Located right on the Raritan River and overlooking the picturesque old bridge, the Red Mill, and the Hunterdon Art Museum's old stone building, I don't think there is a better view in the state to enjoy your java. And best of all the coffee is great too! The secret is that they use high quality beans and brew "Americano" style where each cup us made individually - no auto drip hanging around in pots here. They brew it as espresso and add filtered, pure water (important as coffee is something like 99.9% water) especially for you. Teas are supposedly very good too. Round this out with a smiling face always behind the counter (usually the owner Mark) and some excellent pastries and snacks (the apple strudel rocks!) and I am ready to go for the day. Wifi, a nice place to sit inside and a really nice place to sit out on the terrace by the river too. Snowy day? Flood? Fear not - you can still get your joe: they have been open 365 days a year without a miss since they opened in 2001.
Down to Earth Wine is about what I love in the wine biz: small growers making honest wines that are the expression of the vineyards, grapes and people where they are made. It is about learning about why wines taste the way they do and delving beyond the numerical scores that have become a shorthand for knowledge. It's looking at wine from the ground up.
To me, the most amazing thing about wine is its ability capture and express the conditions of the time and place where they were grown. I find that in my 30 years involved with wine that the best wines are often the result of a philosophy of winemaking that believes that these natural influences should be the main story, creating wines with transparency, elegance, balance and finesse that allows the nature in the wine to shine though.
To help navigate the posts, they are categorized by type, and now include Vignettes: thoughts and musings on regions, travels, dinners and experiences; Cellar Defenders: favorite value wines; Vins de garde: Wine for the cellar; and Vins Vert, great organic, Biodynamic and naturally made wines.
Taste, travel, experiment, enjoy!