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December 2013 Stem & Stein


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Stem & Stein

CONTENTS Stem & Stein

Villa Milagro Vineyards •4

Cooking with Wine & Beer • 10

December 2013


he Holiday Season is on us once again. Over the next few months we will be slowly making some changes in the magazine giving you more content. We will be featuring more styles of beer and wine and adding liquor to the magazine. We will also be featuring restaurants bars and other places beer wine and liquor enthusiast gather. We are also in the process of redoing our website. It now has the online magazine available for those of you who have called or emailed trying to get it and can’t find it or are already gone where you normally get them. We have really enjoyed the fifteen months we’ve been publishing the magazine and getting out there and running into all of you and listening to what you have to say about what ever it is you love to drink. Hearing about beers and wines you’ve tried and the ones that were your favorite is by far the best part of doing this job especially if its right there available to try and compare to others. One really stood out recently and I cant wait to pair it in an upcoming issue Dog Fish Head El Diablo Verda a double IPA with Jalapeno and Cilantro. This is one I cant wait to get more of and hear what you all have to say about it. So till next time...

Mark & Pam

Party Pacing • 15

PUBLISHERS Mark Ruzicka & Pam Mazalatis EDITOR Barbara Kolb LAYOUT & DESIGN McNabb Studios • PHOTOGRAPHY Mark Ruzicka & Kieran CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jimmy Vena, Dr Audrey Cross, Kevin Celli, Eric Wormann, Pam Mazalatis & Mark Ruzicka

Artisans Oktoberfest Dinner. • 16


PO Box 699 Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849 Phone: 973-663-6816 • Fax: 973-663-6378

Stem & Stein is published monthly and reproduction of content is not permitted without the express written approval of Mark Ruzicka. Publisher assumes no financial responsibility for errors in ads beyond the cost of space occupied by error, a correction will be printed. Publisher is not liable for any slander of an individual, or group as we mean no malice or individual criticism at any time, nor are we responsible for the opinions or comments of our columnists, and promises, coupons, or lack of fulfillment from advertisers who are solely responsible for content of their ads. Publisher is also to be held harmless; from failure to produce any issue as scheduled due to reasons beyond control; all suits, claims, or loss of expenses; this includes, but is not limited to, suits for libel, plagiarism, copyright infringement and unauthorized use of a persons name or photograph. Publisher does not promote excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages.

December 2013 Stem & Stein


Villa Milagro v i n e y a r d s by Audrey Gambino

A s you wind along the mile long gravel farm lane overlooking the

Delaware River, you forget that you are in New Jersey. The rolling hills and spectacular view of 4 counties in 2 states cascading from the vineyard is a page from a photo album of Tuscany. Indeed, the soils of Villa Milagro Vineyards are so similar to prime European soils that the surrounding area is designated a wine appellation by the federal government, named Warren Hills Appellation. 4

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Owners, Steve & Audrey Gambino, believed these soils and location on the Delaware and Musconetcong Rivers, would be perfect for establishing the first organic vineyard in New Jersey, which they sat out to do in 2001 when they purchased the land. Moisture and mildew issues made it necessary to use a non-organic fungicide,

but other than that, today they continue to follow all organicsustainable practices. Steve, an engineer and inventor, has constructed a number of original “agricultural devices” to replace the use of herbicides and fungicides on the farm. For example, to replace weed control chemicals, his “dragonmobile” throws flames to beat back unwanted vegetation under vines as it mows grass between the rows. Their winery is also unique in its commitment to European style blended wines. “By blending, we produce wines that have exceptional depth, richness and character,” says winemaker, Dr. Audrey Cross (aka Gambino). Modern processing equipment stands beside traditional oak aging barrels where their handmade wines are produced. (2 photos: stainless steel inside chill room; oak barrels stacked for aging) A “foodie” with a doctoral degree in nutrition from the

University of California, Berkeley, Audrey blends wines that are meant to be paired with food as part of a meal. Villa Milagro Vineyards wines offer something for every plate and every palate - from their light and delicate “Delicado”, to fresh and fruity “Rubia” to deep and rich dry reds such as “Sombra” and “Suave.” With ten varieties of French vinifera, Italian clones and a couple of “Americans” the range of blends possible lends itself to creating delicious and elegant wines. (photo: wine bottles) Dr. Audrey frequently speaks to groups and organization about nutrition and the health benefits of wines and writes a regular column for us here at Stem & Stein on the topic. (see page 7) Both she and husband Steve are happy to bend your ear with “TMI” about the benefits of sustainable viticulture, wine as part of a healthy lifestyle and pairing food with wine. Their “Wine Tasting Basics” class and “Vintners Dinners” are fun and delicious ways to learn OPPOSITE (top to bottom): Villa Milagro Vineyards panoramic view Dragonmobile in action THIS PAGE (top to bottom): Stainless Steel inside chill room Oak barrels stacked for aging Dinner Party

December 2013 Stem & Stein


about food, wine and health. The serenity of Villa Milagro Vineyards, meaning “home of miracles� in Spanish, surrounds you from the moment you arrive. Greeted by Commander Cody, resident German Shepherd, you will thrill to the 360 degree panorama of their property. This is a perfect setting for weddings, anniversary and birthday celebrations and corporate retreats and workshops which the vineyard often hosts. Visit them to enjoy boutique wines in a unique setting. Bring a copy of this issue of Stein & Stem and receive a free wine tasting. 6

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ABOVE (left to right): Cody in the vines Wedding at the vineyard BELOW: Villa Milagro wine selection

December 2013 Stem & Stein


145 Route 539 Cream Ridge, NJ 08514 (Allentown, NJ) 10 minutes from Six Flags Great Adventure For More Information call

609.259.9797 8

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December 2013 Stem & Stein






Owner/Exec Chef

Chef On Wheels , LLC

Dogfish Head

Raison D’Etre

As described on label.. A deep mahogany ale brewed with Belgian beet sugars, green raisins & a sense of purpose. O.K…let’s start off with the D’Etre, I’m a firm believer that most consumers won’t purchase something if they can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it means. This label had me on both so there I was in isle 7, smart phone in hand checking out what Google had to say about it. French translation “reason for existence” The phrase “a sense of purpose” and “reason for existence”on the same ale label?! Man, this beer I have to try! Poured into a glass it has an awesome creamy head over a very dark brown beer, yes I did taste raisin and the beet sugars surely offset the full ale bitterness that this brew would carry. I bought it off the shelf and didn’t give it long to cool before I enjoyed all the dense layered flavor profiles that it presented.

Clams in Beer For many years I was the exec chef in a white tablecloth Italian restaurant. Over the course of a dozen or so years I cooked what felt like an ocean of clams in mostly traditional, some not so traditional recipes. The one thing that the recipes had in common was that they were all wine and broth based, some red with tomatoes others not but in that kitchen never with beer. Then I was offered the opportunity to develop a new menu and recipes for a testosterone fueled sports bar in Ocean County. Before taking on the task of actually developing the menu I went to the place on a couple of Sundays. Being in the restaurant business all my life along with not being a huge football fan, I can honestly say I had never experienced the insanity of true sports bar during football season. Believe me, after a couple of beers and shots, I had as much fun as the sports fan veterans. The menu was a blast to write just because it was so wrong…Grease Truck Style Fat Sandwiches sided with Disco Fries starting at 10 a.m. for the early crew who came in early to claim seats and fill out their bet sheets. I prepped 500 pounds of wings at a time that were then served in stages of hot to in10

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sanely hot. But in between half time buffets with Stromboli and Pork Ribs I wanted a few solid sit down and enjoy dishes that were robust but not hot or greasy. This clam recipe was a hit. I hadn’t made this dish since then until now and I did enjoy eating them after the photo was taken.

Littleneck Clams and Pork with Ale 1 doz littleneck clams, scrubbed clean, aside 12 post stamp size slices (1/4”thick) salt pork 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 fresh hot red peppers cut into ¼’s (sans seeds) ½ cup sliced white onion 8 oz ale 4 tablespoons butter A HUGE pinch fresh chopped cilantro 2 tablespoons of Brown Sugar In a 16” sauté pan slowly render then brown the salt pork in olive oil (low heat about 10 minutes) Add the onions and peppers..first over medium heat to completely cook till soft, then raise heat to caramelize the natural sugars Now add the live whole clams, keep on high heat and keep moving….meanwhile in a 14” pan (or a pan of equal or lesser size) heat , don’t boil, 8 oz of ale on a separate flame When the clams are just starting to open add the hot ale and cover the larger pan with the smaller pan. As the clams completely pop open take them out 1 by 1 and put them on your serving platter When all the clams are out of the pan add the butter, sugar and cilantro..reduce until thickened and spoon over the clams.

Cream Ridge Winery

Almond Berry Wine

Made with red raspberries and Niagara grapes, finished with natural almond extract If you are lucky to live in or travel through the grape growing areas of New Jersey it is possible that you may find yourself being offered “Grape Pie” at a friend’s table or maybe at the counter in local café. Furthermore, that grape pie is probably baked with Nigara variety grapes. Anyone who has indulged in eating a spoonful of home grape jam straight from the jar could appreciate the pure simple deliciousness that a

fresh baked grape pie is. You may not be one of the fortunate few to find that pie but I do suppose you can find your way to a wine merchant and purchase a bottle of Cream Ridge Winery Almond Berry Wine. Earlier I mentioned Nigara grapes, they are a green grape and most notably the largest production green variety in New Jersey. Almond Beery wine is produced from fermented Nigara grapes and red Raspberries after the fermentation process natural almond extract is added to finish the wine. Once you open a bottle and pour a glass you will find the entire room fill with a fabulous fruit fragrance. It is a full flavor wine that is not full bodied; it is sweet yet not sugary. This is an extremely easy drinking wine that screams to be enjoyed with a pastry wrapped and baked Brie or a tear of warm bread with a schmear St Andree double crème. I used it in a recipe that I usually cook with domestic brandy.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Berry Almond Wine In a Sauce Pan stir over a high heat 16 oz fresh cranberries (washed and picked) The shredded zest of 1 orange The shredded zest of 1 lemon 12 oz of Almond Berry Wine 1 cup of sugar Boil over high heat until all the berries have popped. Remove from stove and stir in 6 oz of sliced almonds I prefer to serve this cold but it can be eaten warm

December 2013 Stem & Stein




Party Pacing

How to save yourself from Holiday Humiliation


t happens all too often. After a few too many, a work colleague insults the boss’ husband; an otherwise pleasant uncle becomes a boisterous bore; a demure and shy type performs a risqué striptease; you find yourself in an amorous embrace with the office jerk; and other embarrassments that haunt your holiday memories for months. What’s to blame? Failure to pace. Under everyday circumstances you know how to hold your liquor. You don’t cross the line between “relaxed” and “remorseful.” You stop when you feel that impending moment when you know that you might either lose all inhibition or consciousness or both. But holiday parties seem to invite and encourage crossing the line. You feel obligated to toast with each co-worker, have another one for old times sake with each friend, down one to ease discomfort with inlaws, and so on and so forth, well past your tolerance level. How can you pace yourself to avoid both the “live” dangers and the “re-runs” that will surely follow on FaceBook, Twitter and elsewhere? Here are some practical practices that can help you pace yourself. Eat before you go. Yes, there will be plenty of food at the party, but often, in the excitement of chatting and visiting, you forget to eat. Alcohol is absorbed more quickly from an empty stomach than one filled with food. Have a light meal before you go. 12

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Drink one-for-one. The evening will be long so for each alcoholic beverage alternate with a glass of seltzer, water or plain juice. Alcohol causes dehydration leading to some of the side effects experienced the day after. By alternately drinking alcohol and other non-alcoholic beverages, you will both reduce your overall alcohol intake and replenish lost fluids. Take a food break. If you have not been near the appetizer table, move there, empty your hands of a drink and instead sample all of the foods offered. You can chat with others gathered around the food so you won’t be missing out on conversations. Finally, know your limit. How much you can drink is determined by your sex, weight, type of alcohol and time. You can calculate your tolerance rate at: www. VillaMilagroVineyards. com/alcohol-test.html An easy rule of thumb is to pace yourself to one drink per hour. Worse than a morning after headache is morning after remorse. Avoid the trap. Learn to pace yourself or “facebook” the consequences! Dr. Audrey Cross, a renowned nutritionist who owns Villa Milagro Vineyards with her husband, Steve Gambino, will provide monthly reviews of wine & health issues for Stem & Stein. &


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December 2013 Stem & Stein


Artisans Dinner A

By Mark Ruzicka

few issues back while doing an interview with Dave Hoffman, Climax Brewing, I was told about the Artisans Oktoberfest Dinner. Dave, who is also the brewmaster at Artisans, said it is a great event and I should come down to check it out. With that recommendation, I made a reservation to be seated with Dave and his friends. When I arrived at the Artisans Oktoberfest dinner and was making my way to my table I saw special guest, Mr Kurt Epps, and all the beautiful Dirndl maidens who were walking around with pitchers of Artisans Hop Harvest Golden Ale making sure everyone had plenty. This was the beer to be paired with Executive Chef, Steve Farley’s, authentic German feast. The night was rolling right along and everyone was entertained by the authentic Oompa band and colorful guest, the well know beer writer The Pub Scout, Mr Kurt Epps, who led the crowd in song, told jokes and did whatever it took to keep everyone entertained from the minute they walked in the door until they left. The next course arrived with fresh pitchers of the second beer on the menu, Artisans English Mild.  As the delicious food and beer kept coming out course after course, it was easy to see how this event has been such a success for the past ten years. Then it was time for the main course to be paired with a barrel of the aged Artisans Octoberfest beer. The crowd watched as Dave and crew skillfully tapped the wooden barrel. The beer began to flow from the barrel and then it was on to the main course, German short ribs and potato pancakes followed by dessert paired with a delicious Pumpkin ale.  Events like this with the amount of people they had to serve is no easy task. The crew at Artisans did a fantastic job with this event from the important timing of the the courses to the pairing of the food and beer.  If you missed it this year and you are from the area, this is a DO NOT miss event.  Or, if you’re not from the area, like me, I’m sure you will find that it is well worth the trip. If your planning to attend next year, a word of advice is reserve your table early because this event sells out very fast.  See you all next year. 14

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Photography by Mark Ruzicka

December 2013 Stem & Stein


Brew School Is In Session!

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Expires February 28th 2014

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Expires February 28th 2014

Take advantage of these great holiday deals. 16

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December 2013 Stem & Stein


SEAFOOD CELEBRATION Outstanding Seafood to fit your Budget Monday-Thursday for a Limited Time Only!

Join us for 3 Courses Includes Appetizer, EntrĂŠe (below) & Dessert!

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Featuring... eaturing... ea • Dennis Creek Pale Ale • Steelmantown Porter • New Brighton Coffee Stout • Marshallville Wit • Anglesea Irish Red • Holly Beach Pumpkin Ale

9 STONEY COURT OCEANVIEW, NJ • 609-827-5375 TUCKAHOEBREWING.COM December 2013 Stem & Stein



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Stem and Stein Dec. 2013  

Stem and Stein Dec. 2013

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