Savoring Almondberry with My Cousin Vinny
"Your cousin Vinny is blocking people in with his gold Caddy again."
Only in New Jersey can you really have a cousin Vinny.
Tom Amabile, owner of Cream Ridge Winery, laughed at my observation. Amabile couldn't be a more appropriate name for the man who began the winery 25 years ago: Sweet by name, sweet by nature. After giving one of the most informative tours we'd ever been on, Tom stuck around to give us special insight into the cork versus cap debate running hot in the wine world.
Excusing himself to attend to his cousin, Tom returned shortly with a need for more chairs. “Half of my wife’s family was in that car!”
My husband and I pitched in and trailed out front with some folding chairs. Once we finished setting up, Tom entreated us to return to the tank room. “As a thank you,” he explained as he led us over to the cold steel beauties with a mischievous glint in his eye, “take a taste from the tank!”
We held out our glasses to the tap. “That’s pure Niagara right there,” Tom explained, beaming with pride.
Rightfully so. The basis of some of their most popular wines, Cream Ridge's Niagara embraces the full fruit of the white grape. Lacking the foxiness typical to labrusca varietals, this golden elixir is luscious. Blend it with red raspberry wine and almond essence and you have Almondberry, a unique delectable best seller that has been the winery’s most popular offering for 23 years.