Club Happenings – Spring 2018: Monthly Club Meeting at 56 Degrees Wine in Bernardsville


“And now for something completely different”. Yes, I need to give credit for that line to Monty Python’s Flying Circus for those of you who are old enough to remember them. (And if you don’t know, look it up. – JF) What does that have to do with 56 Degrees Wine and a BMW car club meeting? Vice-President Paul Ngai contacted me to let me know he would be out of town for this meeting and wanted me to manage it for him. Was Paul reading my mind that it was a dream meeting for me, a car club meeting in a liquor store? What could have made it any better; a couple of Turner or Bimmerworld Race Cars?

So why not have a meeting at a store that not only sells wine but some boutique spirits and microbrewery beers and ales as well. After all, we enjoy having and driving our fine automobiles, we should be able to enjoy fine wines and spirits as well. The meeting got off to our usual start of business, introduction of new members, stuff to buy or sell and some announcements for the Club’s upcoming events. When the business portion of the meeting was completed, it was then turned over to our host, Joe Bembry and his associate Roberto Rivera.

56 Degree owner Joe Bembry explains the winemaking process to club members. Photo by Neil Gambony.

I wish that I was as knowledgeable about BMWs as Joe was about his wines. He informed us that 56 degrees is the perfect temperature for storing wine, hence the name for the business. He also admitted that he had turned the temperature in the store up to 60 degrees for the personal comfort of his customers.

Forty or so Club members were in attendance February 27th as we were educated on some of the differences of wine of both domestic and foreign origin. We had side by side comparisons of both red and white wines, foreign and domestic. Interestingly, that by a show of hands of which wine that was more preferable, there was quite the split. We were tasting wines in the $10 -$20 range per bottle which just goes to show that great wine doesn’t have to be expensive.

So what else should you have with your wine? We were treated to some exquisite cheeses from places like France and Italy to go along with some bread and crackers. This is something that 56 Degrees Wine does as their business model that should you stop in on a Saturday they will have several different wines for sampling along with having cheese and crackers to go with them.

56 Degrees Wine has wine from all around the world and they taste it before buying it. If they don’t like it, it won’t be on their shelves. They are located at 25 Claremont Road in Bernardsville NJ, about a block up from Route 202 which runs through the center of town. Their website is 56

We look forward to a return visit to 56 Degrees Wine and maybe then we could discuss what may have been your favorite skit of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Related Articles - Meeting