Wine tastings, like rock concerts, expose attendants to a host of bodies, notes, and the opportunity to talk about grapes with grizzled roadies. Experience true freedom with today's Groupon: for $14, you get a vineyard tour and wine tasting for two at Auburn Road Vineyard & Winery in Pilesgrove (a $30 value). Tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays.
Guided by wine connoisseurs-turned-creators, Auburn Road Vineyard & Winery bottles a passionate appreciation for fine wine into every vintage made on its secluded countryside property. Tours gather at The Enoteca, the vineyard's wine bar, before venturing out into the fields to see the green and purple bunches that start the oenophilic life cycle. Journeys continue to the barrel room, where rows of sealed oak casks rest and gradually transform their liquid stores into wine and corks into monarch butterflies. Tour-goers rest their feet and test their palates during the wine tasting back at The Enoteca as they comb the depths of varietals, such as the merlot reserve 2008, with velvety flavors of toasted vanilla and cherry, or the White Bottle chardonnay, a green-apple- and oak-infused drink named after the Beatles' White Album.
Augment discussions with the winemakers themselves with bites of artisanal cheese and crusty bread or questions about the local art decorating the wine bar and upcoming slurpables. Customers depart with a take-home glass etched with the Vineyard’s elegant logo. Participants can linger for live music at The Enoteca on certain Saturday nights, frequently free and without need of a reservation.
Auburn Road Vineyards
As it's been chronicled on their blog, the story of Auburn Road Vineyards is a long, meandering one. Founded by wine connoisseurs who eventually evolved into wine creators themselves, the secluded countryside parcel is home to rows of tangling vines, where grapes grow heavy and lush before transforming into complex vintages. At The Enoteca—the on-site wine bar—visitors converge over bottles of wine and shareable plates, such as wood-fired pizzas on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Also, on Fridays Auburn Roads offers a 5 course wine pairing dinner called "What's for Dinner" Friday.
117 Sharptown-Auburn Rd.
Pilesgrove, New Jersey 08098