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Best Of Mark’s Wine Tips: A Decanter Is Your Friend

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

For the past 4 years, Bentley’s Grill guests have benefited from the expertise of our Wine Steward, Mark Jacklich.

 Mark is exceptionally familiar with the winemaking process and grape varitials through his studies with the Court of Master Sommeliers.  He has also spent a great deal of time studying the wine making process at local vineyards and even working with Jim Bernau’s team at Willamette Valley Vineyards.  

Mark happily shares his knowledge and recommendations with anyone who asks and writes a series of posts for our blog we like to call “Wine Notes with Mark“.  We have assembled some of his best tips and recommendations to help you get the most out of your wine tasting experience in a new “Best Of” series.  

photo credit: © RAW 2013 via photopin (license)

Letting wine breathe, decant, or aerate is simply allowing your wine to be exposed to the surrounding air.  As a good rule of thumb, most wines need a good 15 minutes to let them show their character.  By allowing wine to mix and mingle with the air, the wine will “open up” and the wine’s aroma will be more present.

A decanter’s main purpose is to allow a wine to have more contact with air while reducing the amounts of sediment that make it into a glass.  The result is a softer and more mellow flavor profile and the overall flavor characteristics should improve.

While red wines typically benefit more than whites from this process,  Mark says there are a few whites that can evolve when allowed to open up (mainly Chardonnay).  He frequently recommends ordering a white wine as a starter to our guests and a big bodied Cabernet at the same time. “While the guests are enjoying the light, refreshing starter, the other will be opened, decanted, and ready by the time dinner is served,” he says. “Some believe that simply pulling the cork on a bottle is enough, but with the limited amount of wine-surface to air, a decanter can be your best friend.”

DIY Decanting at home

If you don’t have a decanter, a juice pitcher will work just as well.  You can also look into using smaller decanting tools such as a decanting pour spout or a table top decanter that you pour the wine through and into the glass. These achieve similar effects by allowing the wine to swirl and breathe before even hitting the glass. There is a type of glass on the market now that has an aerator directly in the middle of the glass that you pour your wine into and (if you have good aim) will get your wine opened nicely.

photo credit: デキャンティングポーラー via photopin (license)

Decanting Young Bottles

If you have a young wine that has a high level of tannins such as Cabernet and Merlot, Mark recommends decanting for at least 30-45 minutes before it starts giving you it’s best.  In some cases, young bottles can benefit from a bit longer in the decanter (an hour or two). You can also decant on a smaller level with a Pinot Noir glass that has plenty of room and capacity to accommodate‎ a good swirl.

Decanting Mature Bottles

Around thirty minutes is plenty of time for a mature bottle to open up; any longer could compromise its integrity. When working with an older bottle or one you know has a fair amount of sediment, it is crucial to try to keep any sediment undisturbed while removing the cork. This can be done with a steady hand or with the help of a decanting basket.

After removing the cork it is key to wipe out any sediment that has accumulated in the neck of the bottle where the cork was. Before you get to pouring, Mark says a light source should be placed behind the bottle so you can eye the neck of the bottle for sediment. A flashlight or a candle would be sufficient. Stop as soon as you see any small particles or the wine becoming cloudy in the neck. It is common for there to be an ounce or two left in the bottle.

If you have more questions about decanting or any other wine recommendations, ask for Mark next time you come to Bentley’s Grill and he will be happy to help you. Till then, Cheers!


Bentley’s Grill Makes 2015 Oregon Wine A-List Award-Winning Restaurants

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Oregon Wine A List Awards logo

Bentley’s Grill Named Oregon Wine A-List Restaurant!

Oregon Wine A-List Award-winning restaurantsThe Oregon Wine Board, in association with Oregon Wine Press, revealed the 2015 Oregon Wine A-List Award-winning restaurants earlier this month, and we are proud to announce that Bentley’s Grill is among the select few to earn an Oregon Wine A-List Award in the Willamette Valley region! In fact, we were 1 of just 2 Salem restaurants to receive this honor.

Formerly known as the Superior Cellar Awards, The Oregon Wine A-List Awards honor restaurants —both in-state and outside of Oregon—that promote and feature the wines of Oregon on their wine lists.

“We received a great many nominations for restaurants that go out of their way to feature Oregon wines,” said Hilary Berg, Oregon Wine Press editor. “It’s heartening to realize how many fine dining establishments appreciate the food affinity of Oregon wines.”

All nominated restaurants were carefully reviewed by a select committee of Oregon wine industry professionals. Nominees were evaluated, and winners chosen, on a variety of criteria including, but not limited to, the proportion of Oregon wines on their list, diverse representation of Oregon wine varieties and geographic regions, graphic prominence of Oregon wines on the list, and the restaurant’s commitment to events and promotions that feature Oregon wines.

We must say, it feels pretty good to be on the A-List and to be recognized for our commitment to the wines of Oregon. We are known locally for our distinctive selection of wines from Oregon on our by-the-bottle and/or by-the-glass wine lists along with our Wine Tastings featuring a local winery every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month.

Wine by the Glass Bentley's Grill

The 2015 Oregon Wine A-List, organized into seven geographic regions, can be found in the Oregon Wine Almanac, an annual publication of the Oregon Wine Press, online at, and listed below.

About Oregon Wine Press
Oregon Wine Press is a monthly consumer publication dedicated to Oregon wine, Pinot noir, food, vineyards, winemakers, and insider-industry happenings. Established in 1984, OWP was acquired and re-imagined in 2006 by the News-Register Publishing Co., which is located in the heart of Oregon wine country, McMinnville, Oregon. Visit

About the Oregon Wine Board
The Oregon Wine Board is a semi-independent Oregon state agency managing marketing, research, and education initiatives that support and advance the Oregon wine and wine grape industry. The Board works on behalf of all Oregon wineries and independent growers throughout the state’s diverse winegrowing regions. Visit

Best Wines to Pair With Valentine’s Day Dinner

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Valentine's Day

Through the years, our restaurant has become an increasingly popular destination for couples to spend a special night out. Perhaps it’s our downtown location, delicious food, cozy atmosphere, full service lounge bar or a combination of all the above. We almost forgot to mention our wine bar offering more than 200 premier red and white wines by the bottle and over 40 by the glass!

Inside the Restaurant

When couples are looking for the finest in Willamette Valley fare, they come to us. Valentine’s Day weekend is around the corner and we recommend making your reservations as soon as possible by calling (503) 779-1660.

To get the most out of your dining experience, we have some tips to help you pair your meal with the right wine. Our Wine Steward, Mark Jacklich, is here to help our guests navigate their way through our wine and food menu.

Arygle 2010 Brut Rose

“Valentines day is always a good reason to share some bubbly with that special person that is near and dear to your heart,” says Mark. “Arygle 2010 Brut Rose almost goes hand in hand with this special day.”

Arygle 2010 Brut Rose was reviewed by Wine Spectator gave it a score of 91 points and described it as “delicate wisps of watermelon, rhubarb and loamy earth combine enticingly in the aromas and flavors of this delicate and dry rosé sparkler”.

Stolen Kisses

Another wine Mark suggests for your lovely evening out is “Stolen Kisses” by Treos. This wine is predominately a Pinot Gris with a “slight kiss” of Muscat. Wine Spectator says, “Stolen Kisses is a deliciously refreshing wine with a blissful aroma and a touch of sweetness that lingers on the lips and in your memory”.

Dine with us on Valentine’s Day when Bentley’s Grill will offer Stolen Kisses by the glass as well as an irresistible cocktail topped with St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and a twist. Make your reservations now!

Our New Happy Hour Menu Will Make You Even Happier!

Thursday, December 4th, 2014
Zucchini Fries with chipotle ranch just added to our new Happy Hour Menu.

Zucchini Fries with chipotle ranch just added to our new Happy Hour Menu.

Just when you thought our “Happy Hour” couldn’t get any happier, Bentley’s Grill has added DELICOUS new menu items!

Our new happy hour menu features many of our classic favorites and new menu items with the Northwest diner in mind. Pairs these dishes with our specialty cocktails or a selection off our extensive Oregon beer and wine list to enhance your dining experience.

Our daily Happy Hour is 4-6 p.m. All food must be consumed on premises (no to go orders). Follow our Facebook Page and Instagram feed to get the lowdown on our weekly Lounge Lizard Monday, Tuesday Tini and Wednesday Ladies Night specials!

Dungeness & Rock Crab Cakes.

A classic! Dungeness Crab Cake.

Korean Lettuce Wraps

Just added to our Happy Hour menu- Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Roasted Chicken Quesadilla- with Jack and cheddar cheeses, lime crema and salsa casera

Dungeness Crab Cake-Accompanied by Asian slaw, pickled ginger and tobiko aioli

Classic Caesar Salad-Crisp romaine leaves, shaved parmesan and roasted garlic croutons

Baked Goat Cheese & Romesco- With toasted garlic ciabatta

Happy Hour Salad- An ever changing selection featuring the freshest ingredients of the season!

Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps- Crispy fried garlic and chili marinated chicken tossed in Korean BBQ sauce, topped with spicy cucumber kimchi

Roasted Garlic Polenta Cakes- Grilled and topped with basil pesto

Zucchini Fries- Dipped in tempura and seasoned flour, fried golden and served with chipotle aioli

Mediterranean Salad- Garbanzo beans, Kalamata olives, cucumbers and roma tomatoes in lemon vinaigrette, topped with feta cheese

Coconut Prawns- Gulf shrimp coconut crusted, served with mango and pineapple salsa

Bay Shrimp Cocktail- Oregon bay shrimp with classic cocktail sauce, garnished with fresh lemon

Seasonal Soup- A cup of our house made selection

Pair the above with one of our specialty cocktails for the true Bentley’s Grill “Happy Hour” experience!

The “Grand “ Margarita- Don Julio Blanco Tequila, Tuaca and Grand Marnier, shaken and served on the rocks with all the usual trimmings

Bentley’s Flirtini- Stoli Strasberi vodka with Cointreau, pineapple and cranberry juices, shaken and served on the stem, finished with a float of champagne

TLC- Tanqueray English gin, muddles limes and tonic, served on the rocks with a slice of cucumber

Bentley Breeze- Absolut and Absolut Citron vodkas with Chambord black raspberry liqueur, sour mix, muddled lime, lemon and orange slices, served in a chilled martini glass

Toasted Almond- Ciroc Amaretto Vodka and Kahlua Coffee Liqueur with a dash of cream, served on a swirled chocolate stem

Electric Lemonade- Ketel One Citroen Vodka, DeKuyper Blue Curacao, muddled oranges and lemons with a splash of lemonade, served on the rocks

Chocolate Addiction Martini- Absolut Vanilia, Godiva liqueur, Kahlua, chocolate syrup and a dash of cream, served on the stem

Raspberry Pear Sidecar- Wild Roots Raspberry Infused Vodka andn Clear Creek Pear Brandy, shaken with muddled lemons and served on a sugar rimmed stem

What to Pair with Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps?

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Korean Lettuce Wraps

To get the most out of your dining experience, it’s important to pair your meal with the right wine. To help our guests navigate their way through our wine and food menu, we have asked our Wine Steward, Mark Jacklich, to share some of his recommendations. Here is his latest recommendation featuring a popular dish off our new Happy Hour Menu!

Mark’s Food and Wine Pairing of the Month

This month I would like to highlight a popular item that has hit the menu recently, the “Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps”.

This appetizer features chicken marinated in garlic and chili then *crispy fried and tossed in a savory Korean BBQ sauce.  The dish is then topped with house made spicy cucumber Kimchi and sesame seeds. Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. It is often described as spicy and sour.

The wine paring I suggest with this dish is our dry 2011 Brooks Riesling.

Brookes Riesling

With flavors of Bartlet pear, honey and lemon, this wine is medium bodied with great acidity and a dry finish that makes it a perfect counter part to the complex flavors of the Korean Chicken Lettuce Wrap.  Enjoy!

*There is a gluten free option on this dish where we skip the crispy fried part and pan sear instead.

Bentley’s Grill has one of the most extensive selection of Oregon wines in our region.  We hope you will come in and try this pairing, or check with Mark for other suggested pairings and ideas.   Learn more about our wines in Wine Notes with Mark. Enjoy!