Taste of Madison Brings Napa Valley Flavor to Annual Event

Food and drink gala set for April 7 at The Park Avenue Club.

Contributed photo
Contributed photo
The Taste of the Madison returns Monday, April 7 to The Park Avenue Club in Florham Park and will exclusively feature the best wines from Napa Valley.

Gary’s Wine & Marketplace is the presenting sponsor of the event that will feature Madison’s best restaurants providing samples of their best dishes.

"Certainly, the Taste of Madison has become an event for restaurants old and new to show off their best,” said Madison Mayor Bob Conley, who is a founder of the Taste and a continuing member of the organizing committee. "Because it has always been held in winter or early spring, the Taste has become a community event to combat the winter blues."

Gary's has arranged for members of the Napa Valley Vintners to make an appearance at the event.

"The Taste and its guests are very fortunate that the great wineries from Napa Valley are visiting us and sharing their great wines,” said Danielle Dixon, a Taste co-chairwoman. “It’s one of the things that make the Taste of Madison so unique.”

In addition to food and wine, the Taste features a silent auction and basket raffle, which will be comprised of merchandise and services donated by Madison’s business and friends of Madison. The Taste also has a 50/50 raffle.

VIP admission is $100 for entry an hour early at 6 p.m. General admission is $65 for entry at 7 p.m. The event ends at 9:30 p.m. All guests must be 21 years of age or older.

Tickets are available at www.TasteOfMadison.org and at Gary’s Wine & Marketplace at 121 Main St. and at Gary’s locations in Wayne and Bernardsville.  D torr boutique at 36 Main St. and Sprouts Consignment at 250 Main St. are also selling tickets. Ticket must be purchased in advance and will not be available at the door.

The Taste also offers corporate sponsorships. For information about mutually  beneficial sponsorship opportunities contact Maureen Byrne, a Taste co-chairwoman at tmbyrne1@verizon.net or 973-714-0110.

Byrne said producing the Taste is “very labor intensive” for Madison’s restaurateurs and their staffs and the vintners from Napa Valley.

“In addition, more than 100 volunteers from our community work the night of the event. They handle guest relations and even pour wine. The Taste is definitely Madison putting its best foot forward,” Byrne said.

The Taste of Madison has been held annually since 2002. “The Taste’s mission,” according David Morozoff, a Taste co-chairman, “is to entertain its guests in a sophisticated and gracious manner, to promote the fine restaurants of Madison and to raise funds for many community-based initiatives.”

The Taste of Madison Organizing Committee, which is comprised of volunteers from businesses, non-profits and higher education, is a partnership between the Madison Chamber of Commerce, the Madison Downtown Development Commission and the Rotary Club of Madison. The partnering non-profits equally share production responsibilities and proceeds. Proceeds help to fund local charities, civic improvements and business development in Madison.

In its first 12 annual editions, the Taste has raised $385,000 and has entertained 5,500 guests. The 2013 Taste had proceeds of $38,650 and entertained 383 guests.

The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region in world. Founded in 1944, NVV represents almost 500 Napa Valley wineries and is a leader in the world-wide wine industry.

The Park Avenue Club, a short distance from downtown Madison, is a private, non-profit dining club when it isn’t opening its doors to special events like the Taste. The heart of the club is located in a fully restored historic dairy barn. Valet parking will be available at the Taste.

For more information about the Taste of Madison, visit www.TasteOfMadison.org or contact the Madison Chamber of Commerce at info@MadisonNJChamber.org or 973-377-7830.

Photo: The 2014 Taste of Madison Organizing Committee. Seated: Cara Bradshaw, Maureen Byrne and Danielle Dixon. Standing: John Morris, Jim Hollenbach, Michael Odell, Bob Conley, Wendy Tait, Anna Riker, David Morozoff, Michele Dominguez. Not pictured: Russell Stern, Mark Fabyanski, Jim Burnet, Rocco Iossa and Gary Fisch.


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