Wine Tasting

Sat, Jan 13 and Sat, Jan 20 | before the concerts

Join wine and music expert Ron Merlino in an exclusive tasting of wines made of old-world grapes in new-world soil.


Sample great wines from Dr. Konstantin Frank and discover the singular vision, dedication and genius of the wartime exiles who foresaw and created the modern wine Industry of New York State and the eastern United States.

Echoing the Winter Festival theme, each tasting will feature a sample of fine US wines and a brief presentation on how two talented and accomplished European men—a French winemaker and a Ukrainian professor—fled Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia respectively to follow their dreams in the US. Charles Fournier was the renowned winemaker at Gold Seal Vineyards and met Konstantin Frank at a conference at the Cornell Geneva Experiment station. Konstantin persuaded Charles to give him a shot at planting vinifera at Gold Seal Vineyards. After their trials were successful, Konstantin started his own winery on Keuka Lake in 1962 and today is credited with being the first person to successfully plant the European species of grapes in the Eastern United States. His legacy and tireless belief can be enjoyed today in wines from vines grown up and down the Eastern seaboard. Today the winery is run by the third and fourth generation of the Frank family who continue to carry out Konstantin’s philosophies and vision. We will taste a sampling of these wines and reflect on the influences of post-war European immigrants on the arts in America.

Renowned wine and music expert Ron Merlino curates and leads the tastings.


Jan 13 at 6:30 pm | The Parsonnet Room at NJPAC
Ticket reservations for the Jan 13 event are now closed.

Jan 20 at 6:30 pm | The Heldrich Room at State Theatre New Jersey


The State Theatre New Jersey does not have an elevator. The Heldrich Room is located in the upstairs balcony lobby.