The 9 Best Wine+Food Events in New Jersey this January

New York City isn’t the only place with amazing food, wine, craft beer, and spirits. Just across the Hudson River, New Jersey is brimming with world class cuisine and beverages – and parking is much easier. We’ve narrowed down New Jersey’s best wine and food events to 10 that really stand out. If you know of any others, leave them in the comments. If you’re looking for a world class New Jersey wine and food event in February, check out the 3rd Annual New Jersey Winter Wine Festival in Short Hills.

Ultimate Chef Bergen County

January 10 and 17 – 11am  – Free
Chef Central, Paramus 

The premier cooking competition in North Jersey. Four Chefs from Bergen County will square off two at a time to determine who will win the title of Ultimate Chef Bergen County 2015. Each competitor will prepare a four course meal in one hour using a mystery ingredient in each of the dishes. There will be cooking demos and tastings as well.

Grape Escape’s Sunday “Gravy” and Pasta Class

January 11- 11am – $80
The Grape Escape Winery, Dayton

During this class, you will be making fresh pasta dough and converting it into fettucini. You’ll have eyes on the gravy as the brilliant red San Marzano tomatoes are simmered and the smell of Sunday wafts through the air. As the pasta dough rests, snack on old world style antipasto. Once finished, you’ll be cooking up fresh pasta to serve with the homemade gravy. Sticking with tradition, after the pasta, you’ll get to serve a salad tossed with Grape Escape’s 12 year old balsamic and award winning olive oil, “to help settle your meal” as Mama would say.

Tropicana Casino Beer & Bacon Week

January 11 to 17
Tropicana Casino & Resort, Atlantic City

Featuring a multitude of bacon and beer specials at the bars, restaurants, and eateries of the Tropicana. You can also purchase a Beer & Bacon Week Package for $65 that includes overnight accommodations and $30 in other discounts. Specials include a bacon wrapped burger at A Dam Good Sports Bar, a trio of amazing bacon treats at Broadway Burger Bar, a bacon Bloody Mary at Firewaters, a ton more bacon-themed food and drinks.

Sojourn Cellars Wine Paired Dinner

January 14 – 7pm – $75
Moonshine Modern Supper Club, Millburn

Stop by Millburn’s Moonshine Supper Club for an unforgettable evening of food and wine featuring Craig Haserot, founder and proprietor of Sojourn Cellars in the Sonoma Valley. The evening features an incredible 4-course tasting menu of beef tartare, poached white shrimp, Long Island duck leg, squab, and more. Featured twice on WLtv, Sojourn Cellars has been producing highly acclaimed and allocated artisan Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon since 2001.

Exploring the Cuisine of Korea

January 15 – 6pm – $85
Rat’s Restaurant at Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ

Inspired by the current Jae Ko exhibition, Rat’s invites you to taste the unique and fiery flavors of Korean cuisine. Join them for cocktails, followed by a 5-course tasting menu paired with wines and beverages perfectly matched to enhance this delicious cuisine.  $85 per guest plus tax and gratuity. For information, reservations please call (609) 584-7800.

Catena Wine Dinner

January 21 – 6:30pm – $80
Salt Creek Grille, Princeton

Indulge in a Winemaker’s Dinner featuring the prestigious winery Bodega Catena Zapata, with pairing menu created by Executive Chef Fabian Quiros of the famous Salt Creek Grille in Priceton. The 4 course meal features Black Alaskan Cod, Roasted Veal Loin Medallion, and Duck Comfit Cannelloni Veal.

River Palm Terrace Wine Classes and Tastings

January 21 and 28 – 6:30pm – $65
River Palm Terrace, Edgewater

The legendary River Palm Terrace is hosting its first ever series of wine classes and tastings in January and February. They are calling the classes “Introduction to Wine Basics.” The January 21st course will focus on California Wines, while the course on the 28th will focus on French Wines. There will also be a February 4th course on Italian Wines and a February 11th course on World Wines. All courses are hosted by the River Palm’s Event Planner, Cynthia Aybar, and their in-house Wine Director, Joe Iurato. Approximately 6 wines per class will be paired with delicious appetizers prepared by the River Palm’s Chef. Reservations must be made ahead of time at 201-224-2013 or here.

International Great Beer Expo

January 31 – 12:30 pm & 5:30pm – $42 to $60
Meadowlands Exposition Center at Harmon Meadow, Secaucus

The biggest names in international brewing will gather at the Meadowlands Exposition Center for the fourth annual International Great Beer Expo. This international beer tasting extravaganza will showcase more than 50 breweries from across the globe, each providing samples of their country’s proudest brewing achievement. Admission includes beer sampling, souvenir tasting glass, and admission to the beer seminars. Shoulder to shoulder with some of America’s best breweries, will be amazing breweries from Japan, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Austria, Nicaragua, Thailand, Poland, New Zealand, Indonesia, Sweden, China, and others.

Fire & Ice Festival

January 31 – 10:30am – Free
Downtown Mount Holly

Enjoy the amazing sculptures of over a dozen professional and amateur ice carvers from up and down the east coast. In addition, Burlington County’s best professional chili cooks will participate in the People’s Choice Chili Contest. There will also be a Beer Fest tent where attendees can sample beer from a variety of local breweries (this costs $25 to $30 depending on if you buy at the door).  There will be a gingerbread house decorating contest, dog sled demonstrations, fire engine rides, a Revolutionary War Encampment, Scotia Acres Alpacas, and the Cedar Run Wildlife.

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