WINE ACADEMY EXPERIENCE

At Wine Academy Superstores we pride ourselves in bringing the best selling brands you know at the LOWEST PRICES with a high level of customer service you deserve. Our passion, however, is finding small-production handcrafted wines.

These WINE ACADEMY SELECT wines are grown the traditional way, using methods resulting in superior character and quality across all categories. Without the high marketing costs, these growers provide exceptional wines at extremely reasonable prices. WINE ACADEMY SELECT = Drink Better - Pay Less!

Everyday Tastings
Free Wine Tasting Station at Wine AcademyCome taste with us on a daily basis FREE of charge before making your personal selection. With wines uncorked and ready to pour you can sample the harvest before your purchase – ensuring ultimate satisfaction purchased with your hard earned money.

Value Red Wines

Marlboro - Thursday, October 10 - 5pm to 8pm

The notion of "value wines" in most traditional wine circles carries with it certain negative implications. Some automatically assume that a "value" wine is, in some way, inferior to its higher-priced brethren. This week we aim to dispel these pre-concieved notions. So we have chosen four $10 Red "value" wines that are, simply put, good wines regardless of price. It it our hope that you will find your next go-to wine for any occasion.

Come join us on Thursday, October 10th between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location and find your next go-to value red wine.

There is a Season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

Hazlet - Thursday, October 10 - 5pm to 8pm

As the weather changes with each season, so do our food choices and the wines we pair them with. The light fare of Summer gives way to the heartier fare of the Fall. In the wine business we use these change of seasons to look at new wines, and trust me, there are always great new wines to find! This Thursday we will show you 4 new wines that we just love. 4 wines that match the season and that will pair with food or play nicely on their own. 4 wines that are simply delicious and new to the store that you will want to know about!

As an added bonus, the wines will be poured by the brilliant Kelly Gottlieb! She knows and lives these wines and will give you insight into them, their producers and the cultures from which they are born.

Please join us on Thursday, October 10th between 5-8pm at our Hazlet location and try 4 new wines perfect for the Fall season.

Can You Pick the Super-Tuscan Ringer?

Lakewood - Thursday, October 10 - 4pm to 7pm

For those of you that do not know what an Italian super-Tuscan wine is, it is quite simply a wine from Italy's Tuscany region that does not follow the "wine rules" that have been put in place by the DOC. As a result, no where on the bottle will you find a DOC or DOCG designation. Rather, in its place will be the term IGT. An example would be a wine from Chianti that is made entirely out of Merlot. Legally, this cannot be called a Chianti. These type of wines came into being in the 1970's because many producers felt that the DOC rules for places like Chianti were too restrictive. In today's market, super-Tuscans are often composed of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and other international/non-indeginous grapes varieties. Sometimes these wines are blends and other times just a single varietal, but what they share in common is the fact they follow no governmental guidelines for the DOC's of the region. This week, we will have one ringer and three "everyday" super-Tuscans to sample. Your task will be to identify the ringer in a blind tasting format. So you know the ringer will be the second wine from famous producer Ornellaia that retails for over $60.

Please join us this Thursday, October 10th between 4-7pm at our Lakewood location and try to identify the ringer. Happy Hunting!

Asian Pear Wine Tasting

Marlboro - Thursday, October 3 - 5pm to 8pm

Inspired by this most wonderful fruit -- deliciously unique Asian Pears -- produce incredibly distinctive wines and spirits. The varietal differences of Asian Pears sparked the idea that unique wines and spirits could be crafted from these exceptional fruits. Each pear is surprisingly unique from one another...not so dissimilar from the world of wine wherein the spectrum of grape varieties allows for great diversity...the same can be found among Asian Pear Wines.

Come join us on Thursday, October 3rd between 4-7pm at our Marlboro location and taste some Asian Pear Wine

Customer Appreciation Tasting

Hazlet - Thursday, October 3 - 5pm to 8pm

Last week one of our regular attendees of our wine class mentioned (with a small sense of hinting...) that it had been a while since we tasted wines from the Piedmont. Not wanting to disappoint, and being a huge fan of the region, I said why not! Piedmont is in north-western Italy. It has an incredible array of climates, soils, and grape varieties. The wines can range from traditional to modern, and the variety of grapes and climates creates diversity not found in many other places. As the customer who prompted this class is a man of the old school, we will be tasting traditionally-styled wines. There may even be a Barolo thrown into the mix....

Please join us on Thursday, October 3rd between 5-8pm at our Hazlet location for a taste of the Piedmont.

Importer Focus: Jorge Ordonez, Fine Estates from Spain

Lakewood - Thursday, October 3 - 4pm to 7pm

When highly respected wine critic Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate states, "Jorge Ordonez is one of the most influential wine personalities of the last 20 years," most wine people take notice. Many credit Jorge Ordonez as the catalyst that inspired a quality-oriented group of Spanish wine importers to canvas the Spanish countryside and bring Spain's indigenous varieties to the United States. He showed up in such "backwater" regions as Toro, Jumilla, Priorato, Montsant, La Mancha, Campo de Borja, etc., to find small producers stewarding ancient vines who implemented Old World wine-making techniques. Once these artisan producers were found, Mr. Ordonez assisted in supplementing what they were doing with modern equipment and state-of-art know-how. Currently Ordonez's importing company, Fine Estates From Spain, works with 40 wineries and imports over 130 wines from the ultra-premium to the value oriented.

Please join us this Thursday, October 3rd between 4-7pm at our Lakewood location and see that Spanish wine is much more than just Rioja

White Burgundy

Marlboro - Thursday, May 30 - 5pm to 8pm

White Burgundy, arguably some of the greatest white wines on the planet, are primarily made with Chardonnay. Chardonnay is the ideal grape for this region because Burgundy is all about "terroir" (the French word for a "sense of place"). Chardonnay is essentially subtle, it picks up flavors from the soil and the earth where it is grown - few other grapes are so influenced by the concept of "terroir." As one can imagine it is a match made in heaven. White Burgundies are among the most long-lived white wines in the world - in good vintages they can age for 20 years or more. While we won't be trying the creme de la creme this week you can count on one thing - there will be some great white wine for you to experience and enjoy.

Great Summer Values

Hazlet - Thursday, May 30 - 5pm to 8pm

Last week we tried some new and great value wines we just received for the Summer, but there just wasn't enough room for all of them at last week's tasting! This we will highlight 4 more wines that offer more than they ask, 4 more wines that over-deliver...all to your benefit.

Please come join us on Thursday, May 30th between 5-8pm and taste 4 more great wines you will love all Summer long.

Inexpensive - Not Cheap!

Lakewood - Thursday, May 30 - 4pm to 7pm

Not every occasion calls for the finest wine made on Earth. Not every meal needs that special $1000 bottle of wine. Sometimes, actually most of the time, you just want something delicious that will match whatever the occasion may be. Be it a Tuesday night dinner or just watching your favorite movie, we all welcome that $10 bottle (or those for even less than $10). Come on, admit it, it is hard to suppress the joy you feel when you find an impeccably made wine that you've never heard of and sharing it with friends. These "finds" exist and the Wine Academy is chock full of these surprises.

The Curious & Exciting World of Italian White Wine!

Hazlet - Thursday, May 16 - 5pm to 8pm

Last week we delved into the world of Chianti, one of the most-hallowed of the Italian reds. This week we will look at Italian whites. Italy is justly know for its wonderful reds, but its gorgeous whites often get short shrift. True, people know Pinot Grigio and often ask for Moscatos, but there is so much more to the white wines of Italy than just these. Get ready for grapes you have never heard of. Prepare yourself for tastes that are different and delicious at the same time. In short, discovery awaits!

Please come join us on Thursday, May 16th between 5-8pm as we will sample 4 great Italian white wines. See what you have been missing.

Portugal

Marlboro - Thursday, May 16 - 5pm to 8pm

Which country drinks as much wine per capita as France and Italy, developed its appellation system 190 years before France did, and is producing some of the best price-to-quality ration wines available? Portugal, that's who! Known for making some of the world's top sweet wines, it's Portugal's dry wines that are making noise in today's current market. With the acceptance and growing popularity of Spanish wine, its neighbor to the east, it's not hard to understand why this is happening. No longer are American's afraid of wines that they have little familiarity with. Wines made with varieties like Touriga Nacional or Tinta Roriz no longer scare US consumers.

Come join us on Thursday, May 16th between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location and see what all the fuss is about. If you haven't experienced Portuguese wine yet you are definitely missing out.

With Spring Comes New Arrivals!

Lakewood - Thursday, May 16 - 4pm to 7pm

Buds are popping, flowers are blooming, the sun seems a bit warmer and, at last, Spring has arrived! Coincidentally, this is the time of the year when new arrivals abound from many of our suppliers. We figured this was as good a time as any to show you some of these cool and hip new releases. The Wine Academy is all about staying ahead of the curve and offering you, our customers, those products not found in every wine shop. For whites, we've got a Picpoul & White Bordeaux from France to show you so you can attack those warmer temperatures with gusto. If it's red wine you fancy, we just received two beauties. In one corner, we have a Spanish Ribera Del Duero made predominantly of Tempranillo and performing quite well by scoring 91 points in the Wine Advocate. The other corner is occupied by a Chilean Syrah based blend that the Wine Academy took the state's entire allocation of 20 cases. An interesting side note of the Syrah blend. On a recent trip to Chile by one of our wine managers, he stumbled across this producer and the quality just blew him away. Production is a scant 550 cases and we've cornered the NJ market, if you will.

Come join us on Thursday, May 16th between 4-7pm at our Lakewood location and stay ahead of the curve.

Chiati

Hazlet - Thursday, May 9 - 5pm to 8pm

Chianti is one of the world's great wines. It is among the jewels in the crown that is Tuscany. Traditionally comprised primarily of Sangiovese, along with some other local grapes, it can now be blended with some French grapes to give it a more international feel.

Please come join us on Thursday, May 9th between 5-8pm as we will sample 4 Chiantis, some traditional, some modern, some expensive, some more reasonably priced. All, however, will amply display thy these wines are so famous.

Roses

Marlboro - Thursday, May 9 - 5pm to 8pm

As we jump into spring and the mercury begins to rise, it's quite refreshing to grab a cold beverage to quench your thirst, right? Why not reach for a Rose? No, not the sweet pink stuff that was accidentally made (and nearly discarded) in the early 1970's which became popularly known as White Zinfandel. We are talking about the crisp, dry, yet fruity wine that comes in an array of pink hues from around the globe. Many of the worlds top wine growing regions fashion these food-friendly wines and the new releases are rolling into the Wine Academy every day.

Come join us on Thursday, May 9th between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location to explore and see why Rose should be a staple drink for the spring, summer, and fall months

Portuguese Wines

Lakewood - Thursday, May 9 - 4pm to 7pm

Which country drinks as much wine per capita as France and Italy, developed its appellation system 190 years before France did, and is producing some of the best price-to-quality ration wines available? Portugal, that's who! Known for making some of the world's top sweet wines, it's Portugal's dry wines that are making noise in today's current market. With the acceptance and growing popularity of Spanish wine, its neighbor to the east, it's not hard to understand why this is happening. No longer are American's afraid of wines that they have little familiarity with. Wines made with varieties like Touriga Nacional or Tinta Roriz no longer scare US consumers.

Come join us on Thursday, May 9th between 4-7pm at our Lakewood location and see what all the fuss is about. If you haven't experienced Portuguese wine yet you are definitely missing out.

High-End Wine Tasting

Hazlet - Thursday, November 20 - 5pm to 8pm

With whom better to splurge than with family? When better to indulge than at the holidays? Join us this Thursday, all day, to revel in wines that will make you sit and pay attention. Taste wines that define their category.

Francois Lamarche Bourgogne Rouge 2009

Socre Barbaresco 2008

Cherry Pie Pint Noir 2010

Play Date Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Cotes Du Rhone

Hazlet - Thursday, October 25 - 5pm to 8pm

Lately we have been spending some time experimenting with wines that are right for the food of our new season. We started out very generally, and last week we got a little more specific with Bordeaux reds. We will continue with the French theme this week and try 4 wines from the Cotes du Rhone Appellation in the southern Rhone Valley. Dominated by Grenache, these wines are perfect for fall drinking and eating, and you will love the diversity!

Meet the Wine Maker David Rossi of Fulcrum Wines

Marlboro - Thursday, October 25 - 5pm to 8pm

Please join us on Thursday, October 25th, betweem 5-8pm at our Marlboro location to meet David Rossi, winemaker at Fulcrum Wines. Fulcrum produces several Pinot Noir bottlings from some of the best vineyard sites for pinot noir in California today. Mr. Rossi will be pouring wines from his 2010 vintage as well as discussing winemaking, answering questions, and signing bottles. Don't miss this opportunity to try some incredible wines being poured by the man who made them.

Wines From Where???

Lakewood - Thursday, October 25 - 4pm to 7pm

The World has its fair share of recognizable wine regions. You have Napa Valley in California, Chianti in Italy, Bordeaux in France & Rioja from Spain, just to name a few. But quality wine can be found in some unusual and unexpected places. Did you ever expect to encounter wine from Lebanon? How about New Jersey? Crazier yet, Africa? Take a break from the usual Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Pinot Noir & Malbec and join us on Thursday to experience some really unique offerings from places not associated for wine production. Be THAT person to chat up the likes of Listan Negro or Chambourcin. Who knows, you may become the cool kid on the block.

Exciting New Red Bordeaux

Lakewood - Thursday, October 18 - 4pm to 7pm

The Wine Academy is proud to offer three fantastic red wines from two estates located on the Right Bank of the prized Bordeaux region of France. More specifically, they reside in the Cotes de Blaye & the Cotes de Bourg where Merlot is the grape of choice and Cabernet plays a supporting role to give the wines structure and body. Both Chateau Peybonhomme Les Tours & Chateau Grolet are run by Jean-Luc Hubert & his wife Catherine, who produce rich reds using organic farming methods. No pesticides, herbicides or chemicals are utilized leading the way to Ecocert certification. To take this a step further, all of the vineyards are in the process of being converted to Biodynamic agriculture. This strict & expensive form of viticulture shows just how committed the Hubert's are to only making the best possible wine. Don't you want to experience real wine made without manipulation that reflect their place of origin or terroir, if you will? Come join us on Thursday and get a front row seat.

Tannin 'It's a Red Wine Thing!'

Marlboro - Thursday, October 18 - 5pm to 8pm

In wine terms, tannin is a naturally occuring substance that exists in grape skins, stems & seeds of grapes. When red wine is made, the grapes are crushed, and the skins sit in their juice until fermentation ultimately occurs. This lengthy co-mingling of juice & skin is where tannin comes from. Conversely, with the making of white wine, there is virtually no skin contact with the juice. The result...very little tannin.

OK, now you know why red wine has tannin and white doesn't, but how do you identify it? What does it taste like? In a word, BITTER. It leaves your mouth feeling dry and with a "puckered" feeling.

Join us on Thursday October 18th, between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location and see if you can detect tannin.

Real Red Bordeaux

Hazlet - Thursday, October 18 - 5pm to 8pm

Real Bordeaux red's can be really hard to find. Yes, it is easy to find the oaked, higher-alcohol versions that mimic other famous regions, but if you really want a traditional Bordeaux wine -- without paying a fortune -- it is not easy. Enter Chateau Peybonhomme les Tours and Chateau La Grolet! These are carefully grown (organic agriculture moving to biodynamics) wines that will bring you back to a day when Bordeaux tasted like Bordeaux. These are wines that compliment food and make you happy to be drinking red wine. Join us this Thursday and find the dissappearing art of affordable red Bordeaux!

Allure of Grenache

Lakewood - Thursday, October 11 - 4pm to 7pm

Grenache (or Garnacha) is a highly versatile red-wine grape varitey grown extensively in France, Spain, Australia and the United States. A late ripening grape typically grown in dry, windy and hot environments, Grenache exhibits rich and spicy berry flavors. In France, grenache is grown in the Southern Rhone Valley (but may also extend into regions even futher south) and is typically blended with traditional rhone varietals to create some of the world's most compelling wines. In Spain, garnacha (as it is know) can be used in a varitey of ways - either standing alone or in a creative blend. Finally, in Australia grenache is blended with shiraz and mouvedre to produce the countries sought-after "GSM" based wines.

Regardless if you are new to grenache or your cellar is chock full of them this weeks class has something for everyone. Please join us on Thursday, October 4th between 5-8pm to enjoy the allure of grenache.

Spraklin Around the World

Marlboro - Thursday, October 11 - 5pm to 8pm

Sparkling wines have a certain romanticism associated with them - and for good reason - we usually consume them for special occasions, celebrations and milestones. While all sparkling wines have one thing in common - bubbles - it is the remarkable differences of these wines that makes them so interesting.

With so many options to choose from - be it a Champagne or a Blanc de Blancs from France, a Cava from Spain, or a Prosecco from Italy - sparkling wine can be overwhelming. Fear not, we are here to help you learn more about your favorites and to assist you in finding new sparkling wines to enjoy.

Please join us on Thursday, October 11th between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location for what promises to be a very enjoyable and informative class.

Fall into Fall Whites

Hazlet - Thursday, October 11 - 5pm to 8pm

Last week we got a nice overview of some of our options for this new Fall weather. This week we will dive right in and look at 4 white wines that will go perfectly with your Fall merry making. Basically, we will be trying wines that, be they heavier or lighter, have a deeper sense to them. Gone are the days of light and fun whites to refresh and cool you, now we want something with a little bit of 'presence'. Sometime we are eating, others not, so these wines will run the gamut and be very versatile, at the party or the table.

Sweet Reds'How Sweet It Is!?'

Lakewood - Thursday, October 4 - 4pm to 7pm

Sweet wine is not for everyone, but there is no denying that some people in the wine drinking community have a bit of a sweet tooth. When members of this community drop by our stores, often times we steer them into Riesling or Moscato, for example. However, a growing trend amongst the "sugar heads" is a demand for sweet red wine. We're not talking about Port-like dessert wines that clock in over 20% alcohol, but instead semi-sweet to sweet reds that often have as little as 8% alcohol and can be consumed with a meal. Since most of the sweet wine market is dominated by white wine, this can create quite a dilemma. So we scoured the world and ended up in some unusual places to satisfy this demand. If you join us this Thursday, you will have the unique experience of sampling German Dornfelder, Khvanchkara from the Republic of Georgia, an Italian red from Romagna & lastly a sweet Shiraz from South Africa. Think of it this way, where else can you travel the world and not even need your passport? At the Wine Academy, that's where!

Allure of Grenache

Marlboro - Thursday, October 4 - 5pm to 8pm

Grenache (or Garnacha) is a highly versatile red-wine grape varitey grown extensively in France, Spain, Australia and the United States. A late ripening grape typically grown in dry, windy and hot environments, Grenache exhibits rich and spicy berry flavors. In France, grenache is grown in the Southern Rhone Valley (but may also extend into regions even futher south) and is typically blended with traditional rhone varietals to create some of the world's most compelling wines. In Spain, garnacha (as it is know) can be used in a varitey of ways - either standing alone or in a creative blend. Finally, in Australia grenache is blended with shiraz and mouvedre to produce the countries sought-after "GSM" based wines.

Regardless if you are new to grenache or your cellar is chock full of them this weeks class has something for everyone. Please join us on Thursday, October 4th between 5-8pm to enjoy the allure of grenache.

Fall Wines

Hazlet - Thursday, October 4 - 5pm to 8pm

As the seasons change so do our lives. We wear different clothes, we watch different sports, we eat different foods and yes, we drink different wines. Let's get ready for the fall season with some wines that will take us all the way through Thanksgiving! A white that is a bit bigger than what we wanted in the summer. A, unexpected rose that is made for Fall foods. Two reds that warm the heart, soul and stomach, without taking over the day. In short, four wines that will make your Fall dinner table more exciting!

Barolo 'King of Piedmont'

Marlboro - Thursday, September 27 - 5pm to 8pm

Quite a grandoise statement, no doubt, that surfaced in the mid 1800's due to Barolo's popuarity among the nobility of Turin and the ruling House of Savoy. But to current wine drinkers, what is Barolo? Barolo is a village located in the Piedmont region of northern Italy bordering France & Switzerland. Its wines are made entirely of the noble grape variety Nebbiolo, which can be found in other parts of the Piedmont, but can rarely attain the quality level & pedigree that Barolo can provide. They are robust red wines that are very dry, full-bodied and high in tannin, acidity & alcohol. Aromatically, they remind us of violets, roses, tar, leather & red fruits (think strawberries, red berries). From an economical perspective, it's tough to find bottles under $30, and easy to find them over $100. These are wines often destined to the cellar to age for 10-30 years.

Sound interesting? Well, you will have a chance to pick out the Barolo from 3 other red wines from the Piedmont. We will be using our popular brown bag, "no peeking" format. Are you ready to sample like a king? Hope to see you Thursday, September 27th between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location.

Barolo 'Wine of Kings...King of Wines!'

Lakewood - Thursday, September 27 - 4pm to 7pm

Quite a grandoise statement, no doubt, that surfaced in the mid 1800's due to Barolo's popuarity among the nobility of Turin and the ruling House of Savoy. But to current wine drinkers, what is Barolo? Barolo is a village located in the Piedmont region of northern Italy bordering France & Switzerland. Its wines are made entirely of the noble grape variety Nebbiolo, which can be found in other parts of the Piedmont, but can rarely attain the quality level & pedigree that Barolo can provide. They are robust red wines that are very dry, full-bodied and high in tannin, acidity & alcohol. Aromatically, they remind us of violets, roses, tar, leather & red fruits (think strawberries, red berries). From an economical perspective, it's tough to find bottles under $30, and easy to find them over $100. These are wines often destined to the cellar to age for 10-30 years. Sound interesting? Well, you will have a chance to pick out the Barolo from 3 other red wines. We will be using our popular brown bag, "no peeking" format. Are you ready to sample like a king? Hope to see you Thursday.

Where Quality Meets Value 'Delicious Wines at Pizza Prices'

Hazlet - Thursday, September 27 - 5pm to 8pm

The other afternoon, a new customer came into our store, took a gander at our gorgeous Grotto and classy wooden wine racks and said to me, "This store is too expensive for my blood."

"We have top-quality wines at value prices throughout the store," I told her. "Give me 10 minutes and I'll show you around."

After assembling a mixed case of under-$20 wines, the new customer said, "Don't stop. This is terrific. I want to bring home more."

She left with two-and-a-half cases, our Wine Academy 15 percent discount, and plans for many evenings drinking very fine wines at value prices.

This Thursday, we'll be tasting some of the wines our happy new customer bought, including a fragrant, elegant and downright sophisticated Viognier from the South of France ($15.99); a ripe, oaky, classic California Chardonnay ($17.99); a juicy, forward-fruit, yet rustic red blend, also from the South of France ($13.99); and a pizza-perfect red mix from Umbria in Italy ($11.99).

Please stop by The Grotto to sample this lineup of wines you can feel proud bringing to your favorite BYOB - and even to your boss's house - at easy-on-the-wallet, everyday-drinking prices.

Mystery Wine 'High Quality, Exceptional Value'

Lakewood - Thursday, September 27 - 4pm to 7pm

Do high quality wines have to be expensive? No. Do value wines have to be mass produced? No. How about this, do high quality, value wines produced on a small scale even exist? ABSOLUTELY! Finding these kind of wines can be like looking for a needle in a hay-stack. That's where the Wine Academy comes in. We work diligently in finding all types of wine for our clientele. This Thursday you will have the unique opportunity to sample a Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon from one producer known for quality, value & small production. Not one wine is over $10 and production does not exceed 10,000 cases on any of the wines. Management his directed us to hide the producer's identity until all of the wines are sampled. Join us on Thursday and see that cheap wine can taste good and be hand-crafted.

Barolo 'Wine of Kings...King of Wines!'

Lakewood - Thursday, September 20 - 4pm to 7pm

Quite a grandoise statement, no doubt, that surfaced in the mid 1800's due to Barolo's popuarity among the nobility of Turin and the ruling House of Savoy. But to current wine drinkers, what is Barolo? Barolo is a village located in the Piedmont region of northern Italy bordering France & Switzerland. Its wines are made entirely of the noble grape variety Nebbiolo, which can be found in other parts of the Piedmont, but can rarely attain the quality level & pedigree that Barolo can provide. They are robust red wines that are very dry, full-bodied and high in tannin, acidity & alcohol. Aromatically, they remind us of violets, roses, tar, leather & red fruits (think strawberries, red berries). From an economical perspective, it's tough to find bottles under $30, and easy to find them over $100. These are wines often destined to the cellar to age for 10-30 years. Sound interesting? Well, you will have a chance to pick out the Barolo from 3 other red wines. We will be using our popular brown bag, "no peeking" format. Are you ready to sample like a king? Hope to see you Thursday.

Are You Ready for Some Football-Wines?

Hazlet - Thursday, September 20 - 5pm to 8pm

OK, OK, we know: Football is supposed to be accompanied by beer. And many of our die-hard microbrew connoisseurs take home a specific beer every week to bring them good luck when their gridiron favorite is playing. This Thursday, we're going to show you how wine and football can be just as perfect together.

Think we're yanking your chain? Well, just ask Jets fans who have discovered the brawny California cab "Jets Uncorked" if they dare watch a game unaccompanied by their good-luck wine that's got tons of charm - and shoulders broad enough to pummel Tom Brady.

Andy, a lifelong Giants fan, believes Justin Tuck will notch another sack - and Big Blue will win - if the Justin California Cabernet Sauvignon is right by her side, cheering the team. Hey, after all, Coach Bill Parcells steamrolled the 1986 Giants to the Super Bowl by eating a tuna sandwich every day during the season. "Tuna" said as long as his team won, he was proud to be superstitious.

If you are a little (or a lot) superstitious, both the Jets Uncorked and Justin cabs will be on tap at our wine class this Thursday evening. Since we know we have a huge flock of Eagles fans and a strong contingent of Steelers backers in the area, we'll also have on hand a wine that tips to a rare and powerful bird as well as a downright steely, mineral-rich number that will put boosters of the teams from the state next door on the right cheering track.

So come out and support your team by raising a glass of just the right wine. If you support a different team (or two), let's talk about what wine will let you properly show your team spirit.

We promise class will be over in time for Giants' kickoff.

Let's Kick Start the Fall Wine Season

Lakewood - Thursday, September 13 - 4pm to 7pm

Hard to believe that the Fall season is upon us, but the days are growing shorter and the pigskin is a flyn'. Autumn doesn't officially start until September 22nd, but we wanted to give our customers a jump start on the season by profiling some wines perfect for every occasion. As usual, wines profiled at The Wine Academy are unique, hand-crafted and expertly made. We feel it's our job and duty to give these wines a voice in a crowded industry where they often get lost in the shuffle or are never heard. The question is, are you listening? Maybe this will help. Does a dry white Spanish wine that hails from the beautiful, yet volatile Basque country interest you? How about a "simple" white Burgundy made from fruit mostly from the highly esteemed Meursault region which sells for just $20? Or, does a Pinot Noir where only 225 cases were made, the grapes sourced entirely from Hudson Vineyard in Carneros (greatest single source of California Pinot Noir?) tickle your fancy in the slightest? And finally, we will end the class with a Napa Valley Cabernet made by Celia Welch, Food & Wine's Winemaker Of The Year in 2008. Excited yet? If not, you may need a doctor to check for a pulse. Join us this Thursday and jump into the season!

Vuelta a Espana 'Tour of Spain'

Marlboro - Thursday, September 13 - 5pm to 8pm

Spanish wines are one of the best values in wine today. While they may be relatively inexpensive, the quality remains very high and the choices are endless. For whites, this week we'll be trying Albarino, a white wine from the Rias Baxixas region in the northwestern region of Galicia and a white blend from the Rioja region. For reds, classically styled Rioja exemplfies of the wonders of tempranillo while a hearty red from the Ribera del Duero in Castilla y Leon finishes out the foursome.

For those who have already fallen in love with spanish wines and newcomers alike, please join us on Thursday, September 13th, between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location to enjoy the Tour of Spain!

Fall Into New Wines

Hazlet - Thursday, September 13 - 5pm to 8pm

In nature Spring is the season of rebirth, flowers awake and bloom, leaves return to their trees, the world comes alive. The wine world is a little different. As nature starts its slumber in Autumn, the wine world explodes with activity! New wine and vintages appear at every corner. Join us this Thursday from 5-8 and taste 4 new acquisitions for the coming seasons that we feel will get you excited for sweater season!

Acid 'The Good Kind'

Lakewood - Thursday, September 6 - 4pm to 7pm

Last week we tackled the topic of tannin in wine, so it makes perfect sense for the next discussion to be about a wine's acidity. Like tannin, acidity is a key component in wine. It gives a wine balance and makes for a perfect beverage to have with a meal. But what exactly is it? For all intents & purposes, it's mostly tartaric acid. Tartaric acid is naturally occurring in grapes & comprises .5 to .7 percent of a wine's volume. This acid gives a wine a fresh, tart & crisp-like profile. Not unlike the sensation you get when you eat grapefruit, lemon, cranberry or pomegranite. Think of it this way, when you place an acidic wine in your mouth and perceive it as sour tasting and your mouth "waters", that's acidity. Your body identifies the acid's presence and produces saliva as a base to neutralize the acid. It's that simple. Come join us on Thursday and see the difference between wines with acidity and those without it. Maybe you will even learn what the term "cut" and "flabby" mean in the context of wine.

Taste Challenge 'Find the Chateauneuf de Pape'

Marlboro - Thursday, September 6 - 5pm to 8pm

The renowned, most important and more expensive red wine of France's southern Rhone is Chateauneuf-du-Pape (CDP). Red CDP (there is a white blend) can be comprised of as many as 13 grape varieties, but usually Grenache dominates with Syrah and Mourvedre playing supporting roles.

These wines are rich and robust, full-bodied reds with alcohol levels commonly over 14%. Rarely do you find great red CDP under $40 a bottle. Many collectors make room in their cellars for these noble reds that, in most cases, can be cellared and will continue to develop for 15-20 or more years. We will have one red CDP and a line-up of imposters for you to sample... yes, blind.

Please join us on Thursday September 6th between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location to try your hand at this challenge.

Piedmont'The White Ones'

Hazlet - Thursday, September 6 - 5pm to 8pm

Piedmont, in northeastern Italy, makes some of the world's most noble and delicious wines. Barolo and Barbaresco are justifiably famous and worthy of their repute, however, when most people think of Piedmont they do not think about white wine.

After this Thursday, this will no longer be the case!

Join us from 5-8 and taste some of the undiscovered yet amazing whites that hail from Piedmont!

Labor Day Wines 'The Summer's Last Stand?'

Hazlet - Thursday, August 30 - 5pm to 8pm

Labor Day weekend is next weekend, and you know what that means: BBQs, pool parties and more. Basically you gather all your friends and get down. The key is, you want to do it for the right price. Join us this Thursday from 5-8pm and try some of the INCREDIBLE VALUES we have recently found.!

Labor Day Wine 'For Any Occasion'

Marlboro - Thursday, August 30 - 5pm to 8pm

This week we will be tasting 4 wines chosen by different members of the Marlboro staff. Each wine to be tasted will represent that particular staff members' pick for the "Labor Day Wine for Any Occasion." All you have to do is come and taste the wines.

So please join us on Thursday, August 30th between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location to find Labor Day wines perfect for all of your holiday weekend festivities.

Tannin 'It's a Red Wine Thing'

Lakewood - Thursday, August 30 - 4pm to 7pm

In terms of wine, tannin is a substance that exists naturally in the grape skins, stems & seeds of grapes. When red wine is made, the grapes are crushed, and the skins sit in their juice until fermentation ultimately occurs. This lengthy co-mingling of juice & skin is where tannin comes from. Conversely, with the making of white wine, there is virtually no skin contact with the juice. The result,...very little tannin. OK, now you know why red wine has tannin and white doesn't, but how do you identify it? What does it taste like? In a word, BITTER. It leaves your mouth feeling dry and with a "puckered" feeling. If you have a difficult time understanding this sensation, think of it in this manner. Ever drink a strong cup of tea? How does that make your mouth feel? Does all of the moisture seem to leave your gums & the inside of your mouth? I think now you might get the picture. Join us this Thursday and see if you can detect tannin. We will show you 4 red wines with various levels of this compound. Did I mention there has been studies that link the compound to healthier heart? Hopefully this has caught your attention...

Spain 'The King of Wines?'

Hazlet - Thursday, August 16 - 5pm to 8pm

Spain has a long history of producing fine wines, particularly its red wines. Some of the regions in Spain are huge and account for the fact that Spain has the largest area of land dedicated to viticulture of any country in the world. This makes Spain the most widely planted wine producing nation, however, it is still just the third largest producer of wine in the world behind France and Italy.

A wine guide for a whole country in just a few hundred words and 4 bottles of wine is a difficult task. As such, I'll pick out some of the more popular regions and producers based upon my own personal experiences for you to taste. So while there are over 400 varieties planted throughout Spain, 80 percent of the country's wine production is from only 20 grapes. A large majority of those 20 include Tempranillo, Monastrel, Mencia, Garnacha --- and this is what we will be tasting!

Wine Challenge - Find the "Right" Pinot Grigro

Marlboro - Thursday, August 16 - 5pm to 8pm

When most people think of Pinot Grigio they think of Santa Margerita. It's true...and the reality is most people are hestitant to deviate from their favorite label. The reality is we develop a certain comfort level with our favorite producers - over time they become a known variable - and we are largely certain the wine will not disappoint.

This week it's time to venture out of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves with the help of Santa Margerita Pinot Grigio. Our goal is to take the label out of the tasting equation. So here's the deal - we will sample our 4 wines with the labels covered to conceal the identity of the wine - a classic blind tasting scenario. All 4 wines will be Pinot Grigio and 1 of the 4 will be Santa Margerita Pinot Grigio. Your job will be to pick which wine is the Santa Margerita.

Simple enough. I bet the results will surprise you...

Join us on Thursday, August 16th between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location to put yourself to the test.

Unique Grapes

Lakewood - Thursday, August 16 - 4pm to 7pm

One of the most fun and exciting parts of my job is to taste wine(obviously), but for me there is no better thrill than trying a grape varietal I have never tasted before. There are over a thousand different varieties of 'Vitis vinifera' (the vine used for wine production) all over the world, and my goal is to try as many as I can. I am sure most of you know what Napa Chardonnay tastes like or had a few glasses of Chianti, but what about Hondarribi Zuria or Nerello Mascalese? Unique varietals can be as good as or better than your favorite varietal. Or you might absolutely despise the wine, but that's not the point. The point is to push your wine boundaries. When you taste a new grape you have no reference point of what it should taste like, and nothing to compare it to. You are no longer evaluating if a wine is good or bad you are just evaluating the wine, and in my opinion that is how every wine should be tasted. Stop in and try some unique grapes and expand your wine knowledge, you might find your new favorite varietal.

Wines of Austria

Marlboro - Thursday, August 9 - 5pm to 8pm

In constrast to the immensely popular wines from Germany and the Alsace, wines from neighboring Austria often go unnoticed.

Austria primarily produces dry, food friendly white wines. Gruner Veltliner, the most widely-planted and popular grape varietal, produces light, acidity-toned wines. Another white grape is Rotor Veltliner, a very fickle and sensitive grape varietal, which produces elegant wines with fine aromatics.

In addition to white wines, Austria (believe it or not) produces some quality red wines as well. Zweigelt is the dominant red wine grape varietal and produces full-bodied wines with strong tannins and a violet-red color.

Join us on Thursday, August 9th between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location to see what you have been missing.

Day Old Wine - Can You Pick It?

Lakewood - Thursday, August 9 - 4pm to 7pm

Can you tell the difference between a bottle of wine that's been open for 24 hours from a bottle that's just been un-corked? Customer challenges like this are common at The Wine Academy and as strange as this question may sound, the answer can determine whether you like a wine or not.

Related questions like: How long will this bottle stay fresh after it's opened? or Do I need to let this wine breath before I serve it and for how long? allude to the influence of oxygen on wine over time. One thing is for certain, it's a scientific fact that when wine is exposed to oxygen, changes occur. These changes are broad and often subtle in nature with the wine's smell, taste & texture being affected. Depending on the individual, these changes can be both positive and negative. On Thursday, we will delve into this topic by sampling 4 wines, one white and one red. Our aim is to show 2 bottles of the same white & 2 bottles of the identical red opened 24 hours apart. Are your senses acute enough tell the difference? Which wine tastes better? We invite you to join us this Thursday to participate in this unique experiment.

Values from the Vine

Hazlet - Thursday, August 9 - 5pm to 8pm

From Scott's 20 Under $20

Values from the Vine

Hazlet - Thursday, August 2 - 5pm to 8pm

From Scott's 20 Under $20

To kick off our new "20 Under $20" section, Scott Reiner will pour from four bottles that marry high quality and great value - with prices starting at $9.99 and topping out at $19.99.

Scott's current favorites under $20 include reds, whites, roses and sparkling wines. There are lesser-known grapes (Remoratin Erbaluce, Roter Veltliner, Croatina) and more common varietals (Chardonnay, Nero D'Avola, Tempranillo).

What they have in common is serious flavor that belies price.

If you value bang-for-your-buck in wine, drop by The Grotto this Thursday. You'll learn in this week's class that beautifully made artisanal wines do not have to set you back more than an Andrew Jackson.

Wines of the Alsace

Marlboro - Thursday, August 2 - 5pm to 8pm

Some say Germany, others say France...at the Wine Academy, we say who cares! Regardless of your stance on its country of origin, the fact is that wines from the Alsace are good, really good. Unfortunatley, exposure to the general public remains relatively low. Our class this week will change that.

White wines dominate in the Alsace - with sparkling wines, dry rieslings, and gewurztraminer - leading the pack. As a result of the regional winemakers' strict adherence to traditional winemaking techniques, Alsatian wines are dry, very aromatic, and often have a fruity character.

Another unique aspect of these wines is the bottle. Most of us have probably noticed these odd-shaped bottles and thought nothing of it. However, wines produced in the Alsace, by law, must be bottled in tall and uniquely shaped bottles commonly called "flutes d'Alsace."

The wines of the Alsace are full of surprises. Please join us on Thursday, August 2nd between 5-8pm at our Marlboro store to learn more about and taste these great wines.

The World's Most Recognizable Grape?

Lakewood - Thursday, August 2 - 4pm to 7pm

Is it possible for one grape variety to yield dry, medium dry and sweet wine? Or better yet, can this same variety give us both quality sparkling wine as well as still? Does this grape have the capability to stand alone, dressed as a simple everyday wine and also be showy, complex and be the belle of the ball? The answer is a resounding yes! And the un-sung and easily over-looked grape variety... that's right, Chenin Blanc. Many of you may know it as an in-expensive sweet wine from California, but it's much more than that on the world's stage. As a matter of fact, it's a prominent grape in South Africa where it accounts for almost one third of total vine plantings. But, it's in France where it really shines making wines of pedigree and panache. Come join us on Thursday and view for yourself Chenin Blanc's extensive wardrobe of styles.

Values from the Vine

Hazlet - Thursday, August 2 - 5pm to 8pm

From Scott's 20 Under $20

To kick off our new "20 Under $20" section, Scott Reiner will pour from four bottles that marry high quality and great value - with prices starting at $9.99 and topping out at $19.99.

Scott's current favorites under $20 include reds, whites, roses and sparkling wines. There are lesser-known grapes (Remoratin Erbaluce, Roter Veltliner, Croatina) and more common varietals (Chardonnay, Nero D'Avola, Tempranillo).

What they have in common is serious flavor that belies price.

If you value bang-for-your-buck in wine, drop by The Grotto this Thursday. You'll learn in this week's class that beautifully made artisanal wines do not have to set you back more than an Andrew Jackson.

Reds That Refresh

Hazlet - Thursday, July 26 - 5pm to 8pm

We may be having another heat wave, but that doesn't mean you need to put red wine on the back burner.

Some red wines not only can stand up to summer's most intense heat, they can help beat it. In this week's class, Scott will pour four reds that will make you find the cool you may have lost when all the heat and humidity hit our region.

The grapes will intrigue: Rossese, from Liguria in Italy;cabernet franc from Chinon in France's Loire Valley; garnacha from the Campo de Borja in northeast Spain; and nero d'avola from Sicily, another right-for-summer red from Italy.

Scott will offer tips on when and how to chill certain reds to best drinking advantage and explore the qualities that make these red-wine grapes warm-weather friendly.

You'll come away with an understanding of exactly why reds, too, can refresh.

Summer School'Really?'

Lakewood - Thursday, July 26 - 4pm to 7pm

Hey Bud, school is out and the Summer is here. We all know what that means. No school buses or homework to contend with, but plenty of lazy days spent relaxing with family and friends. However, school is still in session at The Wine Academy and this is no time to be a slacker!

Okay, so the classes seem easier and the dress code is not so strict, but we continue to strive and bring you cool and interesting wines. New arrivals occur on a weekly basis and we have the perfect wines to cool you off in the Summer. Join us on Thursday and experience a dry Rose from Riojo, German Scheurebe along with two lighter bodied reds from Italy & France. If you're absent, you just might get detention. Flip-flops...optional.

Wines of the Veneto

Marlboro - Thursday, July 26 - 5pm to 8pm

As we continue our wine tour of Italy we move to the Veneto in the Northeast corner of Italy. The Veneto region is one of the most visited regions in Italy due in part to the fact that Venice is the regional capital. More importantly, the Veneto is a major wine producing region - one which does not always get the attention it deserves.

Bianco di Custoza, Soave, and Prosecco - Veneto's white wines - are blends incorporating many indigenous grapes. As for red wines, Bardolino, Valpolicella, and Amarone lead the pack. Winemakers in the Veneto employ some of the most unique wine making techniques. This in turn produces some highly distinct wines.

Please join us on Thursday July 26th between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location to taste and learn about the Veneto and the wines produced there.

Superstars of Southern Italy & Sicily

Marlboro - Thursday, July 19 - 5pm to 8pm

Our primary focus this week will be wines from Puglia in Southern Italy and Sicily. Sitting on the Adriatic Coast, Puglia enjoys a Mediterranean climate which lends itself to the creation of bold and full-bodied wines. While not as famous as their Piedmont or Tuscan cousins, wines from Puglia are often overlooked. Known for its reds - Negroamaro & Primiativo - Puglia also produces some nice white wines as well.

Quite different from that of the fuller bodied wines of Puglia, Sicilian wines are typically lighter in style and highly food friendly. The main grapes in Sicily are Nero d'Avola (red) and Catarratto Bianco (white) - both of which we will try during this week's class.

Wines from Southern Italy & Sicily are steadily gaining in popularity. The quality is there and the prices are often quite reasonable. Please join us on Thursday, July 21st between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location to taste and learn more about these exciting wines.

Sparkling Red Wine'Do You Jest?'

Lakewood - Thursday, July 19 - 4pm to 7pm

What do Lambrusco, Brachetto d'Acqui and Vin du Bugey Cerdon have in common? They are some of the world's top sparkling red wines. No, not the Riunite that poisoned the American wine market years ago. These represent artisan-made wines that have been fashioned for hundreds of years in specific regions of the world. Stylistically they can run the gamut of being dry to very sweet, but they are always refreshing. As the temperatures climb, be one of the cool kids and reach for a sparkling red instead of the usual white. Join us this Thursday to experience this unique category of artisan wine.

Still Life With Fruit

Hazlet - Thursday, July 19 - 5pm to 8pm

In this week's class, we'll color in the outlines of the "still life, with fruits" we began in last week's class.

Like Cezanne, we know the possibilities of fruit are endless. But with wine, we have more to play with than form.

Using this week's all-chardonnay lineup as vivid illustrations, we'll show how minerality and fruit work in tandem - as well as the other factors that affect white wine.

Scott Reiner will lead the "advanced-class" discussion by exploring, among many things, how grapes are affected by differences in growing temperatures. Join the discussion and come away with a deeper understanding of a familiar white wine grape.

Fruit'And It's Foils'

Hazlet - Thursday, July 12 - 5pm to 8pm

We all know that fruit is a major component in both the aroma and taste of wine. But, what are the alternatives? If you are drinking white wine the opposite of fruitiness is most often minerality. If you are drinking red wine the opposite of fruitiness is most often earthiness. What in the world do minerality and earthiness smell and taste like? And, how do they differ from fruitiness? Join us this Thursday and taste 4 traditionally made Spanish wines, 2 reds and 2 whites. The reds will demonstrate the differences between fruit and earth, while the whites will demonstrate the differences between fruit and minerals. On top of this, they are all delicious in there own ways!

Pinot Noir'THE Summer Red'

Lakewood - Thursday, July 12 - 4pm to 7pm

Pinot Noir is riding the wave of popularity these days, and it's hard to argue its lofty place amongst the world's greatest grape varieties. There are many reasons that contribute to this. Although Pinot Noir is a red wine for all seasons, it's especially appropriate in the warmer months. Its light to medium body, fresh & vivid fruit characteristics make it the perfect red for when mercury rises. Food versatility is another feather in Pinot Noir's cap. The summer months are chock full of picnics, BBQ's & outside food events, so the choice of food is both diverse and extensive. Don't believe us? Just picture this -- on your plate is wild boar pate, tuna salad, fried chicken, grilled vegetables & Asiago cheese..., what wine do you drink? Obviously an all-purpose wine, right? Pinot Noir to the rescue! Come join us on Thursday to sample what Oregon, Italy, France & New Zealand have to offer because if you haven't noticed, Summer is upon us.

Summer Whites

Marlboro - Thursday, July 12 - 5pm to 8pm

Whether you are recovering from the July 4th holiday or just beginning an extended holiday weekend our tasting class this week is not to be missed.

As so often is the case, we alter what we wear, what we eat, and what we drink as the weather around us changes. That Summer is great is practically beyond dispute...but let's be honest, for the past few weeks...it's been hot...very hot.

To beat the heat, we usually reach for a well-chilled bottle of crisp white wine. The tendency, however, is to drink the same white wines so as to avoid the potential disappointment of a bad vinous experience - but fear not! We are here to help you refresh and expand your Summer wine choices. To do this we are going to explore delicious "off the beaten path" white wines this week that are perfect for Summer.

Please join us on Thursday, July 12th in our Marlboro store to discover these "can't miss" white wines

Spanish Garnacha'A Slice of the Southern Rhone'

Lakewood - Thursday, June 28 - 4pm to 7pm

It's safe to say that red wine drinkers familiar with French wine have encountered their fair share of Cotes du Rhone in their wine drinking lives. Grenache, which is the grape variety that often dominates these southern Rhone reds, goes by the alias of Garnacha in Spain. Its importance to the Spanish wine industry can best be summed up in the following fact: Garnacha, not Tempranillo, is the most widely planted red grape in the entire country. So when you look at key Spanish wine regions like Rioja, Navarra, Montsant, Priorat, Costers del Segre & Campo de Borja, Garnacha plays both supporting & starring roles in the cast. Come join us on Thursday & explore a side of Grenache that many people rarely know exists.

Diversity'From Riesling to Merlot, Pinot and Spanish Blends'

Hazlet - Thursday, June 28 - 5pm to 8pm

This week's class is about diversity. There are so many wonderful wines made today in all parts of the world from thousands of different grapes. This Thursday we will try 4 disparate wines from different places and made from different grapes whose only connection is excellence. The different styles of these wines will provide you with varied experiences, highlighting the incredible diversity that we have in front of us! From Riesling to Merlot to Pinot Noir to a Spanish blend, come taste the bounty!

Exploring Spanish Wines

Marlboro - Thursday, June 28 - 5pm to 8pm

Spain, while being the most widely planted wine producing nation, is only third in terms of production. The reason - low yields and wide spacing of the old vines. In addition, the variety of grapes grown in Spain is simply amazing. More importantly, Spanish wines are some of the best value wines being produced anywhere.

Traditionally, Spanish wine makers are non-interventionists. They tend to let the grapes express themselves naturally as opposed to manipulating them in order to achieve a desired, but unnatural, style.

Because we cannot try all the different varietals Spain has to offer we have selected four different wines made from some of the more popular grapes. Thursday's class will include a Rosado (Rose), Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Monastrell.

Please join us on Thursday, June 28th between 5-8pm at our Marlboro location to try these unique and intriguing wines.

Wines of Tuscany 'Italy's Finest'

Marlboro - Thursday, June 21 - 5pm to 8pm

Rich in history, tradition, beautiful vistas, and of course, wonderful cusine, Tuscany is a hot-spot for wine loving tourists worldwide. Located in Central Italy, Tuscany is home to some of the world's most notable wine regions. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are the champions of Sangiovese-based red wines while Vernaccia from San Gimignano is Tuscany's notable white wine varietal.

Capitalizing on the regions hilly topography, producers in Tuscany focus on small production, high quality, and food friendly wines.

Please join us at our Marlboro store on Thursday, June 21st, between 5-8pm to explore the Wines of Tuscany.

Fantastic Summer Wines 'Fantastic Deals'

Hazlet - Thursday, June 21 - 5pm to 8pm

The summer is always so busy with BBQs and fun meals with friends and family. The problem is affording all that delicious wine! Join us this Thursday and taste 2 new whites and 2 new reds that are not only fantastic drinking, they are also fantastic deals! We have a new Pinot Grigio and Montepulciano d'Abruzzi from Italy. We also have two blends from beautiful South Africa, one red and one white. In short, we have your summer party wine covered...

Gruner Veltliner'The New Pinot Grigio?'

Lakewood - Thursday, June 21 - 4pm to 7pm

Although it may be a stretch to think that Gruner Veltliner will rise to the level of popularity that Pinot Grigio has, but consider this -- its various styles, versatility & propensity not to encounter oak barrels should have wine drinkers taking notice. But that's where the commonalities with Pinto Grigio end. Once the challenge is met of pronouncing this grape variety's name, the question of where it comes from presents itself.

Italy?...rarely. Germany?...you're getting warmer. Austria?... Bingo! Austria may be home to Mozart and the Vienna sausage, but it's not exactly the hotbed of popular wine in the United States. But lets face it, Americans love an underdog and that's what Gruner is. Join us on Thursday to sample a line-up of Gruner Veltliner and see for yourself how this underdog performs. There has to be a reason why it is showing up on some of the best restaurant wine lists in America.

A French Connection

Hazlet - Thursday, June 14 - 5pm to 8pm

Or, what you can find slightly off-the-beaten path in four diverse regions

If you like surprises, revel in the unexpected and welcome a bit of adventure, this week's tasting might strike you as a passport to pure pleasure.

We're headed to a cooler climate of Burgundy, a biodynamic (read: organic) winery in Alsace, a lesser-known vineyard at the foothills of the Dentelles in the Southern Rhone Valley, and a tucked-away winery astride the Pyrenees in the Southwest.

Don't think much of merlot? Well, wait till you sip a silky blend of the red-wine grape and a local varietal. Another winemaker in this tasting may stun you with what he does with chardonnay. If most of the rieslings you've thus far encountered come from Germany, one from Alsace is likely to turn your head - and possibly even change your mind about this grape. And grenache tended so close to the border with Spain results in a powerful, concentrated wine unlike others you may have tried from the grape.

So, as you've deduced, our lineup is two whites and two reds, and they span the map of France from northeast to southwest, with a couple of choice pit-stops in between. Stop by The Grotto to taste and chat with Andy Clurfeld, the longtime restaurant and wine critic from The Asbury Park Press who will be pouring this week. Interested in what foods will work with these wines? Andy will be happy to offer you her picks for a most companionable table.

Moving On Up'Portugal?'

Lakewood - Thursday, June 14 - 4pm to 7pm

What country drinks as much wine per capita as France and Italy developed an appellation system 190 years before France did, and is producing some of the best price to quality ratio wines available on the market? The answer is Portugal.

Portugal is synonymous for making outstanding port, and most of the nation's wine production went towards making port. As the demand for port decreased, farmers found themselves with an over abundant amount of grapes. Rather than lose money they decided to use these high quality grapes to make still unfortified wine. As years went by wine makers honed their skill at making great still wines, but there was only one small problem. The grape varieties used to make the world's best ports were all indigenousness Portuguese grape varieties. No U.S consumer was in the market for Touriga Nacional or Tinta Roriz, so these wine were rarely exported. As American consumers became more and more wine adventurous, Portuguese wines slowly crept in the market. Today there is a wide selection of Portuguese wines available and they are becoming more and more popular, but are still far enough off the radar to keep the prices low.

Leap Into Our Challenge 'Find The $50 Napa Cabernet'

Marlboro - Thursday, June 14 - 5pm to 8pm

Can you tell the difference between an expensive bottle of wine and one that's considerably cheaper? Do you consider yourself experienced and knowledgeable enough to be able to identify a premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from other wines that cost $35 and less? Can you even pick out Napa Cab from among the Spanish Tempranillo or Malbec from Argentina?

Hopefully we've peaked your interest! Stop by on Thursday and test your meddle. By the way, the wines will be served concealed or blind (as we say in the biz), so cheating will be virtually impossible. Still up for the challenge... get ready and set for a surprise.

Red Wines of France 'Find Out Why They are What They Are'

Marlboro - Thursday, June 7 - 5pm to 8pm

The Red Wines of France are unknown to many and an enigma to others. With a myriad of growing regions, French Red Wines are likely the most diverse group of wines on the planet. Full immersion is a must if you seek to obtain a better understanding of these wines. At first it may seem a daunting task but fear not, we are here to help!

Please join us at our Marlboro location on Thursday, June 7th, between 5-8pm and we will set you upon the path of self-discovery and true enjoyment of the Red Wines of France

Chablis'Not an Average White Wine'

Lakewood - Thursday, June 7 - 4pm to 7pm

If Chablis conjures up thoughts of a basic white wine that you would order by the glass at some chain restaurant, you are sadly mistaken. Chablis is a wine made of 100% Chardonnay that comes from the village of the same name about a 2 hour drive from Paris. It's technically a part of the Burgundy region, with a cooler climate than its southern cousins. This northern, cooler climate generally yields wines lighter in style and with brighter acidity. Most producers prefer the use of stainless steel over that of oak barrels. Those winemakers who do use oak will limit the amount of new oak since its strong influence can mask the flinty & mineral notes that are often associated with Chablis. Join us on Thursday while we sample 4 wines blind and see if you can pick out the Chablis.

What Dat?

Hazlet - Thursday, June 7 - 5pm to 8pm

Get to know grapes of familiar colors - but intriguingly different flavors

Diversify. Spread your wings. Expand your reach.

Good advice, no matter the situation. It's also spot-on guidance when it comes to wine. Trying new styles, producers and, especially, new-to-you grapes is one of the best ways you can continue to grow your knowledge of wine.

This Thursday, lesser-known grapes will be in the spotlight. Perhaps you've seen the word "monastrell" on the label of a bottle of Spanish red, but drifted back to the security of a familiar cabernet sauvignon. Or looked at a light golden-hued godello, but didn't feel comfortable taking a risk on a grape of a different stripe when a bottle of pinot grigio beckoned right around the corner.

Maybe you've never even heard of tokai friulano. Croatina, uva rara? Wine varietels, a new country or possibly something celestial?

Look at wine as a continually evolving brave new world, and have no worries about coming with us on this exploration. We'll stamp your passport, figuratively, and be your guide to some less-traveled parts of Spain and Italy for this week's swirl-and-sip event.

You might just make a new friend or two in wine

Highlights From a Week In Napa ''California Uncorked'

Lakewood - Thursday, May 31 - 4pm to 7pm

In mid-May, I had the good fortune of spending a wee in the Golden State experiencing wonderful weather, but most importantly sampling Napa Valley wine. It became apparent due to the plentiful sunshine and diverse soils & micro-climates that just about anything grows well in Napa, and grapes are no exception. For years Napa Valley has had a reputation for producing world class wine and from what I experienced, I have to agree. Join us this Thursday to see what some of the original & traditional producers are doing as well as a few trail-blazing new comers have to offer.

Sauvignon Blanc''From East to West'

Hazlet - Thursday, May 31 - 5pm to 8pm

Well, it's here. The heat and humidity that mark New Jersey summers has arrived, and it provides us with the question: What to drink that will quench our thirst yet at the same time please our intellect. I think it's time for another varietal tasting! So, this Thursday we will sample the many joys of the oft maligned Sauvignon Blanc grape. From Sancerre in France to Napa Valley in California, SB has covered the world and as such wears many costumes. Come try some on with us!

The Red Wines of Argentina

Marlboro - Thursday, May 31 - 5pm to 8pm

Wines of the Southern Hemisphere have been steadily gaining popularity over the past few years - none more so than the red wines from Argentina. The wine industry in Argentina has grown so much that they are currently the fifth largest producer of wine in the world. The high altitude vineyards produce wines of distinct and unique character.

From Cabernet Sauvignon to Malbec to some lesser known varietals, the red wines of Argentina are often some of the best quality-to-price ratio wines on the market today.

Please join us on Thursday, May 31st, between 5-8pm to explore the red wines of Argentina.

BBQ Wines'Just in Time for Summer!'

Marlboro - Thursday, May 17 - 5pm to 8pm

Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner and you know what that means...BBQ! The family BBQ, a Memorial Day tradition, is a likely gathering of family and friends to celebrate the official start of the Summer Season. There is no doubt that beer is a perennial favorite but throwing the right wines into the mix can make all the difference.

Join us on Thursday, May 24th between 5-8pm to find the perfect wines to complement your weekend BBQ.

The Real Champagne'Please Stand Up'

Lakewood - Thursday, May 24 - 4pm to 7pm

Champagne, by definition, is a sparkling wine that only comes from the Champagne region of France. The bubbles come as a result of a second fermentation that occurs in the bottle, trapping the CO2. Only 3 grape varieties are permitted to be used in the production of Champagne, 2 of which are red -- Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier & Chardonnay. Ok...ok, enough about the technical information, but as you can see, real Champagne represents a narrow band of sparkling wine. There are many look-a-likes & imposters (eg Cava & Prosecco), but there is only one Champagne. Can you identify the imposters from the real McCoy? You will have a chance this Thursday to do just that as we blind taste 4 sparkling wines. Off course, only one will be Champagne. Hope to see you there

BBQ Wines'Just in Time for Summer!'

Hazlet - Thursday, May 24 - 5pm to 8pm

Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner and you know what that means...BBQ! The family BBQ, a Memorial Day tradition, is a likely gathering of family and friends to celebrate the official start of the Summer Season. There is no doubt that beer is a perennial favorite but throwing the right wines into the mix can make all the difference.

Join us on Thursday, May 24th between 5-8pm to find the perfect wines to complement your weekend BBQ.

Old World v. New World'And Don't Forget the Food!'

Hazlet - Thursday, May 17 - 5pm to 8pm

Looking for the right wines to serve during the Memorial Day Weekend festivities? Looking for the right foods to partner with those perfect wines?

With Scott Reiner sniffing and swilling his way around wine country in California this week, we're bringing in Andrea "Andy" Clurfeld, longtime wine and restaurant columnist for The Asbury Park Press, to serve forth samples of wines that just might fit your bill of fare over the long holiday weekend.

Andy will be adhering to the principles of her "Match Point" wine-and-food pairing columns: Wine and food are partners at the table - you can have one without the other, but they're always at their best together.

On Thursday, come sample two whites - one a vivacious New World Torrontes from Mendoza, Argentina, and the other an Old World favorite Vouvray from the Loire Valley in France. What's the right table partner for these white wines? Andy will offer a recipe for a sensational spread-cum-dip that's easy to whip up.

Two red wines also will be on tap in this New vs. Old showdown - a fruity, mineral-strong Nebbiolo blend from the Piedmont in Italy representing the Old World and a claret from California's Napa Valley with lots of juice and a sure shot of acidity. Andy's got a recipe for these reds for you, too, and you don't have to think long and hard to guess it centers around steak on the grill.

So come and join the taste-off, meet and chat with Andy, and pick up recipes that will help you celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in style

Exploring Sauvignon Blanc 'Just in Time for the Weather'

Lakewood - Thursday, May 17 - 4pm to 7pm

Sauvignon Blanc originated in the Loire Valley of France. The purest expression of the Sauvignon Blanc grape is found in France, in the Loire Valley (Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume) and Bordeaux. However, it also make superb wines in New Zealand, California (where it is sometimes called fumé blanc), Australia, South Africa, and Chile. Sauvignon Blanc run the gamut of flavors, styles, and varies in acid content. With the weather getting warmer it is a great time to step into the many styles of Sauvignon Blanc.

California Cabs and Red Blends'Discovery The Difference'

Marlboro - Thursday, May 17 - 5pm to 8pm

For most wine lovers California Cabernet is the variety of choice when it comes to domestically produced wines. Big, rich and powerful, California Cabernet offers a magical vinous experience. The wines evoke memories of trips to California wine county, the beauty and majesty of her estates, and the experiences with loved ones and cherished friends.

However...many forget that California produces world quality Red Blends as well. Replicating the style of many of Bordeaux's finest wines, California wine makers are increasingly focusing on the production of Red Blends that offer an amazing level of complexity and nuance often missing amongst the singularity of California Cabernet.

Please join us on Thursday, May 17th between 5-8pm to discover (or rediscover) and compare the world of California Cabernet and California Red Blends.

The Many Faces of Riesling 'Sweet to Dry and More!'

Marlboro - Thursday, May 10 - 5pm to 8pm

It can be said that some of the greatest sweet wine made on Planet Earth comes from the noble Riesling grape. Who can deny this claim when one encounters a great German Eiswein from Donnhoff, or a late-harvest vendage tardive from the likes of Zind-Humbrecht in Alsace? That being said, Riesling is a grape of many guises. It runs the gamut of being incredibly sweet, bone dry, and everywhere in between. In the wine world, one usually classifies a wine as dry, medium-dry (or slightly sweet), or sweet. Come join us this Thursday as we take a peek at the many faces of Riesling & discuss its amazing versatility with food.

Brown Bag'n Brunello 'Can You Find It?'

Lakewood - Thursday, May 10 - 4pm to 7pm

Brunello is the greatest interpretation of the Sangiovese grape, not rivaled by any of its cousins. This clone of Sangiovese, called Sangiovese Grosso, is bigger, richer, more tannic and age-worthy than any of its other permutations. A producer like Biondi-Santi, for example, fashions wine unapproachable in its first decade while easily developing for a century. No wonder collectors from around the globe gobble this stuff up, pay over $100 a bottle and place it next to their First Growth Bordeaux in their wine cellars. Do you think you can pick the Brunello out of a line-up of its peers..., blind? We will "brown bag" 4 examples of Sangiovese from Italy. One Chianti, Rosso di Montepulciano & Sangiovese IGT. It's your job to pick out the Brunello. Good Luck!

Pinot Grigio 'A Fan Favorite'

Hazlet - Thursday, May 10 - 5pm to 8pm

Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular wines in the country. People love it all year long and with all types of food, or without... The problem is that ever since PG has become a 'category', it has, more and more often, become an uninteresting wine. That does not mean, however, that good PG does not exist! Join us this Thursday from 5-8pm and taste some fantastic examples of this oft bastardized grape!

Pinot Noir'Heir to the Throne?'

Marlboro - Thursday, May 3 - 5pm to 8pm

While Cabernet Sauvignon may be considered King of the Noble Grapes there is little doubt that Pinot Noir is the Prince and Heir to the Throne.

Combining grace and class, Pinot Noir at its pinnacle, is simply incomparable.

Please join us on Thursday May 3rd between 5-8pm to discover the joys of Pinot Noir.

Think Pink 'Rose Baby'

Lakewood - Thursday, May 3 - 4pm to 7pm

As the temperatures rise, it's quite refreshing to grab a cold beverage to quench your thirst, right? Why not reach for a Rose? No, not the sweet pink stuff from California accidentially made (and actually almost thrown out) in the early 1970's and popularly known as White Zinfandel. We're talking about the crisp, dry, yet fruity wine that comes in an array pink hues from around the globe. Many of the world's top wine growing regions fashion these food friendly wines, but it's hard to argue that France is at the top of the heap. Come join us on Thursday to explore the southern region of France and see why Rose should be a staple drink for everyone year round.

Reisling'It's Not Just Sweet'

Hazlet - Thursday, May 3 - 5pm to 8pm

So much is loved of the sweet Rieslings of Germany, and rightly so, but when the weather gets warmer I find that the dry Germans are too often overlooked. This Thursday we are going to jump head first into the world of German Trockens. Trocken is dry in German. You will discover why these wines are so food friendly. You will revel in their sheer drinkability.

Think Pink 'Rose Baby'

Marlboro - Thursday, April 26 - 5pm to 8pm

As summer draws near and the temperatures rises, it's quite refreshing to grab a cold beverage to quench your thirst, right? Why not reach for a Rose? No, not the sweet pink stuff that was accidentally made (and almost discarded) in the early 1970's which became popularly known as White Zinfandel. We're talking about the crisp, dry, yet fruity wine that comes in an array pink hues from around the globe. Many of the world's top wine growing regions fashion these food friendly wines, but arguably France is at the top of the heap. Come join us on Thursday to explore and see why Rose should be a staple drink for the spring and summer months.

Oak and Wine 'Wine and Oak'

Hazlet - Thursday, Arpil 26 - 5pm to 8pm

It has been a while since we looked at the effect of oak on wine. Summer is fast approaching and the eye looks towards the whites of the season. Many times summer points to crisp, refreshing whites with no oak. Often, however, the menu calls for a white that has seen some oak. This Thursday from 5-8 we will taste 4 wines that are summer fun friendly: 1 with no oak, 2 with some and 1 with full on new oak intervention. This will be fun for the beginners and experts alike!

Classic Italian Wine Types 'Much more than Bolla, Ruffino or Santa Margherita'

Lakewood - Thursday, April 26 - 4pm to 7pm

Year in and year out, Italy battles France for the top spot as he world's biggest win producing nation. The Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has granted over 350 grape varieties "authorized" status and documents more than 500 other varieties in circulation. This can be overwhelming to the wine connoisseur, let alone the novice.

Regardless of your wine drinking status, most Americans are at least familiar with the following quartet of Italian wines - Pinot Grigio, Chianti, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and Valpolicella. Thanks to producers like Bolla, Ruffino, Santa Margherita and Citra, most of us have at least once in our lives tasted these types of wines. And although we carry all of these mass produced and marketed producers, it's the small artisan wineries that the Wine Academy prides itself on finding and introducing into your lives. Come join us on Thursday and expose yourself to true artisan Pinot Grigio, Chianti, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and Valpolicella. It will be worth the trip..

Syrah v. Shiraz 'What's in a Name?'

Marlboro - Thursday, April 19 - 5pm to 8pm

Syrah or Shiraz (as it is commonly referred to) is grown throughout the world. Wines produced from this grape and hearty and powerful. Whether standing alone, or in a blend, some of the world's greatest wines are derived from this grape.

Please stop by on Thursday, April 19th between 5-8pm to learn more about this international powerhouse.

To Blend or Not to Blend'that is the question'

Lakewood - Thursday, April 19 - 4pm to 7pm

To blend or not to blend,...that's the question. Since humans accidentally stumbled upon grape fermentation and wine around 6000 BC, winemakers have wrestled with the idea of making wine with one variety or by blending multiple grape types. In other words, does the sum of the parts argument trump the idea that a single variety expresses "terroir" or a sense of place better, thus resulting a better wine?

If you look around at some of the world's most prestigious wines, it's not hard to make an argument for both. For example, single varietal wines like Brunello di Montalcino and red & white Burgundy can match blended wines such as Chateauneuf du Pape and Bordeaux in prestige and collect-ability. So this Thursday, we are going to plant ourselves squarely in the state of California and taste some of the most unique blended red wines the Golden state has to offer. Since most of you are familiar with the single varietal wines from California, why not stop by and tell us which type you like better?

While shiner is slang for a black eye and also an excellent beer from Texas, when it comes to wine, a shiner is a bottle without a label.

They're Heeere!'Rose Summer has Begun'- Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, Arpil 19 - 5pm to 8pm

The weather is getting better! I can see it in your eyes, as well as in your dress, it is time to start getting ready for summer!!! How do I get ready for summer? Rose wine. Forget everything you know about rose wine if that has anything to do with white Zinfandel. I am writing about dry, fruit forward, food friendly and refreshing roses of Europe. Sure, there are some excellent American examples, and we'll taste them soon, but this Thursday from 5-8pm we are tasting our first arrivals of the 2011 European roses, and one Italian rose from last year! Join us and get in on the rose party before all your friends.

California's Great White 'it's not just chardonnay'- Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, Arpil 12 - 5pm to 8pm

Summer is just around the corner, and all I can think about are the glories of white wines! California is justly famous for her Chardonnays, but her bounty doesn't end there. Stop by on Thursday between 5 and 8 and see what our California friends have up their sleeves... welcome to the party!

Wine Secrets 'what exactly is a shiner'

Lakewood - Thursday, April 12 - 4pm to 7pm

While shiner is slang for a black eye and also an excellent beer from Texas, when it comes to wine, a shiner is a bottle without a label.

Have you ever tasted a wine that you have never heard of and thought to yourself, 'Wow, this is really good. I wonder who makes this and where did it come from?' It happens all of the time in the wine world, and many times it's because you have encountered a shiner.

A shiner is a wine that sometimes comes from a well-known winemaker or producer from a highly esteemed region or vineyard, where an unknown label is used. This wine sells for much less than the other wines from said producer or region. In addition, production is very small and the wines are not made every year so availability is often fleeting. The producers and growers guard their anonymity like Fort Knox guards gold - as to not cloud prestige from their principle wines and devalue them. That being said, there are good shiners and there are bad shiners. Wine Academy prides itself on finding the good ones by closely working with our suppliers and giving our customers those wines that over deliver quality and style. Don't believe? Join us on Thursday and we're confident we will make believers out of all of you.

Guys and Women in Wine 'Michael & Dave, Nicole & Celia'

Marlboro - Thursday, April 12 - 5pm to 8pm

Last week I watched as you all ooh'd and ah'd, some of you even swooned. You loved Matt Dees, and you lusted after his 'Jonata' and 'The Hilt' wines. I almost ran out of his wines last Thursday, but don't worry we ordered more! This week I want to introduce you to a couple of friends, and a guy and a woman I hope to meet; Michael Trujillo, Dave Phinney, Nicole Abiouness and Celia Welch. I couldn't fly them in from California and France, they are all really - really busy, but I will share their resumes with you... the wines!

Michael Trujillo learned his craft at Sequoia Grove under family friend Jim Allen. After college his most amazing opportunity was to work along the side of the great Andre Tchelistcheff, which defined Michael's wine style. Michael credits Andre and Tony Soter as his greatest influence to making great wine. These days, Michael's a busy guy. He started his own Karl Lawrence label in 1991, and became the President and Director of Winemaking at Sequoia Grove. Today Michael oversees all winemaking operations for both Sequoia Grove Winery as well as his Karl Lawrence Cellars.

While an aspiring attorney in college, Dave Phinney traveled to Italy and was so inspired by the vineyards, the wines and the artistry of the process, that he decided his dream was to be a winemaker instead. Phinney got his start by working harvests at Robert Mondavi and Opus One. To continue his search for knowledge, Phinney went to work at Whitehall Lane where he trained under winemaker Dean Sylvester. Dave has since honed and applied his unique skills and understanding of how to nurture the most complex, aromatic and full bodied wines to his own labels, among them - Orin Swift, which include such critically acclaimed, lux-boutique cult wines as The Prisoner, Saldo and projects such as Stanton, Soda Canyon and Cult.

For younger winemakers trying to make it in Napa, it's a rough and tough road. Nicole Abiouness started producing her own Abiouness sangiovese in 1999, followed by pinot noir in 2000; she now makes 1,000 cases of ultra-boutique wine. A muscular 5-foot-10-inches tall, Nicole sports a lower-back tattoo of a lotus flower, the same image that graces her wine label. She started her wine career at the cellars of Swanson Vineyards in Oakville, California. Later she worked at vineyards in Australia and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in France. Abiouness' wines have won devoted followers and are served at high-end restaurants like Union Square Café and Milos in New York.

Napa Valley's most admired winemaker, Celia Welch (formerly Celia Masyczek) is a cabernet specialist. Welch makes wine for several wineries, including some of Napa's most sought - after lux - boutique labels such as Hollywood & Vine, D.R. Stephens, Scarecrow and others. Scarecrow stands out as one of her biggest achievements. Founded in 2002 by photographer Bret Lopez and stylist Mimi DeBlasio, the winery's debut Scarecrow Cabernet sold out briskly, and subsequent vintages have all sold in a matter of days and hours.

Matt Dees visits Marlboro 'winemaker; Jonata Wines of California

Marlboro - Thursday, April 5 - 5pm to 8pm

Join us as we host the winemaker from the sister property to Napa Valley's Cult Winery 'Screaming Eagle'. Matt Dees, is the man behind Jonata Wines, the Santa Ynez property has redefined Southern California's vineyard landscape and the alchemy of winemaking. Since Jonata's debut releases it's been one of the most impressive newcomers in the newest world of wine. With the experience of working with Michel Rolland, and his success with vintages at Staglin in Napa and Craggy Range in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand... Matt brings it!

He's also showing us his just released newest wines 'The Hilt Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.' He made less than 200 cases. This is a tasting you cannot miss! You 'gotta meet this rule-bending winemaker. Sip, taste, Rock and Roll!

The Unusual Suspects 'a California line up'

Lakewood - Thursday, April 5 - 4pm to 7pm

For the past few weeks we have tasked you with finding a particular wine in a line-up of other wines served in a brown bag to hide their identities. In the industry, as you already know, we refer to this as serving wines blind. We're going to play with another blind tasting. But this time, we will give you the identity of each of the wines poured:

2009 Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

2009 Ferrari-Carano Sonoma County Merlot

2007 Kenwood 'Jack London Vineyard' Cabernet Sauvignon

2009 Dashe Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

Since you have honed your wine tasting skills over the course of the last month, and most of you know the difference between a California Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, it should be a piece of cake to pick out all of the wines, right? See you on Thursday. Good luck!

'the holidays and great wine' - Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, Arpil 5 - 5pm to 8pm

Passover commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. In modern times observant Passover celebrants were destined to lackluster wine with which to celebrate a joyous holiday. No longer! All over the world one can today find brilliant kosher wine, including kosher for Passover wine. Not only is the quality now there, but the diversity of styles rivals that of the entire wine world. Join us this Thursday to discover the many options you have with which to celebrate your holiday.

'Valley of the Cellars...

Marlboro - Thursday, March 29 - 5pm to 8pm

Not far from lake Garda, located northwest of the elegant Roman town of Verona rests Valpolicella. The region is made up of a myriad of lush valleys that spread like fingers from an open hand as they push out from the Mountains of Lessini. Named by early Romans 'val polis cellae', 'the valley of many cellars.' Valpolicella is a place of natural beauty, culture and history, a place with picture postcard-like misty mountains and winding streams riddled with historic ruins second only to Rome itself.

While the velvety and concentrated Amarone is the rock star of the Valpolicella region, all the red players are delicious with flashes of spicy, tart and sensuous dark fruit flavors. Thick-skinned Corvina and the aromatic Rondinella are the two grapes that are at the heart of the production and are the base for most wines, Molinara is the third grape in the Valpolicella mix. Classifications for red wines, in order of prestige, include the simple Valpolicella, Valpolicella Classico, and my favorite Valpolicella Ripasso. Let's share some of these absolutely spectacular reds this Thursday, and for a little while... imagine ourselves in the Valley of many Cellars.

Menage a Trois/The Show

All Stores - Wednesday, March 28 - 4pm to 7pm

Who said three is a crowd? This week Wine Academy is going to break the rules and welcome four great wines. We are featuring three or trois wines from Menage a Trios winery. On top of all that fun, we are also tasting The Show Pinot Noir. This wine is collaboration between ironically three wine makers. The three thieves consist of wine maker Joel Gott, Charles Bieler, and Roger Scomegna. Feel free to bring your friends.

Beautiful Bordeaux'

Lakewood - Thursday, March 29 - 4pm to 7pm

The 1855 Classification of the red wines of the Bordeaux is the most famous and influential wine classification in existence. It was conceived, on the request of Napoleon III, for the 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris that was organized to showcase the best of French wines. The leading brokers of Bordeaux were asked to create a list of the best wines in the region grouped by quality into 5 levels. The classification was broken down from first growth to fifth growth, and everything else was just basic Bordeaux. Come in this Thursday and see if you can spot the classified Bordeaux.

Four Italians...'sip, taste and discover'

Marlboro - Thursday, March 1 - 5pm to 8pm

An Aussie and two Italians were stranded on an island for days. One morning a seemingly empty bottle washed ashore. When they pulled the cork, a genie rushed out. The genie was grateful to be free, and granted each one a wish. One Italian said, 'I wish to be on a beach surrounded by beautiful girls.' Whoosh... the Italian found himself in Hawaii in the midst of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit shoot; the second, 'wished to be in a casino with piles of cash.' Whoosh, and off he went to the Borgata with millions in chips. The Australian could not decide what he wanted. After a long pause and a sigh he sobbed, 'Gee, it's very lonely on this island. I wish my mates were back!'
Finding and enjoying wine is a bit like the (hopefully funny) story. You wish for new wines, find some and love them but sometimes you're overwhelmed with choice and decisions. You throw your arms up - give in, and start drinking the old, familiar wines you were trying to get away from in the first place. We're all in the same boat. With so many great wines and delicious choices to be made, 'where do you start?' You start by tasting, tasting and tasting - find your style; discover why you enjoy particular wines and not some others. Tasting is the wish, and discovering new wine you love - is the wish granted. Join us Thursday and we'll sip, wish and discover not two, but four Italian reds.

In Store Tasting - Leap Into Our Challenge... 'find the $50 Napa Cabernet'

Lakewood - Thursday, March 1 - 4pm to 7pm

Can you tell the difference between an expensive bottle of wine and one that's considerably cheaper? Do you consider yourself experienced and knowledgeable enough to be able to identify a premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from other wines that cost $35 and less? Can you even pick out Napa Cab from among the Spanish Tempranillo or Malbec from Argentina?
Hopefully we've peaked your interest! Stop by on Thursday and test your meddle. By the way, the wines will be served concealed or blind (as we say in the biz), so cheating will be virtually impossible. Still up for the challenge... get ready and set for a surprise.

In Store Tasting - To Oak or Not Too Oak - Marlboro

Hazlet - Thursday, February 16 - 5pm to 8pm

It has been a long time since I've discussed the effect of oak to wine. With the amazing number of new customers coming to the new Marlboro store, and this the second wine class in Marlboro, I think it's a good time to revisit oak and style.
Winemakers use oak in the process of creating wine for many reasons; from oxygenation to imparting tannin and structure. Let's taste three wines this Thursday that use oak to achieve a different effect and compare them to a fourth bottle that avoids oak. Which style do you prefer and why? Show up and find out.

In Store Tasting - What's In A Name... - Lakewood

Lakewood - Thursday, February 16 - 4pm to 7pm

Apparently a lot if you are an European country producing wine and a member of the European Union (EU). Unlike non-member countries (eg US, Australia, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, etc.) where the grape varieties are in fact the wine, EU countries label their wine by the registered place name, or appellation of origin.
The place name indicates the wine's grape varieties, growing and winemaking methods. For example, did you know that Pouilly Fuisse is an area in France within the larger region of Burgundy that's made entirely of Chardonnay? Or that Chianti Classico is the smaller but more esteemed area within Chianti whose wines are mostly Sangiovese, and don't have to be made entirely of the Sangiovese variety? These are some of the topics we will delve into this Thursday.
Be there or be square!

In Store Tasting - The Mighty Merlot...- Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, February 16 - 5pm to 8pm

Remember 'Sideways' the successful, best picture nominated road movie with its romantic twists and focus on wine. Did it affect your drinking habits? For some it did. The character Miles, played by Paul Giamatti, was narrow in his enological scope. Throughout the movie he gives the Merlot grape vitriolic rants that are the funniest scenes in the film. Remember this line; Miles Raymond talking to Jack: No, if anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any (explitive) Merlot!
The facts are that Merlot is delicious. It remains a very sought after bottle of red wine. Whether it's a fat, delicious bottle from California or a lighter, structured and tannic effort from long Island, a French inspired import from Chile or the grandaddy of them all - a Bordeaux, Merlot can rock. In the world of great red wine the very luxurious and rare Petrus is all Merlot. Well made Merlot boasts dark purple colors as well as a sweet perfume of mocha, caramel, black cherries, black currants and earth. It is a deep, beautifully textured and rich wine. Pure Merlot can be full bodied not to mention elegant and satisfying. So, get vertical join us on Thursday, and stand up for your inherent right to drink, love and enjoy the mighty Merlot.

In Store Tasting - Great Ports 'the distinctive fortified wine of Portugal - Lakewood

Lakewood - Thursday, February 2 - 4pm to 7pm

Port is the fortified wine that comes from one, and only one place... Portugal. Although the term has been 'borrowed' from outside of Europe in places like Australia and California, these are mere imposters or look-a-likes. They bare some resemblance in style to their Portuguese brethren, but they lack the pedigree and distinction that places these wines in esteemed restaurants and wine cellars world-wide.
There are three unique and completely different styles. There's the sweet and fruity garnet colored, sweet and fruity brown hued and the rare golden or 'white' versions to choose from. Come and join us on Thursday and get the skinny on Port.

In Store Tasting - Chips and Champagne...'perfect food and wine for the perfect game' - Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, February 2 - 5pm to 8pm

The chips, dips, the veggie tray, pizza, wine for chili and chili dogs, Buffalo wings, steaks, ribs, fried chicken and more...
Super Bowl demands we line up every guilty, fun food we love. While pouring beer with these wonderful, crazy foods has a long run with 'Game-Day' more Super Game-Day crews are choosing to enjoy the event sipping wine. But which wines can tackle these amazing bites?
Sparklers are perfect with salty, greasy potato chips and Champagne is amazing! It's hard to beat crisp potato chips with a perfectly chilled Chardonnay too. Sparkling Italian Prosecco with salt & vinegar chips or chips and salsa with Cava or versatile California bubbles and guacamole... For those opting for the healthy veggie plate and creamy dips, a fruitful Pinot Noir, a crisp Pinot Gris or Grigio, Chardonnay or a fresh Sauvignon Blanc is a great match. If slices of pizza are on your lap, a bold California Zinfandel or an elegant Chianti or Sangiovese based red will make you wonder why in the world you keep drinking beer with such a perfect food... Mangiare baby!
If you've got a pot of chili grab a glass of a Syrah or Shiraz or a delicious Chinon from the Loire in France to add balance to the intense blend of beans, tomatoes and spice. Buffalo wings, usually served with a side of gooey and chunky blue cheese are an every game day staple. But, which wine can handle the heat and spice of this messy and blue, super portable food? Consider a Spanish red; Garnacha or Rioja will elevate the common wing to a gourmet feast. If Steak, burgers or ribs are on your menu, then score big with a California Cabernet Sauvignon. Fried Chicken anyone? A white Bordeaux, but an ice cold beer is absolutely OK, no offense...

Left hand Brewing Co.

Lakewood - Monday, February 6 - 5pm to 7pm

Hazlet - Tuesday, February 7 - 5pm to 8pm


Being a left handed craft beer drinker, I have an affinity for this brewery. I always said that lefties will one day take over the world. After finishing some research of the brewery, I discovered the name 'Left Hand' honors the leader of the native Arapaho Indian tribe that once occupied most of Colorado: Chief Niwot. The name Niwot translates to left hand! Oh well, my dream of a brewery run entirely by left handed employees may have been crushed, but the beer is absolutely fantastic.
Left Hand Brewery's respect for sustainable agriculture is evident in their 'going green' effort. They use solar panels to power most of their facility; encourage staff to cycle to work; minimize the use of water wherever possible, and also recycle nearly everything. Even recycling the spent grain and organic material that remains after the brewing process into livestock feed. Raise a pint, in your left hand of course, and celebrate their great efforts and great beer... cheers.

In Store Tasting - Languedoc- Lakewood

Lakewood - Thursday, January 19 - 4pm to 7pm

Languedoc is a picturesque wine region located in the South of France, nestled in-between Spain and the very well-known Rhone Valley. The region has a rich history of producing wines, but hasn't always received the attention or accolades it deserves. Until recent years, known more for the quantity of wine produced rather than its quality, the Languedoc's wine production exceeds that of all the regions in France combined. With so many, almost lost, vineyard sites tucked away throughout the shrub laden hills and valleys hiding old vines of Mourvedre, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault many at 50, 60 and 75 years of age, young winemakers were fast to realize the incredible potential of the region and worked hard to change that perception.

A new generation seized the opportunity to reduce the vineyard yields and implement modern technique focusing more on quality and style. The wines are now representative of the hard work and a collective new found direction, with styles that vary from delicious little sippers to massive wines with great structure and longevity... all hidden gems offering great value! Join us on Thursday; sip, taste and discover your hidden gem.

Victory Brewing

Lakewood - Monday, January 16 - 5pm to 7pm

Hazlet - Tuesday, January 17 - 5pm to 8pm

The story of Victory Brewing starts on a school bus in 1973 when fifth-graders Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski stepped aboard, on their way to a new school and quickly became friends. The two have been friends ever since and eventually both got into home brewing.
The friendly rivalry to produce the best beer pushed each other to hone their brewing skills. In 1996 they decided to put it all on the line and opened up Victory in Downingtown, Pa. Victory is all about quality beers and is one of the few breweries to use whole flower hops as opposed to cheaper less flavorful pelletized hops. For that reason alone you should come and try their beers.

In Store Tasting - In Focus Series 2012 part one...- Lakewood

Lakewood - Thursday, January 12 - 4pm to 7pm

Domenico Slections is a boutique importer that seeks out smaller wineries that make wines that are pure and truly reflective of their region using local indigenous grape varieties. Italy is their current focus with attention to producers from Friuli, Piedmont, Veneto, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Campania and Basilicata. Partners, Jeff Mazen and Terry Hughes are the driving forces behind the Domenico operation.
Their goal is to find small, preferably organic producers and bring them to a market that respects and appreciates hand crafted wines. Who says you have to pay a fortune for meticulously made, terroir driven wine that tastes good. Come join us on Thursday and discover some of the unique wines that the Domenico Selections portfolio has to offer.

In Store Tasting - Valley of the Cellars... - Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, January 12 - 5pm to 8pm

Monte Lessini
Not far from lake Garda, located northwest of the elegant Roman town of Verona rests Valpolicella. The region is made up of a myriad of lush valleys that spread like fingers from an open palm as they push out from the Mountains of Lessini. Named by early Romans 'val polis cellae', 'the valley of many cellars', Valpolicella is a place of natural beauty, culture and history, a place with picture postcard-like misty mountains and winding streams riddled with historic ruins second only to Rome itself.
While the velvety and concentrated Amarone is the rock star of the Valpolicella region, all the red players are delicious with flashes of spicy, tart and sensuous dark fruit flavors. Thick-skinned Corvina and the aromatic Rondinella are the two grapes that are at the heart of the production and are the base for most wines, Molinara is the third grape in the Valpolicella mix. Classifications for red wines, in order of prestige, include the simple Valpolicella, Valpolicella Classico, and my favorite Valpolicella Ripasso. Let's share some of these absolutely spectacular reds this Thursday, and for a little while imagine ourselves in the Valley of many Cellars.

Flying Dog Brewery

Lakewood - Monday, January 9 - 4pm to 7pm

Hazlet - Tuesday, January 10 - 5pm to 8pm

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. Flying Dog Brewery began in Aspen Colorado as a small brew pub and quickly gained popularity. The small hand crafted beers pushed the envelope of what a beer can be. With beers like their Gonzo Imperial Porter which pays homage to famed American writer Hunter S. Thompson and art work by Ralph Steadman, how could you go wrong? These beers are as edgy and in your face as the pop icons they draw inspiration from. Remember, 'Good people drink good beer.'

In Store Tasting - Holiday Wines - 'Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles' - Hazlet & Lakewood

Hazlet - Thursday, December 29 - 5pm to 8pm

Lakewood - Thursday, December 29 - 4pm to 7pm


It's that exciting time of year when we all think about sparkling wine. Isn't it a shame that it takes New Year's Eve or some other meaningful celebration for people to drink sparkling wine? When you consider these types of wines and their versatility, it's astounding that we don't drink them every day. Come to think of it, name a better well-rounded beverage to enjoy with a meal. Whether it's served before, during or after, it always shines.
Among its many aliases, such as Champagne, Cava and Prosecco, it also fits every budget. Where can you find a quality, hand-crafted drink that starts at ten dollars and has all the versatility of a Swiss Army knife? At Wine Academy, of course! Hope to see you this Thursday between 4:00pm and 7:00pm.

FREE Engraving - Lakewood

Lakewood - Saturday, December 17 - 1pm to 4pm


With the Holidays just around the corner, why not give a gift with a message that lasts forever. Come in this Saturday and purchase a bottle of Gentleman Jack, Woodford Reserve, or Jack Daniels Single Barrel and have your bottle engraved on the spot. We understand at this time of the year schedules are hectic and your time is valuable. If you don't have the luxury of waiting, purchase the bottle ahead of Saturday, just fill out an engraving request and we will take care of the rest, and pick up your engraved bottle at your convenience.

In Store Tasting - Holiday Wines - Taste the Top - Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, December 15 - 5pm to 8pm


All of us would like to thank all of our friends old and new and invite you to share this week's class with us discussing hedonism. By that I mean we'll focus on four wines that have been very popular with you guys. We've enjoyed every conversation and discussion about the style and origins of the wines you love; let's continue the discussion. We'd like to talk about why everyone loves them so much, but we'd also like you to tell us what moves you about wine.
Hedonist or not, what is it about certain wines and styles that are just so universally sexy and pleasurable?
Let's not forget your holiday dinners and the holiday gift list, these wines will help make your holiday tables and gift giving... wine perfect!

In Store Tasting - Wines for the Holidays! - Lakewood

Lakewood - Thursday, December 15 - 4pm to 7pm

In lieu of doing our weekly Thursday wine class as we enter the Holiday Season, we will instead do wine focus events in the up-coming weeks. This will entail sampling four wines, discussing their merits, style, origins, grapes & possible food pairings. Here at the Wine Academy we understand that your "to do" lists are long this time of the year and that a class may not fit into your busy schedules. On the other hand, gifts need to be bought & why not make wine that perfect gift? By joining us on Thursday you will be able to sample unique wines with "soul" and arm yourself with information that shows you put thought into that special gift. Happy Holidays!bright, fruitful wine and colorful art on the labels with the beginning of our holiday season. Uncork the holidays, celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau day!

In Store Tasting - Wines of the Southern Rhone...'Warm, Rich Reds' - Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, December 8 - 5pm to 8pm


The wines of the Southern Rhone Valley in France share one very interesting characteristic: because of the warm growing climate and winemaking styles, the wines produced work equally well with Summer and Winter foods! The wines can be medium or full bodied, but their structure works so well with all types of food and moods.

This Thursday we will try four wines from this dynamic valley, three made from Grenache (the workhorse grape of the region) and one from a funny little grape called Counoise. Bring your cookbooks and notebooks and start pairing wine to your holiday menus...
Welcome to the party.

In Store Tasting - Wines for the Holidays! - Lakewood

Lakewood - Thursday, December 8 - 4pm to 7pm

In lieu of doing our weekly Thursday wine class as we enter the Holiday Season, we will instead do wine focus events in the up-coming weeks. This will entail sampling four wines, discussing their merits, style, origins, grapes & possible food pairings. Here at the Wine Academy we understand that your "to do" lists are long this time of the year and that a class may not fit into your busy schedules. On the other hand, gifts need to be bought & why not make wine that perfect gift? By joining us on Thursday you will be able to sample unique wines with "soul" and arm yourself with information that shows you put thought into that special gift. Happy Holidays!bright, fruitful wine and colorful art on the labels with the beginning of our holiday season. Uncork the holidays, celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau day!

In Store Tasting - Sweet Ports of Portugal Tasting...'The Sweetest Thing' - Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, December 1 - 5pm to 8pm

Port wine may be the perfect wine for New Jersey! It is sweet, fortified and most important of all, irresistibly delicious. To make it better, there are many different styles to explore! White, Tawny, Ruby, LBV, Vintage, etc... Join us this Thursday from 5-8pm and try 4 styles of Port. Everyone will find one style they love the most, but most will adore them all!
Welcome to the party.

In Store Tasting - Wines for the Holidays! - Lakewood

Lakewood - Thursday, December 1 - 4pm to 7pm

In lieu of doing our weekly Thursday wine class as we enter the Holiday Season, we will instead do wine focus events in the up-coming weeks. This will entail sampling four wines, discussing their merits, style, origins, grapes & possible food pairings. Here at the Wine Academy we understand that your "to do" lists are long this time of the year and that a class may not fit into your busy schedules. On the other hand, gifts need to be bought & why not make wine that perfect gift? By joining us on Thursday you will be able to sample unique wines with "soul" and arm yourself with information that shows you put thought into that special gift. Happy Holidays!bright, fruitful wine and colorful art on the labels with the beginning of our holiday season. Uncork the holidays, celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau day!

Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner
A Wine Dilemma?

Thursday, November 24

If you think about it, there is more wine sold for Thanksgiving Day dinner than any other meal of the year. Choosing a single wine for this occasion can be quite a challenge. For starters, turkey offers up a moist dark meat, drier white meat and for the adventurous, the giblets (organs). All vary in taste, flavor & texture. Then you have the multitude of side dishes that run the gamut of styles. These styles include sweet (yams, sweet potatoes, applesauce, cornbread), tart/acidic (cranberry sauce) & savory (buttery mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing, roasted root vegetables) characteristics. With so much potentially happening on each plate, it's no wonder that finding the perfect wine is difficult if not downright impossible. Come join us on Thursday and let The Wine Academy help you navigate this wine minefield that we call Thanksgiving Day dinner. No one wants to see Thanksgiving blown up before their very own eyes!

Beaujolais Nouveau Arrives!!

Thursday, November 17

Beaujolais Nouveau is the young red wine made from Gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais region of France. Beaujolais Nouveau is all about freshness. It's the first French wine of the year's harvest, and by French law, the wine may be released at 12:01 am on the third Thursday of November. There are many Beaujolais Nouveau related festivals held in the Beaujolais region, and all around the world. Here in the U.S., beginning with Thanksgiving, we've come to associate the bright, fruitful wine and colorful art on the labels with the beginning of our holiday season. Uncork the holidays, celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau day!

In Store Tasting - Holiday Wines - Family, Food & Fun - Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, November 10 - 5pm to 8pm

This Thursday we'll start our series, 'Holiday wines... family, food & fun'. We'll talk about the wonderful foods we all plan to enjoy, and together we'll find the right wine, new and different wine, wines that will work with your menu and make your holiday table delicious, fun and memorable. So join us this Thursday and allow us to make your holiday gathering a truly wonderful experience!

In Store Tasting - Camarena Tequila - Lakewood

Hazlet - Wednesday - November 10 - 4pm to 7pm

Not all Tequilas are created equal. Familia Camarena Tequila is made from 100% blue agave. This family run distillery has been making tequila for six generations, using only traditional methods. Their passion for tequila shows in every bottle.

In Store Tasting - The Southern Rhone Valley - Lakewood

Hazlet - Thursday, November 11 - 4pm to 7pm

The Rhone Valley is located in southeastern France, south of Beaujolais. The region starts just below the city of Lyon running south until it passes through Avignon. It's really two wine regions in one, however. The northern Rhone is ruled by Syrah, while in the south Grenache flexes its muscles. Arguably the best Grenache grapes in the world are grown here where they have helped propel the once underdog Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines into world-class status & are now a part of every serious wine collector's cellar. But the southern Rhone is much more than Grenache & Chateauneuf-du-Pape. If you join us on Thursday, you will see the additional supporting cast of grapes that make up some of the 18 AOC's of the southern Rhone region & its satellites. Hope to see you there.

In Store Tasting - Oak & Wine Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, November 3 - 5pm to 8pm

It has been a long time since we discussed the effect of oak on wine, and with the amazing number of new customers coming to the Thursday wine classes I think it is high time to revisit. People use oak in wine making for many reasons, from oxygenation to imparting tannin and structure. Let's taste 3 wines this Thursday that use oak to different effect and compare them to a 4th bottle that avoids oak. Which do you prefer and why? Show up and find out.

In Store Tasting - A New Generation Jack - Hazlet

Hazlet - Wednesday, November 2 - 5pm to 8pm

Made from a blend of Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey and a proprietary honey liqueur, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey is one of the more exciting new entries into the whirlwind of new whiskeys. The nose is sweet and spicy, with cinnamon notes and light floral undertones that tempt all the senses. Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey is one of the most drinkable whiskey-based liqueurs we've had in some time. It manages to be sweet without syrupy stickiness or that alcohol burn that feels like razors inching down your throat.
Join us this Wednesday and taste the honey, straight-up or in a few delicious cocktails prepared by a JD representative.

In Store Tasting - Winery Focus Series: Goats Do Roam - Lakewood

Lakewood - Thursday, November 3 - 4pm to 7pm

"The art of blending creates many of the world's greatest wines, with only a perfect blend of grape varietals making a wine of true balance." This is the vision that Charles Back had for the Goats Do Roam Wine Company when he founded it back in 1999. Since 1995, Mr. Back has owned and operated Fairview, which churns out world class wines in addition to being an active farm and producer of artisan cheese. All of the Goats wines are made at Fairview under his watchful eye, and are currently South Africa's leading wine brand in the United States. The inspiration for each bottle comes from one of the world's most notable wine regions, like Bordeaux or the Rhone Valley, but with a local perspective and most importantly, with South African grapes. Come join us on Thursday and see what cool and interesting wines that the often overlooked country of South Africa has to offer.

In Store Tasting - Rock & Wine..... - Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, October 27 - 5pm to 8pm

What do you get when a native Brooklynite and guitar virtuoso who in one life was an expert sound and guitar tech building rigs for rockers Peter Frampton, Ringo Starr and Billy Joel, give him several rides around the world, lots of down-time between building walls of sound and concerts, and is also somewhat of a wine geek... you get a guy named Mark Snyder.
Always passionate about wine, Mark was introduced by his many friends in the music industry to almost every top winemaker on the planet, and they in turn to other wine makers who introduced him to some of the small 'garage' wineries in the Napa Valley. Mark loved the idea of sharing his new found hobby with the rest of us; with a few samples of California wine and a firm handshake he built his Company 'Angels' Share Wines' oh, and those garage wineries are now cult wineries.
I've been fortunate to have met Mark many years ago, the handshake days, and I have enjoyed sharing many of those wines with you. Come in and meet one of Mark's guys, Anthony Austin, and taste a few wines that rock.

In Store Tasting - IMPORTER FOCUS SERIES: ROSENTHAL WINE MERCHANT - Lakewood

Lakewood - Thursday, October 27 - 4pm to 7pm

If you go to the Rosenthal Wine Merchant website, the objective is simply stated - "Work as directly as possible with growers who are dedicated to producing limited quantities of the finest quality wines and who share the RWM passion for "terroir", that ephemeral "sense of place". Those who buy in to the concept of terroir, believe that 90% of the wine is created in the vineyard and that the role of the winemaker is to let the wine make itself. Think of terroir this way, if you take the same grape and grow it in different locations, there's a good chance that the grape will taste different depending on where it's grown. It makes sense to us and RWM currently represents 75 different growers from France, Italy & California that show us how the uniqueness of place can impact a wine's profile. Come join us on Thursday and see if you buy in to terroir. Just remember this -- if terroir doesn't exist, then how come a Jersey tomato just doesn't taste the same grown anywhere else?

In Store Tasting -Mark West Wines - Lakewood

Lakewood - Tuesday, October 25 - 5pm to 7pm

Mark West winery specializes in Pinot Noir, and their concept is simple; make delicious yet affordable Pinot. Their philosophy is "Pinot for the people", and they don't think that wine should cost more than the meal you are having with it. The winery recently took this approach on Chardonnay. Stop in and try both the Pinot and the Chardonnay you wallet and taste buds will thank you!

In Store Tasting - Burgundy 101: Beaujolais! - Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, October 20 - 5pm to 8pm

Burgundy offers us some of the most amazing wines the world will ever see. The problem is that often the entry price is just too high. Periodically for our Thursday classes we will introduce you to affordable but delicious Burgundies and this Thursday we will start with Beaujolais. The southernmost growing area of Burgundy, Beaujolais whites are made from Chardonnay and the reds are made from Gamay. The wines are generally lighter in style and can really show the variety of growing conditions available to them. They are very food friendly and all around amazing when made well. Join us and try some well made Beaujolais that will force you to redefine Fall wine drinking!

In Store Tasting - Fall Wines - Lakewood

Hazlet - Thursday, October 20 - 4pm to 7pm

As the summer finally comes to a bitter sweet end and the cold weather creeps in, not only does my attitude change but so does my wine selection. As much as I love Rieslings, Rose, and Sauvignon Blancs in the summer time, I realize that it is time to pack them away and bring out some heartier wines. (Although they may make an appearance for Thanksgiving) For me fall is an entirely different speed then summer, life slows down and I get back into more of a routine schedule. This is not always a bad thing, but when I get home from work and its cold and dark out, I want a wine with a little more comfort and complexity. This is always an exciting time of year; I get to bring out a few wines that I haven't seen in a while. It's like catching up with old friends. What wines are appropriate for fall? Well come on in and I will show you what I mean, and feel free to wear your sweats.

In Store Tasting - Bubbles!!! - Hazlet

Hazlet - Thursday, August 18 - 5pm to 8pm

Just about everyone loves bubbly wine. It's festive, it's delicious, it's just fun. We recently had a Thursday tasting centered around the love of bubbles, and it was so popular we are going to do it again, with, however, one twist. Our final wine will be a� French cider made from pears!!! Yes, you want to try this�

In Store Tasting - Summer Wines - Lakewood

Lakewood - Thursday, August 18 - 4pm to 7pm

Summer is still here�As you may notice a lot of retailers are moving past summer and straight into fall, but don't get too down. There is still a lot of summer left to enjoy and here at the Wine Academy we are going to showcase summer appropriate wines. Summer wines should be just like summer attitudes, light and carefree. Generally the wines are meant to be quaffing wines that aren't too complex or heavy. Whether you enjoy them at a backyard BBQ, poolside, or just relaxing with a group of friends on a summer night, the wines should be refreshing and crisp. The wines should also be very versatile with food, let's face it in the summer a random BBQ can come out of nowhere and who knows what will be on the menu. Stop in on your way home from the beach, and yes... sandals are allowed.

Beer Blast Monday & Tuesday - Founders Brewery

Lakewood - Monday, August 15 - 4pm to 7pm

Hazlet - Tuesday, August 16 - 5pm to 8pm

Every week I get a chance to share my passion of beers with you, and I must say I love my job. This week I am going to show you one of my all-time favorite breweries. Founder's Brewery out of Michigan makes some of the world's best beers and that is not just my opinion. In 2010, Ratebeer.com ranked them as the 4th best brewery in the world, and they have several beers listed in the top one hundred beers of the world on Beeradvocate.com. Stop in and decided for yourself! "We don't brew beer for the masses. Instead, our beers are crafted for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste. In short, we make beer for people like us."

Beer Blast Monday & Tuesday - Brooklyn Brewery

Lakewood - Monday, August 8 - 4pm to 7pm

Hazlet - Tuesday, August 9 - 5pm to 8pm

In the late 19th century, Brooklyn was a haven for newly arriving immigrants. A majority of the immigrants were of German descent and brought with them their knowledge of brewing. Small local breweries dotted Brooklyn and were creating high quality beers, but times changed and larger, mass produced beers dominated the market. In 1976, Rheingold, the last remaining brewery in Brooklyn closed its doors. Fast forward to 1987 when Brooklyn brewery opened its doors with the intent of bringing back a rich piece of the city's history. Founded by Steve Hindy and Tom Potter, their goal was to bring quality beer back to Brooklyn. This was not an easy task considering the beer market was controlled by big business. No distributor wanted to carry their beers because they were expensive and there was virtually no advertising behind the product. Determined to crack into the market, they hand sold their way through Brooklyn, delivering beer out of vans painted with the Brooklyn logo. Today, Brooklyn Brewery is among America's top 40 breweries. They were the first New York Company to switch to 100 percent wind powered energy, and sponsor several local charities. Let's drink to that!

Bud Girls On-Site

Saturday, November 20, 2010 - 12 Noon - 3PM

Come get your pictures taken with the world famous Budweiser Girls and enjoy major discounts on all Anheuser Busch products!!!

GRAND OPENING

Friday, November 12, 2011

Come share the day with us at Wine Academy Superstore in Lakewood, NJ – 1900 Route 70 – Home Depot Shopping Center. We’ll have major discounts on most items, all day wine tastings and vodka tasting, and for those beer drinkers out there the Bud Girls will be on hand to help you find your way through the store.

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Borsao Grenache - $7.99

Cadonini Pinot Grigio - $6.99

Capa Tempranillo - $6.99

Protocolo - $6.99

Temparodo Malbec - $9.99

Les Grandes Cabanes Syrah - $9.99

Wrongo Dongo - $8.99

Primaverina Bianco - $6.99

Los Nevados Wines - $9.99

La Forge Wines - $9.99