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Sunday, June 27, 2010

NEJAIME'S WINE CELLERS & CHEESE SHOPS of the BERKSHIRES CELEBRATES 40 YEARS....by Philip S. Kampe

Do you remember where you were in 1970?

Well, the NEJAIME Family of Berkshire County Massachusetts, certainly remembers where they were.

In 1970 they opened their first, of three, Wine & Liquor stores ( now, wine & cheese) in the Berkshires.

The stores are run by the NEJAIME family, whose father created a true Wine & Cheese Empire, unmatched in the state of Massachusetts.

Their secret to success is their unsurpassed wine knowledge and individual customer service the staff exhibit with each customer who walks into the door.

Whether you need wine for a party or just a half pound of cheese, the staff focuses in on your needs and helps you throughout your stay. I have been in hundreds or even thousands of wine shops in my lifetime and the NEJAIME family run business ranks with the Best of them in the industry.

The wines that the three shops carry are chosen by the family members and staff.

JIM NEJAIME, one of the brothers and prime wine buyer, has a wine palate, that is often mistaken for that of the World Most Famouus Palate, that of Robert Parker.

Jim Nejaimes wine picks are outstanding and are rarely questionable.

During the past several months, I have had the opportunity to taste hundreds of wines at their weekly in-store, free, Saturday afternoon tastings.

I have compiled a list of recent wines that are both quality and value driven.

ALL OF THE WINES LISTED BELOW ARE ALL WORTH BUYING.

++Note: All of the wine are suggested retail prices. In-store or internet sales often reduce these prices by 20%++
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MY TOP TWENTY-FIVE CHOICES from the NEJAIME Fanily and Staff Palate
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BERGER GRUNER VELTLINER 09' (Liter) $12.99

NOBILO SAUVIGNON BLANC MARLBORO 08' $12.99

AJELLO NERO d'AVOLA 07' $12.99

AVIGNONESI VINO ROSSO IGT 07' $15.99

VIETTI BARBERA TRE VIGNE 07' $19.99

LAYER CAKE SHIRAZ 08' $16.99

MUSCAT ST. JEAN MINERVOIS DESSERT WINE $12.99

GAMBAL BOURGOGNE ROUGE DEUX PAPIS 07' $31.99

ROEDERER BRUT ESTATE NAPA SPARKLING $24.99

CONCORDIA RIOJA RESERVE 02' $12.99

THIBERT MACON FUISSE 08' $17.99

BICHOT CHABLIS PREMIER CRU VAUCOUPINS 07' $39.99

MOCALI ROSSO di MONTALCINO 07' $19.99

DUCKHORN SAUVIGNON BLANC 08' $29.99

FOLIE a DEUX MENAGE a TROIS WHITE 07' $11.99

BERNARD MOREAU BOURGOGNE BLANC 08' $29.99

ZACCAGNINI MONT D' ABBRUZZO RESERVS 06' $17.99

NIETO TORRONTES 09' $12.99

ALMIRA LOS DOS GRENACHE/SYRAH 07' $8.99

VILLA SAN JULIETTE CABERNET 07' $15.99

AIA VECCHIA SUPER TUSCAN LAGONE 07' $17.99

PEPPERWOOD VIOGNIER 08' $9.99

INAMA SOAVE CLASSICO 09' $15.99

NIETO MALBEC RESERVA 08' $12.99

RIVE della PROSECCO BRUT $14.99
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Any business that operates for "40 YEARS" must know what they are doing.

The NEJAIME family who own and operate three Successful, "NEJAIME'S WINE CELLERS & CHEESE SHOPS"s, is a true example of Committment and Love for the Wine Business.

WHEN IN THE BERKSHIRES, VISIT NEJAIMES or find them on the web at: http://www.nejaimeswine.com/ You can order online!!

PHILIPS. KAMPE

Friday, June 25, 2010

CONUNDRUM...now in HALF BOTTLES (375 ml)...The PERFECT WINE for ALL 0CCASIONS ...by Philip S. Kampe

CONUNDRUM has always been known, to me, as a 'CULT' Wine.

As a wine consultant at SPARROW Wine in Hoboken to hanging out at SAM's WINE in Chicago, I have found that CONUNDRUM has the same appeal by the younger, hipper generation of years past to the present generation.

One of the mysteries of CONUNDRUM is guessing the white grape profile. The profile is never revealed percentage wise. This unique, complex blend is made of California white grapes, including Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Chardonnay, Viognier and Semillion.

The composition is never revealed, thus making this wine a curious wine to drink. I believe, this single fact has created the 'Cult' following.

CONUNDRUM is a wine that can be enjoyed with most foods, due to the diversity of the grapes used. The wines aroma often changes, but, notably apricot, lime and vanilla dominate. On the palate, tropical fruit and melon ceate a soft, acidic, crisp flavor that has an extra long finish.

CONUNDRUM has started to market this wine in Half-Bottles, thus making the wine a perfect choice for summer. Whether you go to Central Park or Tanglewood, the 375 ml size, with the screw top make this wine approachable.

The wine is affordable at around $10 per 375 ml bottle and under $20 for the normal 750 ml bottle.

I have already filled my small soda cooler with CONUNDRUM instead of beer. The small size of the bottle really makes it handy for all social occassions, especially BBQ's and picnics. And in my case, my High School Reunion (New Orleans) later this summer.

Your local wine shop should sell CONUNDRUM in the 750 ml size. Ask them to carry the 375 ml size. It will be your summer lifesaver!!

If you can't find the 375 ml size locally, visit http://www.whatsyourconundrum.com/ to learn where to buy this wine.

PHILIP S. KAMPE

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

NYC INDY SPIRITS EXPO....JUNE 23rd...TOUCH NY..240 WEST 52nd by Philip S. Kampe

If the Bar Show wasn't enough for you, The INDY SPIRITS EXPO 2010, may be your ticket.
The EXPO takes place at TOUCH NY, 240 West 52nd Street and runs from 5pm (VIP) to 9pm, today, June 23rd.

Regular admission starts at 6:30pm.

Visit www.IndySpiritsExpo.com for all Ticket and Show Information.

I attended this show last year and realize that if you are interested in finding Spirits made by small, boutique companies, this is the show for you.

Imagine tasting Vodka made in Idaho...or Vermont White or Gold Vodka....or Spirits made in the Berkshires of Massachusetts....or Vieux Carre Absinthe....or Gin from France.....or Organic Rum, Vodka and Liqueurs.

Plus several booths pouring rum, tequila, rye, hard cider and more.

This is a fun, must, show for anyone who believes in the small distiller!

PHILIP S. KAMPE

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SUD de FRANCE SYNCHRONIZED WORLDWIDE TASTING...DID YOU PARTICIPATE? by Philip S. Kampe

Marianne Fabre-Lanvin and her dedicated team are the guiding light and true force behind the success and awareness of the Languedoc-Roussillon regions presence in the New York City metro area.

The Sud de France established a tasting room/office at 10 East 53rd Steet in New York City. The office is centrally located and visually impressive, as it on the street level. Bottles of wine are placed from the floor to the ceiling, creating appeal to all of those who pass by with a curious eye for decor and wine. Since opening, the tasting room has hosted numerous seminars, tastings and worldwide events.

During the past two years, through Marianne Fabre-Lanvin's genius, the 30 Appellations with more than 60 Vins de Pays of the Languedoc-Roussillon region are now common knowledge to all those who participate in the numerous events the office sponsors. The region is incredibly diverse, thus producing hundreds of interesting and unique wines.

On June 21st, I had the opportunity to participate, live, with winemakers and Sud de France luminaries in a SYNCHRONIZED WORLDWIDE TASTING. Journalists from 24 countries participated in this event, including those from Shanghai, Bejing, London and Paris.

The New York group of journalists, via live camera feed, were joined with the Paris office of Sud de France in a live tasting of five incredible wines. As journalists, we were free to ask the winemakers questions about their wines, as well as comment regarding the flavor profile and terroir of the region.

This was a first for me. I could actually ask the winemaker from Gerard Bertrand when the grapes were harvested and were the vines on top of clay or limestone. It felt like an out of body experience. For a day, we were pioneers in the world of broadcast journalism for wine writers.

We were not alone in tasting the wines. Fifty journalists, worldwide, experienced the wines with us and Blogged or Tweeted their results on the Internet or on Facebook. The procedure was simple, Post your results and wine impressions on :
www.suddefrance-export.net/sync-tasting/blog/commentaires/ .

The five wines we sampled were picked form 430 wines from the Sud de France. The choices were all incredible and diverse. The catogories of wines were: Sparkling, White, Rose, Red and Sweet. Unfortunately, most of the wines we tasted were not exported to America, but, after the tasting, I would imagine they will all find a home in our country.

The Sparkling Wine (Cremant) was a SIEUR d' ARQUES, AOC/AOP, CREMANT de LIMOUX, GRAND CUVEE 1531. Made with 70% Chardonnay, this Cremant was full of apple, pear and lime notes.

The White Wine was an Organic/Biodynamic CIGALUS, VDP/IGP, PAYS d'OC, CUVEE 2008 from GERARD BERTRAND...Made with 80% Chardonnay, with a nose of straw, this 13.5%, full-bodied, long finish wine was a perfect represenative of what Chardonnay should taste like.

The Rose Wine was a FRUITE CATALAN, AOC/AOP, COTES du ROUSSILLON. This lively rose was made of 60% Syrah, with notes of strawberry and red fruit. It was a true Summer Wine.

The Red Wine was a DROMADAIRE 30670, VDP/IGP PAYS d'OC, CUVEE 2006. This overly tannic red had the nose of a barnyard and a hot, leathery taste. Made without oak, this 60% Syrah was a true winner.

The Sweet Wine was a MAS de MADAME,AOC/AOP, MUSCAT de FRONTIGNAN, CUVEE 2006. This Fabulous sweet wine is 15.3% alcohol and was full of floral overtones. It was a very clean, not overly sweet example of what could be done by a Master Winemaker with Muscat.

The Event was a True Success and a learning experience for all that participated.
To learn more about the SUD de FRANCE, visit http://www.sud-de-france.com/ or stop in the New York office at 10 East 53rd Street.

The SUD de France Team will be happy to assist you!!

PHILIP S. KAMPE

Sunday, June 20, 2010

THE BAR & WINE SHOW...JUNE 20th-21st at JACOB JAVITS...by Philip S. Kampe

JUST A REMINDER...
The BAR & WINE Show takes place this Sunday and Monday at Jacob Javits Convention Center in NYC.
Evey liquor imaginable will be at the show for tasting, as well as wines.
Bartending competion prevails.
It is a trade show, but, the public can attend.
Cost $30
Hours: Noon to six, both days.

DON"T DRIVE!!
PHILIP S. KAMPE

Friday, June 18, 2010

TEN WINES TO BUY THIS SUMMER by Philip S. Kampe

I have been tasting alot of wines, lately, through trade events, seminars, panels, tastings and in restaurants, bars and social events. Not to mention the daily ritual at home, as well as when you visit friends for dinner.

I have compiled a list of 'TEN WINES' that are good value wise in regard to quality and price.
All of the wines are $25 or under and should be available at your local wine store. If you don't find them, ask your wine shop to order the wine.
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MOLTO MALBEC 2008 Lujon de Cuyo (Argentina) $8 a bottle
40 year old vines soft oak bright fruit plum dark cherry
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HESKETH, SHIRAZ, Usual Suspects 2007 (Australia) $22 a bottle
toasty cassis black pepper outstanding value
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HANDLEY CELLERS, GEWURZTRAMINER, Anderson Valley 2008 (California) $18 a bottle
13.5% oak and stainless organic female winemaker spice overtone peach melon
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QUIVIRA VINEYARDS, SAUVIGNON BLANC, Fig Tree Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley 2008
(California) $18 a bottle
Organic Biodynamic nose of ripe melon and citrus concentrated tropical fruit
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HITCHING POST WINES, PINOT NOIR CORK DANCER 5.1, Santa Barbara County 2007
(California) $25 a bottle medium body exotic spice berry fruit
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IPSUM by BODEGAS HERMANOS VILLAR, Rueda 2009 (Spain) $13 a bottle
60% Verdejo 40% Viura crisp light honey citrus apple soft
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TELMO RODRIGUEZ, RIOJA LZ, 2008 (Spain) $18 a bottle
tart cherry licorice tobacco red and blackcurrent highly rated
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CHASING VENUS, PINOT GRIS, Marlborough 2008 (New Zealand) $19 a bottle
crisp minerally fresh kiwi lime honey banana sweet balance great summer wine
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RED TAIL RIDGE WINERY, DRY RIESLING, Finger Lakes 2008 (New York) $19 a bottle
flavorful lime and lemon aromas mineral finish citrus peel apple fennel seed
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ADAMI, PROSECCO di VALDOBBIADENE, Bosca di Gica Brut DOCG Superiore, NV (Italy)
$19 a bottle
crisp tart full flavored crisp acidity peach melon refreshing
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NOTE++ Many of these wines are distributed by MARTIN SCOTT WINES, a Premier Distributor of Fine Wines from around the World++
http://www.martinscottwines.com/

PHILIP S. KAMPE

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Premier Napa Winemaker MARCO DiGIULIIO creates NEW YORK JETS Limited Edition Wine...by Philip S. Kampe

MARCO Di GIULIO is a Famous Napa winemaker. He has worked at BUENA VISTA Winery, PINE RIDGE Winery, PEZZI KING Winery and PEPI Winery.where he took over the LOKOYA brand and established his reputation for making World-Class Cabernet Sauvignon. His ratings have been, consistently, between 90 to 98 points.

Presently, Marco, whose parents emigrated from Tuscany to San Francisco, California, is the producer of well crafted wines from the rugged landscape of Northern California, that provides his inspiration.

Marco's wines are labeled under: VINTAGE WINE ESTATES, BIN TO BOTTLE and LOOKOUT RIDGE.

On June 16th, MARCO DI GIULIO will unveil his newest wine, made specifically for the
NEW YORK JETS, in honor of of the opening of the new MEADOWLANDS stadium.

His 2008 "JETS UnCorked" should score a big TOUCHDOWN for the JETS organization


PHILIP S. KAMPE

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Top 10 players of our weekly wine quiz - May Edition


Congratulations to Bill Wertzberger and to the other top 9 players of the weekly wine quiz.
Great job!

1st WERTZBERGER BILL 3700pts
2nd CROSLEY JOE 3650pts
3rd WELLS EVAN 3600pts
4th MCNALLY NEIL 3600pts
5th SHIPWAY MARK 3550pts
6th JAMISON JAMES 3550pts
7th ROSS RICK 3550pts
8th CHILCOTT JEFF 3500pts
9th MALAGRIFA PAUL 3500pts
10th WETHERILL STEPHANIE 3500pts

To play our quizzes, please go to www.thewinehub.com and click on "Test you Knowledge"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

PICASSO SHOULD LOOK AT DEGAS...by Philip S. Kampe

After attending THE CLARK MUSEUM'S Gala and Opening of the "PICASSO LOOKS AT DEGAS" and "JUAN MINOZ" exhibition ( June 13th to October 17th), I can easily understand the exhibitions title and would like to change it to, "Picasso SHOULD LOOK at Degas".

The exhibit was mind opening and obvious, at least to my wife, Maria, and myself, that Degas was very influential and his ideas were often copied by Pablo Picasso . The influence lasted while Degas was alive and for years after his death.

THE CLARK has over 200 works, side by side, of Degas and Picasso. The findings focus on the influence Degas had on Picasso.

It is an exhibit worth visiting and a MUST art exhibition for true art lovers. THE CLARK has done a wonderful job of bringing the two artist's works together.

The Gala was wonderful and surpassed all I wrote about it in my previous article about THE CLARK.

Thanks to Sally Morse Majewski and the hard working staff of THE CLARK, who put on such a Professional and World-Class Event. During the years I have attended hundreds of high profile events and this one ranks with the BEST, World-Wide.

Now, for what we all enjoy, the Wine part of the evening.
The SANGRIA Bar made three types of Sangria, 'virgin', white and red. The recipe I attached to my last blog was not exactly what I drank. What I had was a very special sangria that had a true
nutmeg influence as the last taste in your palate. I liked it and will, actually, add it to my recipe and see if it works.

The wines served were Spanish, a 'Rueda and a Rioja'.

I would like to Thank the couples that I met, from New York, who read my earlier blog and attended this event.

For those of you, who may be in the Berkshires this summer, visit www.clarkart.edu for more information on the 'PICASSO LOOKS AT DEGAS and JUAN MUNOZ' exhibit...

IT IS WORTH THE TRIP!!

PHILIP S. KAMPE

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

SANGRIA at the CLARK MUSEUM on June 12th...An Evening of Art, Strolling Guitarist, Authentic Spanish Food, a Sangria Bar, Flamenco Dancing and Opera!

The CLARK ART INSTITUTE, located in Williamstown, Massachusetts (also home of Williams College), will celebrate the Opening of TWO Exhibitions: PICASSO LOOKS at DEGAS and sculptor JUAN MUNOZ with a Spanish themed Celebration and Gala Party at 6pm on June 12th.

A SANGRIA BAR will highlight the evening's beverages.
As a SANGRIA enthusiast, I will share my traditional SANGRIA recipe with you.

2 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon
4 ounces brandy
1 bottle of soda water
1 cup sugar
1 large sliced lemon
1 large sliced orange
1 thinly sliced apple

How do I make Sangria from these ingredients?

MIX the Cabernet Sauvignon with the fruit and sugar. Refrigerate the mixture for 24 hours.
The consistency should be somewhat syrupy.
ADD the brandy.
ADD soda water to make the consistency more like wine.
SERVE.

Of course there are variations, but, I have found this to be the most consistent SANGRIA recipe when entertaining.

SPEAKING OF ENTERTAINING!
The Tapas Menu for the Clark's "PICASSO LOOKS AT DEGAS" and JHUAN MUNOZ Event re-creates typical Spanish tapas fare. Featured tapas includes empanadas, gazpacho shots, Spanish cheeses, paella, olives, grilled lamb, chorizo, ceviche, fried artichokes, Spanish meatballs, shrimp, octapus, Spanish tortillas and shrimp croquetas.

The evening begins at 6pm with traditional Spanish music played by Flamenco guitarist Manolo Caballos, who is joined by Spanish guitarists, Francisco Isaza and Abe Sanchez. They will serrenade us until 8pm, when a Soprano and a Tenor from the famous Glimmerglass Opera will entertain us. Glimmerglass Opera is the renowned summer Opera Festival that takes place in Cooperstown, New York.

Following the opera, we will be treated with world renowned flamenco dancer, Ines Arrubla. She will perform traditional Flamenco dancing to the precise rhythms of one of the earlier entertainers, Flamenco guitarist, Manolo Caballos.

A Night@ Museum raffle will take place. The Winning prize includes a private tour, a behind the scenes talk, cocktails and a gourmet dinner for 20 guests. The raffle supports the Clark's school bus program.

Festive attire is suggested.

The gala will be held in several locations on the museum's campus. Throughout the evening, guests will have the opportunity to view the two exhibitions, PICASSO LOOKS AT DEGAS and JUAN MUNOZ.

The Staff at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute know how to throw a PARTY.

June 12th is an EVENT OF A LIFETIME!

PLEASE DON"T MISS IT!!

TICKETS are available online at http://www.clarkart.edu/ or by calling 1-413-458-0524.

Note++If you cannot attend the Gala, and would like to visit the Clark, the exhibition runs from June 13th through October 17th++

PHILIP S. KAMPE

Sunday, June 6, 2010

NICOLAS FEUILLATTE BRUT ROSE...What CHAMPAGNE is all about!! by Philip S. Kampe

It is the beginning of the summer, temperature wise (88 degrees today in New York), and to celebrate, we opened a bottle of NICOLAS FEUILLATTE'S BRUT ROSE. This salmon-pink-coppery colored cuvee is always a "Favored Companion For All Memorable Occasions".

Priced around $45 a bottle, one would expect an above average Champagne. NICOLAS FEUILLATTE'S BRUT ROSE received 92 points from the Wine Spectator and won a GOLD MEDAL at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

We opened the bottle and poured the unusual salmon-pink-coppery colored Rose into our traditional champagne flues. Since it feels like summer, we paired the Rose with strawberries and goat cheese, a classic, and my favorite.

The first sip of this cuvee blew me away. The aroma was that of concentrated red fruit, with a hint of lemon. The first flavors I tasted were raspberries, wild strawberries, lemon and red currents with a slightly, mineral Champagne overtone on top of the subtle flavor of white pepper. This cuvee was complex and soothing at the same time.

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rose is made of 60% Pinot Noir, which contributes to the cuvees roundness and structure; 30% Pinot Meunier which adds the fruitiness and 10% Chardonnay which gives it's elegance and finesse. The cuvee combines grapes from a selection of 20 to 50 single crus.

If you haven't tried Nicolas Feuillatte's Brut Rose, consider buying a bottle. Head to head with all of the other Roses in this price range, I believe that this cuvee is the "Best Value for the money".

PHILIP S. KAMPE

Friday, June 4, 2010

SUPPORT LOUISIANA THIS WEEKEND...ATTEND MICHAEL ARNONE'S 21st CRAWFISH FESTIVAL IN NEW JERSEY (An hour from NYC) by Philip S. Kampe

This is the time of year we normally think of refreshing summer wines, like, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand ( Oyster Bay) or Rieslings (I'm a fan of Dr. Konstantin Frank, Wagner or RedTailRidge..all from the Finger Lakes) or the numerous Roses from the South of France.

If you are a Louisiana person, like I am, this is the time of year you think of a cold beer with crawfish, crabs and shrimp. When you live in the east (NJ-Mass.), as I do, the memories of those summer days with true Louisiana food never leaves your mind.

Several years ago, as a member of Tulane University's Alumni Club (New York Chapter) , I attended MICHAEL ARNONE'S CRAWFISH FESTIVAL with sixty other alumni members. We met at the Cornell Club for breakfast and were whisked off on a PeterPan bus to the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, New Jersey ( an hour from NYC).

We did not know what was in-store for us.

We saw vendors selling authentic New Orleans fare including boiled crawfish with corn and potatoes; sausage and chicken jambalaya; grilled alligator sausage; shrimp creole; red beans and rice; catfish; crawfish; shrimp couchon de lait; hot sausage po-boys; crawfish pie; crawfish bread; and crawfish ettoufee.

++The BP spill will have little to no impact on this year's festival, according to Naoma Welk, PR contact for the Crawfish Festival++

Besides food, Louisiana is known for music. Michael Arnone has put together key artists from all aspects of Louisiana music including Cajun; Zydeco; Delta Blues; Gospel; Brass; Jazz and New Orleans R&B. The musical guests include: Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience; The Iguanas (my favorite band); Jeffrey Broussard and the Creole Cowboys; Taj Mahal; The Dirty Dozen Brass Band; Marcia Ball; GALACTIC; Jesse Lege and Bayou Blue; Johnny Ace and Sidewalk Zydeco; Honey Island Swamp Band with Rosie Ledet; The Redstick Ramblers and numerous other bands.

For a complete schedule, visit http://www.crawfishfest.com/ The Crawfish Festival begins on Friday, June 4th and ends on Sunday, June 6th.

Tickets can be purchased at the gate.

The Sussex County Fairgrounds is located off of Interstate 80, exit 34B, in Augusta, New Jersey.
Parking for the festival is free. Camping is allowed and encouraged for the entire three day festival. On Friday night, all activities and music are only for campers.

Cajun dance lessons take place daily from 11am to noon.

SUPPORT LOUISIANA by attending this wonderful festival......

Look for me at the Dance Hall.....it's time to TWO-STEP!!

++Visit http://www.crawfishfest.com/ for all the information++

PHILIP S. KAMPE