News

The Medford Sun: Medford Leas’ Lectures Highlight Local Food and Wine

published on October 6, 2016 by News Staff

Wine and dine on the thought of fresh, local foods and beverages at two lectures being offered by Medford Leas this fall.

Benefits of Eating Local Foods at the Vincentown Diner and Wines in the Garden State: Past, Present, and Future, will offer a look at the local options available when dining and drinking. The programs will be held in Medford Leas’ Medford Campus Theater and are being offered at no cost. The Vincentown Diner program will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 25, and the Wines program will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 15, both from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Although utilizing local foods is a trend that has grown in popularity recently, the Vincentown Diner switched to local and seasonal foods more than a decade ago under the ownership of Jim Melissaratos because, as he explained, it made good business sense and supports the local economy.

“The Vincentown Diner is proud to not only support the local economy, but to work to build community by educating our customers as to where the food comes from – thus connecting diners to the folks who grow and prepare these items for final consumption,” said Melissaratos, who will be joined by Vincentown Diner staff in delivering a lecture at Medford Leas.

John Cifelli, the current General Manager of Unionville Vineyards, and a fifteen-year food, beverage, and hospitality professional, will lead the second program on local wine.

“You should drink local wine because the quality is on par with anything from more established parts of the wine world, there are dozens of varieties to choose from, and you support the local economy by doing so,” said Cifelli. “Buying a bottle of local wine supports a local farm, which employs local people, so you are helping your own community. It’s also better for the environment.”

Since New Jersey laws changed in 1981, the production of wine in New Jersey has increased significantly. The state is ranked seventh in the nation in total wine production and state wineries receive praise from critics, industry leaders, and in competitions.

Cifelli, also the Executive Director of The Winemakers Co-Op, will explore the history of New Jersey wine with attendees, as well as current trends and what he thinks is in store for the growing industry.

“Benefits of Eating Local Foods at the Vincentown Diner” and “Wines in the Garden State: Past, Present, and Future” are part of a series of programs being offered by Medford Leas this fall. There is no fee for either program; however, participants should register by Oct.14 to secure their seat for the Vincentown Diner program, and Nov.11, for the Wines program. For a full listing of Pathways to Learning at Medford Leas programs, or to register for a program, visit www.medfordleas.org or call (609) 654-3588.

Medford Leas is a nationally accredited not-for-profit community, guided by Quaker principles, for those who are aged 55 and older, with two campuses. The Medford Campus is located at 1 Medford Leas Way.

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