Summer Kicks Off Now!

Mark your calendars, the holiday weekend is packed with wine tastings and festivals.

No matter what the solstice says (like summer beginning June 21), Memorial Day weekend launches beach season. Time to get out and enjoy all that Jersey has to offer.

One of the highlights of this year’s start-of-summer scene is not at the Shore. It’s in Hunterdon County, a hot-bed for all things culinary in the Garden State.

On Sunday, May 28, from 3 to 7 pm, the Winemakers Co-Op will launch its 2017 season with the Spring Portfolio Tasting at Beneduce Vineyards, 1 Jeremiah Lane in Pittstown. Thirty-two wines will be offered for sampling. In addition, wine journalist George M. Taber, the former Time magazine correspondent—the only reporter at the famed 1976 Judgment of Paris that put the wines of California on the map—will offer presentations at 3:30 pm and 5 pm.

Music from Cold Weather Company, an upstart alternative folk band, and pizza from Fired Up Flatbreads will be on tap.

One hour before the tasting opens to the public, there will be a special VIP program. Members of the co-op—Beneduce Vineyards, Heritage Vineyards, Working Dog Winery, and Unionville Vineyards—will lead a panel discussion and guided tasting titled, “Talking Terroir with the Winemakers.”  VIP patrons will have access to a special flight of reserve wines.

General admission is $34 for advance purchase online, or $40 at the door. VIP admission is $59 per person. A designated driver or youth ticket (ages 13 to 20) is $10. The event is limited to 400 people and will be held rain or shine.

For tickets and more information, visit thewinemakersco-op.com.

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Other food-centric highlights of the holiday weekend include:

The fourth annual Trenton Pork Roll Festival will take place from 9 am to 7 pm, Saturday, May 27 at Mill Hill Park, 100 South Broad Street in downtown Trenton. The event includes music and food, events for kids, a pork-roll recipe contest and the crowning of the 2017 Pork Roll Queen. Advance ticket sales will be limited to 3,000 people at a price of $5 per person. Children under 10 will be admitted free of charge. porkrollfestival.com.

St. Anthony’s Greek Festival will take place Thursday, May 25 thorough Sunday, May 28 at St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Church, 430 West Wheat Road in Vineland. The four-day festival offers a wide array of Greek foods, with fare from savory to sweet, including a variety of pastries. There will be cooking demonstrations, a Greek grocery store on site for the festival, as well as music and rides. Admission is free. Hours are 5 pm to midnight on Thursday; 5 pm to 1 am on Friday; 11 am to 3 am on Saturday, and noon to 10 pm on Sunday.  856-696-0917. stanthonyvinelandnj.com.

The Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival will take place Saturday, May 27 through Monday, May 29 at Monmouth Park Race Track, Oceanport Avenue in Oceanport. Saturday and Sunday, 11 am–5:30 pm and Monday 11:30 am–5:30 pm. Some four dozen of the region’s top food trucks will be on site, including: Amanda Bananas, Ann’s Catering, Aunt DeeDee’s, Bro-Ritos Food Truck, Cheezen, Chimney Cake Factory, Cold Stone on Wheels, Dags Dippers, Dark Side of the Moo, Dellano’s Food Service, Dump N Roll, El Lechon de Negron, Empanada Guy, Enzo’s Pizza, Falafull, Five Sisters Food Co., Fork in the Road, Four Boys Concessions, Good Food = Good Mood, House of Cupcakes, Jersey Johnny’s, JerZey EatZ, Madame Pearl’s, Maddalena’s Cheescake, Mobile Mardi Gras, Oink and Moo BBQ, Philly Fry, Pizza Vita, Pompier Pierogi Flats, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Shore Good Eats, Star of the Sea Seafood, Sur fand Turf Truck, Tacoholics, The Cow and The Curd, The Flying Pie Guy, The Little Sicilian Riceballs, The Tasty Trolley, Tony’s Italian Sausage, Toum Food Truck and Waffle De Lys. Admission is $5 and parking also is $5. Children 12 and under will be admitted free of charge. 732-222-5100. monmouthpark.com.

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