The Lakewood BlueClaws will host the 2nd annual Jersey Shore Wine Festival June 2nd and 3rd at FirstEnergy Park, Lakewood. The festival celebrates New Jersey wines and the many varietals produced here. In addition to wine tasting, the festival features live musical entertainment, crafters, vendors, food, and the BlueClaws play area for children. Hours are 12 noon to 5 pm daily; admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the gate for adults 21 years and older. A two-day ticket option is also available. Those under 21 years of age or designated drivers are free. The Jersey Shore Wine Festival is sponsored by TD Bank, O’Meara Financial Planners, Magic 100.1, New Jersey Monthly, Monmouth Health & Life, and the Asbury Park Press.
The centerpiece of the festival will be wine tasting by 10 New Jersey wineries from around the state; participating wineries include Auburn Road Vineyards, Cava Winery, Cream Ridge Winery, DiMatteo Vineyards, Four Sisters Winery, Plagido’s Winery, Tomasello Winery, Unionville Vineyards, Valenzano Winery, and Wagonhouse Winery. Each paid admission includes a commemorative wine glass to use for the tasting. Advance tickets went on sale March 23rd and can be purchased by visiting www.blueclaws.com and clicking on the FirstEnergy Park page or calling 732-901-7000, option #2. Tickets can also be purchased by calling Allen Consulting at 732-946-2711.
Attendees can sample all the varieties that each winery has available and purchase individual bottles or cases on the spot. Festival goers are also encouraged to bring lawn chairs or a blanket to sit and enjoy the live bands lined up for the event.
The Saturday stage will feature Dave Clive and the Nawlins Funk Band. A veteran of the New York music scene for more than 25 years, Clive has performed and/or recorded with Iguazu, The Impalas, Paquito D’Rivera, Neil Diamond and many others. He is currently on the music faculty at both Wagner College and the College of Staten Island. The band also features veteran singer/guitarist John Putnam, bassist Jeff Philips, pianist Frank Antico and saxophonist Mike Trombeta.
Performing Sunday will be singer/songwriter Eryn Shewell and her five piece band. Shewell is well known on the local club scene, performing regularly throughout the shore and at the Highlands Jazz & Blues festival. She also has two albums and is working on her third. Sunday afternoon will feature the blues/soul sound of The Christopher Dean Band. Both lead singer/guitarist Christopher Dean and his brother, bassist David Foti have spent time touring world-wide with Mississippi blues man Big Jack Johnson and The Oilers. Dean decided to go solo with his own band, and enjoys success touring the East Coast. The Christopher Dean Band has produced three albums which have been well received in the blues community.
New Jersey’s wineries have come a long way in recent years, crafting nationally and internationally acclaimed wines, with varieties such as cabernet, chambourcin, chardonnay, vidal blanc, and more, including fabulous dessert wines. Many of the wineries have won gold, silver and bronze medals in tasting competitions both in New Jersey and throughout the country.
A portion of the proceeds from the festival will benefit Sylvia’s Children, a 501(c)3. Sylvia’s Children was founded in 2003 after Sylvia Allen returned from a humanitarian trip to Uganda, Africa. The children at the Mbiriizi Primary School “adopted” her as their honorary grandmother. Allen saw the ravages the AIDS pandemic had on the community and was compelled to help her newly adopted grandchildren. She founded Sylvia’s Children to feed, clothe and house orphans in Masaka and provide education for as many children as possible. For more information please visit www.sylviaschildren.org.
For more information on the festival, visit the Jersey Shore Wine Festival page on the Lakewood BlueClaws website, under FirstEnergy Park, “like” the event on Facebook, and use links there to visit the websites of participating wineries. To purchase tickets, call the BlueClaws at 732-901-7000, option 2, or Allen Consulting at 732-946-2711.