Drinking Up New Jersey's BYOBs
Like a good bottle of wine with dinner? New Jersey is home to dozens of great wineries with traditional varietals and tasty fruit wines.
Work up an appetite finding a bottle or two at the vineyard or a local retail outlet. Then bring it along to some of the Garden State's top BYOB restaurants for the perfect evening. Take a bottle of the semi-dry Cayuga white wine from Belvidere's Four Sisters Winery to the bustling and cheerful Anthony David's in Hoboken . Start with the mussels in the orange cream Pernod sauce. Follow that with the duck and marvel at how the Cayuga complements the side of pumpkin polenta. Pick up a bottle of chardonnay from Hopewell Valley Vineyards in Pennington before going to Hamilton's Grill Room in Lambertville.
The iced North Atlantic oysters with champagne mignonette are a speciality. For those who don't eat meat, the grilled vegetable kabobs with couscous and pesto are an appealing alternative. The chardonnay works well with both items, but those who prefer red wine should try the vineyard's barbera with cherry and raspberry flavors.
The full-bodied cabernet sauvignon from the Cream Ridge Winery stands up to the world-class tomato pies at DeLorenzo's Tomato Pies in Robbinsville, a bustling spin-off from the legendary Trenton eatery. Adventurous souls should try the amazing clam pie.
If you like fruit wine, try pairing a pizza with a bottle of Cream Ridge's cranberry wine. You'll want to get two bottles from Valenzano Winery in Shamong before heading to Spring Lake's Whispers Restaurant , where you'll find the flowery decor of a bed and breakfast and the historic reproduction wallpaper found in an old-time tavern.
The vidal blanc has citrus flavors that won't overpower the homemade gnocchi with lobster meat appetizer. The winery's deep velvety cabernet merlot works well with the rack of lamb entree. The medium-bodied cabernet franc from the Tomasello Winery in Hammonton is a good match for the prosciutto-wrapped buffalo mozzarella with red peppers appetizer at Chef Vola's in Atlantic City. The flattened rib veal parmesan entrée pairs well with the winery's dense cabernet sauvignon.
Bring along a bottle of the off-dry Cape May Riesling from the Cape May Winery Vineyard to Black Duck on Sunset in West Cape May. Start with the pu pu platter, which lets you partake in dumplings, spring rolls and other small bites. Follow it up with a jumbo lump crab cake entrée. The crisp wine works well with both options.