No One Wines Like A Jersey Girl

I recently received an e-mail that really touched me. It said this HOLIDAY SEASON we should support our country’s economy. I instantly thought, how is that possible with everything being mass produced for our consumption in other countries. Our family tried to build and furnish our new home a few years ago with “American Made” and found it to be almost impossible and cost prohibitive. How could I possibly do my holiday shopping and support our country as much as possible in the process? As I continued reading the e-mail the sender had made some great suggestions. They recommended buying restaurant, dinner theatre, concert, museum, salon and spa gift certificates, but the idea that grabbed my attention was go to local arts and craft fairs and help a “starving artist” this year. Aha! There were a few fairs in my area and I decided to check one of them out.

I love Arts and Crafts Fairs and got into the rhythm going up and down the aisles, scoping out the best route to cover all the booths, not wanting to miss a single thing. Jewelry, pottery, glass, textiles it was all there. But then I spotted it, Jersey Girl Wine Jelly. I haven’t had delicious wine jelly for years. An old family treat I had all but forgotten. I had to taste it! Michele Birtch and Stephanie Clineman, a mother and daughter team from Mays Landing and Galloway respectively are the creators of the company. What started out as a family favorite recipe for friends and family has become a full time business. The names of the all the varieties of Jelly I was told, are made up by the women as well. “How Merlot Can You Go?”, “It Should Be A Zin!”, “Chardonnay Moi?”, and “Que Shiraz Shiraz!”.

I tried the zinfandel first, because it was most like the homemade jelly I remembered from my childhood. Yummy! It was love at first taste. I tasted them all and loved each flavor. The best part is they sell them all in different size jars all together as well as individually. I purchased three wrapped packages of all the flavors for holiday gifts that I knew would be appreciated by my foodie friends and family. They also have their special HOLIDAY jelly made with Champagne called Holiday Bubbly. The alcohol cooks out completely, so you can share it with your kids, but who would? Let them get their own. They would be perfect on your holiday table paired with some wonderful artisnal cheese and crackers or drizzled over pork or chicken as a glaze or maybe with some Greek yogurt and berries…Oh sorry, I was drooling. Well, you get the idea.

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Michele Errichetti is from South Jersey born and fed. She comes from an Italian family where they eat, live, and breathe FOOD. Michele was cooking and eating under her grandmom’s feet every Sunday for “gravy” and at home with her mother ( a Medigan’ or American) during the week. Nowadays, she cooks for her two sons, husband, and father most days of the week. She takes “Girl Road Trips” with her friends at least once a month that always culminate with you guessed it, FOOD. She hopes fresh, local, organic, and free range will become the norm. Michele is searching Atlantic County for everything that has anything to do with good food and she’s taking you along for the ride.