Debunking Misconceptions About Wines From New Jersey

Garden State ranks seventh in the nation in wine production, with more than 40 grape varieties grown in its vineyards. By 1870, a New Jersey winery had perfected and released its own champagne, becoming the largest distributor of champagne in the United States. New Jersey Digest has been chronicling life in the Garden State for over a decade, featuring a top-notch selection of restaurants, culture, travel and more. In a Princeton competition, New Jersey wines were pitted against French wines.

While Jersey's crops didn't win, they fared well against established labels. In a blind tasting test comparing wines from New Jersey and California, the tasters were practically unable to distinguish which was which. In a second tasting, in which the subjects were unaware of the origin of the wine, the average enjoyment was the same. John Cifelli, executive director of the Garden State Winegrowers Association, believes that local marketing is one of the keys to overcoming the state's reputation.

He also believes that the problem extends beyond New Jersey. Meanwhile, Ritter from Knowlton Township is looking for his own ways to get people back to Brook Hollow Winery by only selling their wines on site. Sometimes, conversations about wine can lead to misconceptions. We've decided to debunk some of the myths we hear most often so that you can incorporate them into your future conversations.

Contrary to popular belief, screw caps help protect wine from oxidation differently than corks do and some companies design screw caps with micropores to help mimic the effects of cork aging. The downside? No more “cork banging”! Kosher wines don't have to be blessed by a rabbi and are subject to the same trends as non-kosher wines. Yeasts, clarifying and cleaning materials must be certified kosher and must not be derived from animal by-products. It is quite possible that the concept of Yayin Mevushal (literally “cooked wine”) and sacramental sweet wines have something to do with its bad reputation.

The consumption of kosher food is essential for everyone who observes Jewish religious dietary laws (Kashrut). The term “kosher” is derived from the Hebrew word for “fit”, meaning fit for consumption. It's a common belief that sulfites in red wine are the cause of those annoying headaches, but according to Sebastiani's winemaker, David Nakaji, the cause is something else. Most people really can't taste or smell all the scents they claim and every flavor you get from wine is different.

The New Yorker covered a story that revealed there really was no way to know what wine would be better until you actually drank it. The great grandfather of all myths about wine tasting is that you can differentiate between colors while blindfolded. This myth has been debunked and continues to lose ground as more research shows that matching color to wine tends to complement flavors but can also prevent you from combining great (but unexpected) wines with your food. Finally, a state-of-the-art winemaking process called flash détente will likely improve the quality of Mevushal wines. With that said, there are some differences in kosher wines that might even interest non-Jews, such as those with dietary restrictions.