Swine and Wine – Piggy Fun in Northern New Jersey

For those unfamiliar with MeetUp, it is the world’s largest network of local groups.  MeetUp makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face.

A popular local MeetUp group is the Northern New Jersey Wine MeetUp Group where both singles and couples gather to learn about, and enjoy wines from around the world.  How fun is that!?

This past Saturday, the group met for its annual pig roast, appropriately dubbed Swine and Wine.  As with most events for the group, this one was held at the beautiful Tree Tavern, a private event destination in Wanaque.

The affaire was catered by Frank Hewitt and Augie Viviani, the owners of Party Chefs of Haskell, NJ (973-492-8182), who specialize in pig roasts, clam bakes and lobster bakes.  The two gentlemen are personable and passionate about their business and prepared a delicious meal for the group.  Beyond the perfectly-seasoned and roasted pork with dreamy lacquered skin, the chefs served a buffet of tangy bean salad, corn on the cob with melted butter, salads, roasted vegetables and yellow rice.  For the non-pig eaters, there were even hamburgers and hot dogs.  For those thinking of a fun and hands-off way to entertain, a catered pig roast is a fabulous idea.

Another enjoyable part of the event was the selection of wines by one of the group organizers, Wino Bob, who always surprises and delights attendees with his picks.  The lineup for Saturday’s outdoor event were the 2006 Oriel Femme Fatale Bordeaux Rose ($20), a luscious wine with bright strawberry flavors and nice acidity, the 2010 Hogwash ($15), a light rosé, perfect for summer fun and the 2008 Tamas Double Decker Red ($10), a Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Barbera blend which pairs nicely with grilled meats.

There are over 500 members of the Northern New Jersey Wine MeetUp Group but 30-50 are loyal event attendees.  The gatherings are casual, friendly, informative and perfectly-suited to both casual wine drinkers and those with a more sophisticated palate.  Come join us for the next celebration, and if you do, come say hello!

To learn more about MeetUp groups in your area, access www.meetup.com.


Veronique Deblois, Food & Wine Chickie Veronique is a food and wine blogger based in Morris County, NJ.  As the author of the popular blog, Food & Wine Chickie Insider, Veronique shares recipes, wine and restaurant reviews and insight into the travel industry of which she’s a 15-year veteran.  Follow Veronique on Twitter or like her Facebook page.