Please check directly with venues in the event of inclement weather!
February 13 and 14: The Garden State Wine Growers Association hosts its annual Wine & Chocolate Wine Trail Weekend, featuring wine and chocolate tastings from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Participating wineries will offer new wine releases, pairings, tours, entertainment and more. Check with local wineries for times and pricing.
February 22 and 23: Two nights: Sunday and Monday. Two chefs: Ariane Duarte (of Ariane Kitchen & Bar, Sunday’s location) and Eric LeVine (of Morris Tap and Grill Monday’s location, and Paragon Tap and Table). One cause: Family Reach. $125 per person, per venue. Dinner includes a six-course meal, along with a selection of wines and special appearances by celebrity chef Amanda Freitag (Sunday) and celebrity chef David Burke (Monday). Call for reservations. Ariane Kitchen & Bar: 973-744-0533. Morris Tap and Grill: 973-891-1776.
February 27 and 28: Check out Tropicana Atlantic City’s first annual Winter Wine Festival at the Grand Exhibition Center on Saturday, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Over 150 wines and 12 winemakers will be at the event showcasing their bottles. Tickets, which are being sold for $25 here, include live entertainment, tasting glass, cheese and fruit plate, and wine seminars.
February 18: Stop by the Princeton Farmers Market at the Princeton Public Library for winter produce, meats and eggs, honey, baked goods, candles, linens, French confections, and more from local farmers and artisans. Upcoming dates and locations include March 24 at The Nassau Inn and April 21 at the Princeton Public Library. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
February 19 and 20: On February 19, the Great American Steakhouse Dinner sets the wheels in motion for Jersey Shore Wine Weekend, at the Ocean Place Resort & Spa in Long Branch. Get ready for a four-course dinner paired with wines, created by Executive Chef Peter Csikos. On the menu: steakhouse iceberg with applewood smoked bacon, red onion, tomato, and creamy blue cheese dressing, paired with 2014 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc; french onion soup with crouton raft and melted gruyère, paired with 2010 Joseph Drouhin Morgon Cru Beaujolais; dry aged NY filet mignon or fresh Atlantic halibut with anna potatoes and roasted root vegetables, paired with 2011 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Yamhill; NY cheesecake with toasted almonds, shaved chocolate and chantilly cream, paired with 2007 Quinta do Portal Grande Reserva. The fun continues on Saturday, with sessions throughout the day, including Aligote, the Breakfast Wine; Vintage Champagne Blind Tasting; Spanish Tapas Cooking Demo Lunch; Along the Rhine; Hidden Gems; and Second Labels. The day wraps up with the Grand Tasting, which is included with the Grand Cru Package and Premiere Cru Packages. Ocean Place Resort & Spa, 1 Ocean Place, Long Branch.
February 20: Jazz House Kids Body & Soul will be a night for great wine, amazing cuisine, and soulful music. Starting at 8 p.m., the Van Vleck House and Gardens transforms into a jazz club, featuring food from Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen and music by the award-winning Jazz House Big Band. General admission is $150 and all proceeds go to in-school programs and student tuition assistance at Jazz House Kids. 21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair.
February 20: Haddonfield Uncorked offers downtown shoppers the opportunity to sample—and buy—Garden State wines as they browse within the usually dry town from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Participating businesses are on Haddon Avenue, Kings Court, Kings Highway East, and Tanner Street. For a complete listing, click here. Rain date: Sunday, February 21.
March 4, 5, 6: Join Jersey Bites at the New Jersey Home Show in Edison, with cooking demonstrations from some of the state’s top chefs at the Jersey Bites Cooking Pavillion. Stay tuned for details and updates as the event approaches—we can’t wait to see you there!
March 5: One VIP session! Two general admission sessions! $12 off if you book by January 24. $10 for designated drivers. 21 and over (photo ID required). 200+ brewers. These are the numbers behind the Big Brew Beer Festival, at the Morristown Armory. Prices change as the event approaches, so be sure to check the specifics at BigBrewNJ.com. Morristown Armory, 430 Western Avenue, Morristown.
March 20: Get ready for the third annual Celebrity Food & Wine Showcase & Expo from Giants of Generosity, at 1:30 p.m. This fundraiser, created to assist locals in need offers guests samples from food and wine vendors, a silent auction, and live entertainment. Students from Bergen Community College’s culinary arts program will compete for a $500 scholarship offered by Mariner’s Bank, and this year’s celebrity competitors will be Carissa Lawson, anchor from News12 New Jersey, and Sheryl A. Fody, executive producer of Consumer 411. The winner of the virtual 50/50 raffle will also be announced at the event. Showcase and raffle tickets can be purchased online. Clinton Inn Hotel and Event Center, 145 Dean Drive, Tenafly.
March 24: Tickets are now on sale for the 33rd annual Restaurant Gala. The long-standing event, currently themed Mission: Possible, will be held at the new Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center, from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Proceeds go to the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College and help support Foundation operations.