties, and showed us their processes... very cool. We felt VIP.)
Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery - Best Winery Dog (and lots of wineries had dogs!)
Cape May Winery & Vineyard - Best Glasses
Amalthea Cellars - Best Tasting Room Host (Thanks Debbie!)
Sharrott Winery - Most Entertaining (Really, the visit felt like I was in a sitcom)
DiMatteo's Vineyards - Confucius of Wine (offered many words of wisdom during our visit)
Plagido's Winery - Portmanteau Award. Just click here. Two in One.
Tomasello Winery - Most Difficult Decision (too many wines, too little time)
Westfall Winery - Most Worth The Wait
Ventimiglia Vineyard - Best Wine Bar Snacks (homemade cookies!)
Cava Winery & Vineyard - Best Music
Wagonhouse Winery - Best Website
Turdo Vineyards & Winery - Most Relaxing Experience

And with that, well, I think I just might have a beer.


Anonymous said...

I have my final final at 3. It will take me until 4ish to finish. That gives you PERFECT time to come here and celebrate!

carinne said...

Congrats on finishing your undergrad!!! Maybe I should bring some of my wine bottle collection to celebrate!!

Anonymous said...


Debbie said...

Thanks for the shout out!

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