Outer Coastal Plain Wineries Win Big at NJ Wine Competition

Plus: Food events in Red Bank, Summit, Hackettstown and more.

The Garden State Wine Growers Association “Governor’s Cup” and “Best of Show” awards were presented to 10 New Jersey wineries at the 2018 NJ Wine Competition the week before Thanksgiving. Governor Phil Murphy presented the awards during a ceremony at the state mansion in Princeton. Winners were chosen from 150 submissions that were blind taste-tested by the Beverage Testing Institute, a tasting consultancy based in Chicago. The Outer Coastal Plain American Viticultural Area (AVA) was a big winner, taking seven of the ten top spots. Among the winners were Cape May Winery, White Horse Winery, Tomasello Winery and Fox Hollow Vineyards. Amalthea Cellars in Atco came in first with Best Red Wine, Governor’s Cup, and Best of Show, with 97 out of 100 total points.

Catching Wines at Catch 19
Thursday, December 6, 7–10pm

It’s a night of wines and hors d’oeuvres, both in plural, the kind of Thursday night that anticipates the weekend (and might steer you to the right bottle for it). Chef Dominique Rizzo will be preparing small bites to pair with international wines showcased at the walk-around tasting. Tickets are $79 and early reservation is recommended. Catch 19, 19 Broad Street, Red Bank; 732-268-8543

Suds & Seafood: An Evening of Craft Beer Pairings
Friday, December 7, 7–11pm

Joe Fisher of Man Skirt Brewing in Hackettstown and Mark Drabich of Metropolitan Seafood & Gourmet in Lebanon are bringing their passions together for Friday’s beer and seafood pairing dinner. Held at the brewery, the night starts with Czechs and Balances Pilsner from Man Skirt alongside hors d’oeuvres like smoked bluefish paté and baccala fritters. The main course, a salt-crusted organic salmon with roasted cauliflower, will be served with Hop Jostler IPA, and almond butter cake will close out the night, served with a rich chocolate stout. Tickets are $75 per person and can be reserved online. Man Skirt Brewing, 144 Main Street, Hackettstown; 908-989-0286

Fin Raw Bar & Kitchen Cambridge Series Wine Dinner
Tuesday, December 11, 7pm

Cambridge Wines in Morristown is hosting its twelfth and final wine dinner of the year at Fin Raw Bar & Kitchen in Summit. Starting at 7pm, the restaurant space will be devoted to this special tickets-only five-course dinner. Dishes include Octopus with Wasabi Avocado Mousse, Pan-seared Jumbo Day Boat Scallops, Espresso-braised Short Ribs and a Baked Brie with Fig Jam—all paired with specially-selected wines from Cambridge. Tickets are $99. Fin Raw Bar & Kitchen, 37 Maple Street, Summit; 908-277-1414

Santa Breakfast at Biagio’s in Paramus
Saturday, December 8, 9:30–11:30am, noon – 2pm

Family-owned Biagio’s Ristorante in Paramus will play host to Santa himself for this breakfast for kids of all ages, with two options for your reservation time, and a breakfast buffet complete with omelet station and some heartier fare (Sausage & Peppers, pasta, etc.). Biagio’s Terrace room will become Santa’s stomping ground for the afternoon—they even have a fireplace—with a buffet to keep you sated while you wait to see Santa. Call to reserve your seat; it’s $30 for adults and $12 for kids over 3. Every adult ticket gets you a picture with Big Red. Biagio’s Ristorante, 299 Paramus Road, Paramus; 201-652-0201

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