Those New Jersey Wines

From The New Yorker:

But now, in an even more surprising turn of events, another American wine region has performed far better than expected in a blind tasting against the finest French châteaus. Ready for the punch line? The wines were from New Jersey.

The tasting was closely modelled on the 1976 event, featuring the same fancy Bordeaux vineyards, such as Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Haut-Brion. The Jersey entries included bottles from the Heritage Vineyards in Mullica Hill and Unionville Vineyards in Ringoes. The nine judges were French and American wine experts.

The Judgment of Princeton didn’t quite end with a Jersey victory—a French wine was on top in both the red and white categories—but, in terms of the reassurance for those with valuable wine collections, it might as well have. Clos des Mouches only narrowly beat out Unionville Single Vineyard and two other Jersey whites, while Château Mouton Rothschild and Haut-Brion topped Heritage’s BDX. The wines from New Jersey cost, on average, about five per cent as much as their French counterparts.


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  • DRT

    I wish I had a product that was just a bit better than the next best, but I can get 20 times as much for it. Wow. Nice margins.

  • Scott Gay

    From the Lake Erie terroir here. As a student in the food science department at Penn State, we used molecular spectroscopy to identify the molecules in many foods. Then we would replicate them. It opened my eyes to much of the “flavoring” used in so many foods today, and it gave me a new understanding about “natural”. If you can copy peach exactly in the lab( I did), it’s no different than the molecule in the fruit. Of course, there are thousands of copies that are not exact. All that to say that my enjoyment of wine has partially been because of that food science lab. Wine making is so unbelievably capable of so many nuances of molecules. I don’t enjoy those many wineries that buy juice and process it. But there are many tens of locals here that make excellent wine from their grapes. We have thousands of acres of concord and niagara. We have some local families that make what is affectionately called dago red from concord and methods passed down over generations(some excellent). Our region has had many old world vines planted extensively over the past 30-40 years. And we have a few hybrids that are enjoyable(subjectively). After all these years, I’ve learned the regions, winemakers, varieties, years, blends, seasons, and food pairings that are my favorites. But it is a nice thing about wine that there are so many possibilities. When we travel I always look for the locals.