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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:

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!

There is Always a Wine to Compliment Your Dish

Monday, June 30th, 2014

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. You can always learn more about our wines in Wine Notes with Mark. Enjoy!

Pacific RimThere is no question that food and wine belong together. When the perfect match is made, they simply bring out the best in one another. Bentley’s Grill almost always offers suggested pairings with our daily special sheet.

While there are no pairings listed on our regular menu items (which changes seasonally), there is always a wine to compliment the dishes available. All you have to do is ask and we will help you make a selection sure to please the senses.

Here are a couple of our recommendations for some of our most popular items on our “Small Plates” menu:

Seared Ahi – Served medium rare with marinted peppers, capers and black olive sauce

Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps – Crispy fried galic and chili marinated chicken tossed in Korean BBQ sauce topped with spicy cucumber kimchi

Both these dishes have a spice component that pairs nicely with our by-the-glass dry Riesling from Pacific Rim, Wallula Vineyard 2010. With the strictest Demeter Certified Biodynamic® farming and viticulture standards, this wine is a pure expression of Riesling. The subtle floral aromatics, balanced acidity and low residual sugar make this wine a great counter to both dishes that feature pepper induced heat characteristics.

Ahi Tuna

Try our Seared Ahi with our by-the-glass dry Riesling from Pacific Rim, Wallula Vineyard 2010….perfection!

If you make it in for lunch try it with the Vegetable Stir Fry. The medley of carrots, snap peas, peppers, edamame, nappa cabbage, broccoli, and baby corn with ginger mirin sauce, basil mint and yaki soba noodles would be a great compliment to the Reisling, especially if you’re like me and dress up the stir fry with some Sriracha garlic chili sauce.

We want you to enjoy the best experience possible when you dine at Bentley’s Grill.   Next time you are here and would like some guidance with your food and wine choices, let us know and we’ll be more than happy to share our recommendations for perfect pairings!  Bon Appétit!

Sunday Field Trip to Cristom Vineyards

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014


By Mark Jacklich

Bentley’s Grill Wine Steward Mark Jacklich shares his wine stories, recommendations and tips in his blog series:   Wine Notes with Mark. Enjoy!

As a wine steward living in the middle of the most renowned wine regions in the world, exploring our local vineyards is a big priority for myself and other team members at Bentley’s Grill. It’s important to me that we learn as much as we can about the wines we serve: from their soil and the vines to their microclimate and the vintner’s techniques.

Once a month we set aside a Sunday to get together and visit a local winery to gain knowledge about our area and the different stages of the grapes and the wine making process.

Last month, we made a trip out to Cristom Vineyards. I was informed that this was a “Hiking Tour” which made me excited because I’m all about getting out there in the fields and getting a sense of the land in which the wine comes from.

Cristom Vineyards produces mostly Pinot Noir, along with Pinot Gris, Viognier, and Syrah. They were also recently name the #1 Restaurant Pinot Noir by Wine and Spirits magazine.

Cristom is split into single vineyard blocks:

  • The Marjorie Vineyard is the oldest and the original plantings from 1982.
  • The Louise Vineyard is at its lowest elevations (300feet) and was planted on Missoula flood sediments called Helvetia, a very deep, moderately drained silt loam that formed over clay. As the Louise vineyard elevation rises towards its 445-foot peak, the soil changes to volcanic.
  • The Eileen vineyard is 540-705ft in elevation so we had a bit of an up hill trek. Once we were on top of the vineyard, the views were spectacular. It really made up for the physical effort exerted.
  • The Jessie Vineyard is the steepest on Cristom’s property. This was the last spot on our hike and when we got there we knew why. Jessie is on a very steep slope, we imagined during harvest having to stake yourself down, because with one slip you could end up down the hill. It is the vineyard with the greatest elevation change and most diverse soils.

After we made it down, we tasted the wine produced from the very vines we just walked through. While tasting through various vintages and single vineyards we were able to identify wines that we liked personally while the tasting room manager, Jeri, provided us with some key information that explains what makes Cristom Vineyards unique.

Bentley's Grill team members learn more about the wines at Cristom Vineyards

Bentley’s Grill team members learn more about the wines produced at Cristom Vineyards

She mentioned they have had the same vineyard manager and winemaker for 20yrs+.  I explained to our staff how this is important because having been there for those years together they get a real sense of the microclimate and growing season so they can fine tune the wine making based on the hand Mother Nature deals. This translates into top-notch wines and will for years to come!

Ask us about our local wineries, like Cristom Vineyards, next time you come in!  We invite you to join us for wine tastings every second and fourth Wednesday when we feature a local winery from 5 p.m.-6 p.m.  Also, be sure to ask your server about our Wine Flights and  “A bottle among friends” every Thursday! This is another great way to try new wines for a discounted price- comes with a complimentary appetizer!


Left Coast Cellars is our Featured Winery February 26th

Friday, February 21st, 2014

By Bentley’s Grill Wine Steward, Mark Jacklich

Left Coast Cellars Photo @ Left Coast Cellars

Left Coast Cellars, one of Willamette Valley’s most beloved wineries, will be in house pouring for our tasting February 26th from 5 p.m.-6 p.m. as part of our Wednesday Wine Tasting series every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month.

This local favorite is just 15 miles northwest of Salem, Oregon and boasts a sprawling estate of old growth oak trees, lovingly cultivated gardens, fields of wild flowers and meticulously cared for vines which presents a forest like oasis.

Nestled among the trees, you will find their tasting room/cafe. With an emphasis on fresh and local ingredients, the menu always has something for everyone. Having a Farm Fresh Market Café is always a draw for me while tasting out in the area.

On the sustainability side, Left Coast is one of 14 wineries to complete the Oregon Environmental Council’s Carbon Reduction Challenge and one of 6 to undergo an independent audit to achieve a goal of complete carbon neutrality. Along with a significant solar array and hybrid vehicles, the sustainability is noticeable right out of the gate.

Photo @Left Coast Cellars

Photo @Left Coast Cellars

It’s always fun to get one of their renowned Pinot Noirs, Chardonnay, and Rose’ flights that they offer in the tasting room. If you can get your hands on some of the Orchards Pinot Gris or White Pinot Noir consider yourself lucky as these wines move fast and are often limited!

With their phenomenal wines and emphasis on sustainability, Left Coast Cellars is one of the premier wineries in our back yard. Ask me more about them or suggested pairings next time you stop by!

Recommended Pairings for Your Holiday Meal

Thursday, December 19th, 2013


The holidays are here, and many of you are probably wondering what is the best wine to serve with the big meal? Our Wine Steward Mark Jacklich knows a thing or two about wine pairing and has some advice that we hope you will find helpful.

Recommended Pairings for Your Holiday Meal
By Mark Jacklich

A great pairing for the holidays is sparkling wine. The bubbles work wonders with the variety of foods set on the table. Two of my favorites are Argyle Brut as well as their Argyle Brut Rose’.


If you had your heart set on a red the most versatile ones would be Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Syrah. For Pinot Noir I would suggest something with good weight and big flavor, Angela Estate 2010 from Yamhill-Carlton is one that I’ve had recently that comes to mind.

For Zinfandel and Syrah there is some wiggle room based on your personal preference, styles very but either would work well.

Whatever you choose, may you be in the presence of good friends, family and loved ones.  Happy Holidays from Bentley’s Grill!

photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc