I spent last Sunday at the East Coast Food & Wine Festival put on by Slow Food of Central New Jersey. It may have been called the East Coast festival, but this was a New Jersey event -- highlighting several of New Jersey's fine wineries and several eateries. I was very impressed with several of the wines I tasted -- much more impressed than I was expecting to be. If Slow Food of Central New Jersey choses to make this an annual event, I'll be back.

The first tent we visited was from Laurita Winery out of New Egypt, N.J. I was particularly pleased with their Pinot Gris and their '05 Cabernet Sauvignon.

My friends Joanne and Amy enjoy a red from Laurita.

Gary Pavlis gave us a "30-Minute Wine Expert" talk. He taught about the 5 S's -- sight, swirl, smell, sip, savor.  We had the opportunity to sit and eat with him for a bit after his lecture which was a real treat. 

There was more than just wine at this festival. This shaved pork, corn bread and a salsa made with fresh ingredients looks delicious.

Award-winning winemaker John Altmaier from Alba Vineyard in Milford, N.J., took us through his selection of wines. I'm not a big fan of Reisling but his Dry Reisling was very good. I also enjoyed his Forbidden dessert wine and came home with a bottle.

I've learned that New Jersey bees produce some excellent honey. This Herbertsville Honey took Best of Show in the 2008 New Jersey State Honey Show.

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