Friday Foodstuffs 11.25.11: Enjoy the Holiday Wine Trail Weekend…and Hopefully, Not for the Last Time

It’s Holiday Wine Trail Weekend this weekend, and there are plenty of things to enjoy:

At Coda Rossa in Franklinville, sip some wine while enjoying some smoked pulled pork.

At Valenzano, there will be wine tastings and jazz concerts…not to mention 50% off a second case of wine.

At Sharrott, sample some mulled Chambourcin with some holiday chocolates and cheeses.

At Heritage, wine tasting with live music and imported cheeses will be happening all weekend long.

This is just a small sampling of what will be going on throughout South Jersey’s wine country (and all of Jersey, for that matter) this weekend. What a fun way to get the holiday season started, right?

So…imagine that come next year, most of this stops. And yes – it’s possible.

I am genuinely concerned about whether our state legislature will do the right thing regarding direct wine shipping.

With our most recent experience with the fancy Supercommittee debacle, we know that our elected officials can do the wrong thing from time to time (and I’m being generous here). Right now, two pieces of  legislature (A-4303 and S-2782) are trying to work their way through the process. This current legislature has until the beginning of January to pass these bills. If not, we could be looking at the distinct possibility of the selling of wine in tasting rooms being stopped, since a Federal court has ruled the current system being run in New Jersey unconstitutional.

Why is having the winery tasting rooms so important? About 90% of the revenue generated by wineries comes from the purchase on wines in tasting rooms. You stop that, and you could kill off most of the wineries in the state.

Jersey wineries are a growing industry during a time of economic downturn. Wineries can add to the tourism industry. Wineries help preserve farmland from being turned unto more development. And…Jersey wines are getting better and better all the time. Do we really want to see this industry get crushed just as it is hitting its stride?

Check out this link to see what you can do to help.

If wine is not your thing,  Geraghty’s Pub & Restaurant in Burlington is having a Winter Beerfest tomorrow from 2PM to 4PM.  For $20 you get  20 tickets that you use for tasting the different brews.

Of course, if you have to go shopping this weekend, I have been and will be posting Black Friday deals on our Twitter feed.

Here’s your cooking class schedule for the weekend:

Tonight: Date Night: Italian Dinner at Viking Cooking School at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City.

Tomorrow: Holiday Baking Basics at Sur La Table in Marlton, Southern Italian Classics and Classic Steakhouse at Viking Cooking School, and Japanese Comfort Food at Kitchen Kapers in Moorestown.

Sunday: Entertaining Fall Dinner Party and Steakhouse Workshop at Viking Cooking School, Flavors for the Season at Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden in Franklinville, and Baking with Santa at Kitchen Kapers.

Blogging Out Hunger

The annual food and toy drive in Sea Isle City will be taking place until December 19.

And in the news this week…

New data may further limit the flounder allotment for 2012.

And check out our friend and beer knowledge ninja Gary Monterosso on Tuesday at 9PM on The History Channel.

Have a great weekend…and thank you to all who did their part in helping those who are struggling have a great Thanksgiving!

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