New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.

These days aren’t the easiest for social creatures who thrive on the energy of groups, let alone for those who crave a date night. Taking a hiatus from society can leave any New Jersey couple needing something to take off the edge from missing coffee dates in crowded cafés and romantic, candlelit dinners in restaurants.

Staying home may prevail for the moment, but luckily liquor stores in New Jersey are deemed essential and are open for pick-up, delivery and even shipping. Unplugging and enjoying a date night over a glass or two of vino is one way to wind down and actually enjoy some alone time. But what bottle of wine is best to enjoy in a situation like this? 

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Get ready for a New Jersey Date Night where it’s bottoms up!

Commit the Crime, Drink the Wine

Being on a virtual lockdown may make you a little stir-crazy and like the man on the label of 19 Crimes Cabernet Sauvignon, you might want to plan your epic escape. A tribute to the 19 crimes that would turn a British convict to an Australian colonist, this red is rich with vanilla aromatics balanced with red currants, violets and mulberry fruits, leaves a delightful finish of red currant, dark cherry and chocolate. Pictured on the label is Michael Harrington, one of the men who planned the 1876 Australian escape known as the Catapula Rescue. $9.99 at Peterson’s Wines Unlimited in Westfield.

Another “crime” came about in 1730s England when the average Londoner consumed 14 gallons (gallons!) of gin yearly, thus dubbing the beverage “Mother’s Ruin” for the children who were neglected by tipsy mothers. Centuries later the name inspired Mother’s Ruin, a tasty cabernet with flavors of cassis and plum with hints of eucalyptus and florals. Be sure to enjoy the label, Hogarth’s painting “Gin Lane,” as it sums up what many New Jersey moms are thinking during this time. $23.99 at Peterson’s Wines Unlimited.

For more information Peterson’s Wines Unlimited, their inventory and their delivery options, call 908-232-5341.

To Your Health!

If your date is a master of social distancing, they’re not going to hesitate approaching a bottle of “healthy,” especially when it’s a bottle of chardonnay! Healthy Hills Chardonnay is one of the best wines at the lowest price, and the taste is incredible with flavors of apple, pear, peach, apricot, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, kiwi, butter, cream and vanilla. The super-creamy texture with a hint of oaky flavor gives you a long and delicious finish. 

$14.99 at The Wine Library in Springfield.

For more information about The Wine Library, their inventory and their delivery options, visit

In the Same Boat

Yes, our dating habits have changed because of COVID-19, but we’re not the only ones in the world dealing with this crisis. Giving a nod to our friends in Italy is appropriate, so uncork a bottle of Platinum Sogno Montepulciano. You’ll appreciate the intense ruby red color with violet nuances and love the bouquet of the primary grape aromas with a flavorful fruity component. This full-bodied and robust, wine is perfect for toasting first responders across the globe. $17.99 at Cambridge Wines in Morristown.

For more information on Cambridge Wines, their inventory and delivery options, visit

Keeping up with the Scoop

Discussing the latest news stories in today’s world makes for plenty of conversation and a perfect beverage to enjoy while doing it is Storypoint Chardonnay. With flavors and aromas of ripe green apple, pear and white peach, you’ll enjoy the refreshing finish with subtle hints of caramel, vanilla and toasted oak. $15 at NosVino in Westfield.

One piece of news couples with kids won’t want to miss is when the schools re-open, and the perfect wine to toast that blessed day would be Matthew’s Blackboard 17. Inspired by the table wines of Bordeaux, this full-bodied red is perfect for sharing.  A portion of Blackboard wine proceeds are used to support educational charities, so you can enjoy knowing you’re doing so for a great cause. $25 at NosVino in Westfield.

For more information about NosVino, their inventory and their delivery options, visit

Finding Comfort in Your Cup

When the going gets tough, New Jersians get going — it’s an undisputed fact proven from disasters of days gone by. Of course, even the strongest New Jersey couple deserves a break during what can be perceived as apocalyptic times, and a glass of wine — ANY wine of your choice — is welcome. 

Regardless of the beverage, the cup or the situation, Garden State couples always prevail, even when at times we think we won’t. Pour a glass, take a sip, wink at your date and together remember that tomorrow will always be a better day.

Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of The 49th Challenge, Craig has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about Craig, visit

What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date?  Tell Craig all about it at


More At-Home Date Night Ideas:

Cuddle Up with Dinner & a Movie

New Jersey Date Night: The Healthy Social Distancing Date

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