Wine connoisseur David Mullen writes book about state’s wineries
David Mullen, a Washington Township resident and retired school psychologist was looking for a way to pair his love of writing and his keen taste for good wine. Upon visiting all 49 of the Garden State’s wineries, he has written a book full of insider tips and reviews of what the state of New Jersey has to offer.
What started as a hobby, visiting New Jersey’s wineries, became a passion for Mullen. He said that he took a few classes at the Wine School of Philadelphia and earned a Sommelier Certificate which means he is a certified wine steward.
Certificate in tow, Mullen started a website, www.newjerseyuncorked.com, to give a “snob-free taste of New Jersey wine”.
“Blogging was something to do, I was recovering from heart surgery and retired,” Mullen said. “I love writing and decided to pair my love for writing with my interest and love for wine.”
As Mullen was blogging he made the decision to turn his work into a book titled New Jersey Uncorked: A Snob-Free Taste of New Jersey Wine.
“As I was writing I was thinking more and more that there hasn’t been a whole lot written [about the New Jersey wine scene],” he said. “The most recent book was written four years ago, this industry change rapidly, things can change quickly.”
One of the driving forces for writing the book was to try to reach a broader audience to spread the word that New Jersey has excellent wineries.
“It’s another voice to tell folks out there that New Jersey has some wineries that they should check out,” he said. “There are lots of people that are computer savvy and get on this.com or that.com, I realized that in my age group there are folks that aren’t computer savvy and drawn to books, even if they’re e-books. I thought this might be a good way to get the word out.”
The purpose of Mullen’s writing, both blog and book, are dual faceted — while he does have a passion for good wine and wineries, he also firmly believes that New Jersey can compete with the wine heavyweights like the Napa Valley, Sonoma and France to name a few.
“I have a sister that lives in California close to Sonoma and Napa Valley, for many years I’ve visited and became interested in wines from those visits,” Mullen said. “Within the last 8 to 10 years I realized it’s not just California, more and more wineries around me are improving. South Jersey in particular has a preponderance of wineries and the state is growing and making good wines.”
When asked if he thinks that New Jersey can hang with the big dogs, Mullen couldn’t say enough.
“Very much so,” he began. “Articles highlight how well New Jersey’s been doing in competitions, not just in New Jersey, but competing with wines from around the world and major wine producing regions and coming home with impressive results.”
One of the important parts to putting the book together was making sure it was visually pleasing. Mullen received some help from his wife with artwork for the book.
“I was interested in making it visually attractive, not just printed words. My wife does China illustrations,” he said. “I made photographs of her artwork on three pages which divide the book. The book is divided in regions, Southern, Central and Northern — her artwork separates them.”
The other aspect that Mullen drives home in his book is the “snob-free” factor.
“Snob-free part is important, I didn’t want to turn off readers who didn’t want to get into the weeds too deeply and see terminology they’re not familiar with,” Mullen said. “I give my opinions and support it but I know people like different wines, I think there’s something for everybody out there.”
Mullen will be hosting a book signing at Autumn Lake Winery in Williamstown on Sept. 8 from 1 to 5 p.m. the book will be available at the winery and online at Amazon.com