Behind the Bar

Wine – Keep it Simple

Wine can be a very complicated subject matter. No doubt, tending and training the vines, growing the grapes, knowing when to harvest and finally the craft of bringing all of it together to produce an enjoyable experience to karlshare with family and friends is both challenging and hopefully rewarding for those engaged in the hard work. BUT!! If you are anything like me you are mostly interested in one thing: How does it taste and do I enjoy it.

O.K. you got me that’s two things.

Trust me, you do not have to be a Mensa candidate to enjoy wine. Some folks try to cultivate wine appreciation into an intellectual endeavor. It AIN’T. It is about the visceral impact of a good grape on one’s palate. That is it.

By the way the highest and best use to which a palate can be put is to separate the oral cavity from the nasal cavity. Everything and anything beyond that is simply a bonus. But what a bonus – when you find that just right wine to share with that just right person at that just right moment.

Take it from a lifetime member of the third reading group – keep it simple and savor the damn wine.





Karl is a former drill instructor and recovering attorney. He joined the Hawk Haven team in April of 2012 and we haven’t been able to get rid of him since. To read more about our resident vineyard curmudgeon, click here.

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Behind the Bar: Lynsie

This is going to be very odd because today I’ll be writing about myself. Hello, I’m Lynsie, I manage the blog, facebook, and twitter for Hawk Haven. You might also see me in the tasting room, usually at the register. I started working here in the summer of 2010 because Hawk Haven was and is my favorite winery here in Cape May County. I love the atmosphere, not to mention the wine maker hasn’t yet made a wine I didn’t like. Everyone here is so friendly, from the staff to the customers, that it never feels like a job.

lynsiebiophotoI live in Cape May with my husband but I was born and raised in Delaware. No kids yet, but we do have a dog and two cats. I started pursuing an English degree at University of Delaware, but ended up majoring in Religion at Liberty University in Virginia. So, naturally, I have a completely unrelated job here at Hawk Haven, pouring wine and tweeting pictures of the vineyard.

I love reading, cooking, and jogging. I also have an unnatural obsession with Disney World which everyone here loves to tease me about. Seriously though, get me started talking about it and I won’t shut up. I am amazed at the number of guests that visit the winery who are fellow Disney lovers and I love exchanging tips and stories about visiting “the World.”

But I digress. I’m supposed to talk about my favorite Hawk Haven wine now, but the truth is I love the different wines for different reasons. Mostly it depends on what I’m eating.cinderella I love the Pinot Grigio with salmon baked with lemon slices and capers because the citrusy notes of the wine cut through the creamy texture of the fish. I don’t eat Mexican food without the Red-Tailed Rose because the fruity sweetness is a perfect match for the spicier tones in the food. The Northern Harrier Red is a great everyday drinking wine and when I’m in the mood for something with a little more substance like pasta or burgers, this blend is an easy pick. I could go on and on but I guess if you were going to get me a bottle for Christmas, I would want the 2010 Reserve Merlot. It isn’t on our regular tasting list (it’s Signature Series), but I promise you this wine is divine. It’s so smooth and rich with notes of raspberry and cocoa. It was love at first sip!

My advice for wine drinkers is to not be afraid to try new wines. Your palate is always changing, and besides, even within a particular varietal there are going to be different flavors depending on where it was grown, how it was aged, etc. Wine tasting should be relaxing and fun; remember, you’re here to find something you love! And don’t be afraid to ask questions.

P.S. This month Lynsie is raising awareness and funds for the International Justice Mission‘s goal to end human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression by participating in Dressember. She will be wearing a dress every day for the entire month of December, and you can follow her on instagram and twitter. Please consider making a donation on her campaign page (click here).

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Behind the Bar: Josh

joshbiophotoIf customer reviews are any indication of your favorite staff members, Josh is probably somewhere in the Top 5. He is known for his very informative wine tastings and he also is one of three people qualified for doing our Vineyard & Winery Tours. Born and raised in Cape May County, Josh still lives locally with his wife Jill and two cute little red-headed twin girls. He came to us in the spring of 2011 with a background in Biology and an interest in producing wine on a commercial scale.

Besides working in the tasting room and acting as tour guide, Josh has also been managing Hawk Haven’s retail outlets. There are several local restaurants that carry Hawk Haven wines, and his job is to visit each place, make sure the staff are familiar with the wines, keep track of bottle sales, and restock them for the week.


His favorite thing about working here is “quality assurance.” In other words, he enjoys tasting the wine each day to make sure it is acceptable for you. In other, other words, he just likes to drink the wine. Like so many of us, he loves the 2010 Petit Verdot because it is silky smooth with flavors of blackberries, currants, and a deep earthiness. “The way most women feel about chocolate, everyone should feel about [the Petit Verdot].” His advice for fellow wine drinkers? “The only way to learn is to taste everything, so keep drinking.”

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Behind the Bar: Jaclyn

If you’ve been coming to Hawk Haven for a while now, you’ve probably noticed some new faces over the last year. We thought it would be a good idea to let you get to know our staff a little bit more in our new Behind the Bar series. Of course, nothing is better than chatting in person, so come have a glass or two with our friendly wine tasting guides, waitresses, and service bar staff! In the meantime, here is a little background info on one of our newest employees, Jaclyn!

photoJaclyn came to us a couple months ago from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania where she lives with her parents and younger sister. She is currently majoring in Biology at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and found herself drawn to the science of fermentation, so she is a perfect fit as our viticulture and oenology intern. She is also a Division I Track & Field Runner. Little known fact: Jaclyn can bench press 135 pounds. Do NOT mess with this girl! Not even Todd can bench press that much.

When she’s not using her well-toned arms to pour wine in the tasting room, she can be found by the water enjoying some deep sea fishing with her family, or surfing with friends in Stone Harbor.

Jaclyn’s favorite Hawk Haven wine is the 2011 Riesling. “It tastes like summer in a glass and I love the aroma of honeysuckle. It reminds me of my childhood.”

Her main goal at Hawk Haven is to study the wine making process, from learning about jaclynbiophotothe different varietals and how they grow, to fermentation and aging. You may soon find her, clipboard in hand, taking extensive notes on growing conditions, fermentation progress, and keeping track of various details like sugar and alcohol content, etc. She’ll also be helping with the Rutgers Research Project at Hawk Haven, tracking weather patterns and growth of the new vines.

We asked Jaclyn what advice she has for wine drinkers, and she said, “Don’t knock it until you try it!” Well said, Jaclyn, we agree completely!

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