The Future Looks Rosy at a New Jersey Resort This Weekend

What: NJ Food & Wine Festival

Where: Crystal Springs Resort, Vernon Valley, NJ

When: March 13-15, 2009

Why: It’s time to let your inner oenophile come out to sip and spit. Because you really need to get away this weekend and it’s still too cold for a Central Park picnic. Pack up the Longchamp, you’re riding the rails towards New Jersey’s answer to the recession blues: unlimited fancy food and fine wine at the exclusive Crystal Springs Resort & Moët Hennessy hosted event.

If you’re not one to eat, drink, and run, for $689 per couple, the Ultimate Package includes accommodations at the resort, a winemaking seminar, the Grand Tasting—a swanky gala with top cru, cuisine, and entertainment by the 17 piece David Aaron Orchestra—and a Sunday champagne brunch. When’s the last time you put on that cocktail dress or suit and danced to a live orchestra?

Quaff your way through the world’s best wines and champagnes, taste artisanal cheeses, sample raw bars, and enjoy first-class culinary creations from executive chef Michael Weisshaupt of Restaurant Latour. On Saturday afternoon, Krug winemaker Julie Cavil will take you to the restaurant’s award-winning wine cellar and explain how champagne is blended and what makes each champagne house different. Brush up on your méthode champenoise and savor those gourmet bubbles. The beautiful Crystal Springs Resort is surrounded by over 100,000 acres of preserved mountains, deep forests, and crystal clear lakes, so you can round out your trip with hiking and biking. Cheers.

Cost: Check event schedule for prices starting at $65 for The Art of Blending Champagne Seminar.

How to get there: Easy public transit directions via NY Transit Bus, NJ Transit Bus, or rail from New York City are provided by the Crystal Golf Resort website. Download the directions here. (Crystal Springs Resort. Route 94, Vernon, NJ, 973.827.5996,

Photo: Courtesy of Crystal Springs Resort