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Best Warm Weather Wines To Try at Bentley’s Grill

Friday, April 24th, 2015
Wine Steward Mark Jacklich

Bentley’s Grill Wine Steward Mark Jacklich and his iconic mustache.

Bentley’s Grill Wine Steward Mark Jacklich knows Oregon Wine better than just about anyone else we know.  Our commitment to supporting local wineries have resulted in accolades and awards from wine publications and the Oregon Wine community.  Mark is always happy to share recommendations with you in person and in his special series we call: Wine Notes with Mark. Enjoy!

By Bentley’s Grill Wine Steward Mark Jacklich

2014 Illahe Vineyards Viognier. Photo courtesy of Illahe Vineyards

2014 Illahe Vineyards Viognier. Photo courtesy of Illahe Vineyards

Now that the warmer weather is upon us. I thought this would be the perfect time to highlight a new warm weather wine by the glass here at Bentley’s Grill. The 2014 Viognier from Illahe Vineyards, a family owned winery in nearby Dallas, Oregon, is one to try!

The 2014 Illahe Vineyards Viognier has effusive aromatic notes of apricot, honeycomb, and peach pulp that leaps out of the glass to greet the nose. This is followed by more subtle notes of tea tree oil, lime, and gardenia. The wine plays on the palate with a tantalizing acid backbone that is generous, opulent and unassuming.

Viognier, while hard to say (Vi as in “Vi-deo”; oh as in “Oh Dear; n as in “No”; yay as in “Yay for us!”), is easy to drink with bright fruit flavors and subtle sweetness. Pairs well with foods with subtle spice and delicate flavors like our Thai Chicken Salad, Seared Ahi, or Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps. We have a healthy assortment of Wines By the Glass perfect for warm weather like

Sauvignon Blanc, Carlton Cellars ‘12 Estate OR
Gruner Veltliner, Illahe ‘12 Estate OR
Pinot Gris Torii Mor ‘11 Willamette Valley OR

Another warm weather favorite of mine is a rosé. While they are made from red wine grapes, the limited skin contact with the juice imparts a pink hue and gives off light and bright flavors that are hallmarks of summer. From the light strawberry, watermelon and cherry flavors, a rosé is typically a lighter expression of the grapes of which it was pressed from. Some of my favorite rosés include Firesteed 2013 Rosé and Anam Caras 2011 Nicholas Estate Rosé from the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Both made from the Pinot Noir grape, and both available by the bottle here at Bentley’s Grill.

Please stop in and let me know if you have any questions! -MJ

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.  

Decanting
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.

Decanter
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!

 

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!

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!

Featured Pairing of the Month: Pan Roasted Smoked Duck Breast with Stafford Hill 2011 Tempranillo

Friday, October 24th, 2014
Salem Oregon Fine Dining

Pan Roasted Smoked Duck Breast with Marsala Jus, Saffron Risotto and Grilled asparagus

We know that pairing the right wine with your dish can enhance your dining experience which is why we have asked our Wine Steward, Mark Jacklich, to share some of his recommendations.

One of Bentley’s new specials is Pan Roasted Smoked Duck Breast with Marsala Jus, Saffron Risotto and Grilled asparagus. Mark suggests pairing this dish with Stafford Hill 2011 Tempranillo.

Stafford Hill 2011 Tempranillo

Photo Source: www.vivino.com

Stafford Hill is a second label under Holloran Vineyard Wines, which is a winery in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA of West Salem. Stafford Hill use the same vineyard sources as well as the hand-on, traditional, small production regimen as Holloran Vineyard Wines.

This wine offers good weight in the mid-palate with out being over powering.  The wine pairs well with this dish because it finishes dry with subtle nuances and depth on a lingering finish while offering a pleasant flavor contrast.

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!