359 Highway 206 South
Bedminster, New Jersey
908.658.9292 · pluckemininn.com
Carl LaGrassa was impressed with Brian Hider’s passion for wine when Hider worked at another New Jersey restaurant. The feeling was mutual. When LaGrassa and wife, Gloria, left Wall Street behind to open the Pluckemin Inn, Hider was their first choice as wine director, and he helped them design the restaurant, with its three-story display tower in the inn’s dining rooms. Executive Chef David Felton cooks up local, seasonal fare such as braised lamb shank with Anson Mills polenta, olive purée and gremolata that Hider pairs with a Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona 1998 Brunello di Montalcino. In the past year, Hider and LaGrassa have expanded their inventory by some 25%—an impressive number, even if the economy were booming, and one that proves the pair’s devotion to wine.
Number of selections: 4,400-plus
Bottles in inventory: 46,000-plus
Number of wines by the glass: 36
BYO: Yes, one bottle, if it’s not on the list. Corkage Fee: $35
Wine list highlights: Focus on Burgundy, Piedmont and California. New on the list are some lovely 2005 red Burgundies; California up-and-comers like Rivers Marie from winemaker Thomas Brown and DR Stephens Cab from winemaker Celia Masyczek. Verticals of Ridge Monte Bello 1984-2005, Caymus Special S e l e c t 1 9 8 5-2 0 0 5 a n d Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 1999-2005. Older g e m s : 1 9 2 9 C h â t e a u d’Yquem, 1934 Domaine de la R o m a n é e -C o n t i , 1 9 2 9 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg and 1929 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Vosne-Romanée Les Gaudichots.