See What You Missed at Bells Up’s First Winemaker Dinner with Ember and Vine

We started talking about doing a winemaker dinner with pairings from wood-fired food masters Ember and Vine (also known as Sean Martin and Mary Cressler) a couple of years ago, not long after they created a special pairing at our first anniversary Memorial Day open house. Last August, we all agreed the time had come to get a date on the calendar. That date was Saturday, April 28, 2018.

Mary, a sommelier, and Sean, pit-master, came over earlier this year to taste through the wines and make some pairing suggestions (which we readily approved because they know their stuff and we’ve had their cooking, so we knew it would be amazing no matter what they come up with). Ultimately, our menu looked like this:


First Course
Smoked Roasted Almonds with Jacobsen Salt and Citrus Grilled BBQ Shrimp Skewers | Paired with 2017 Rhapsody Pinot Blanc

Second Course
Grilled Golden Beet Salad with Bacon, Rosé Infused Dried Cranberries and Shaved Parmesan | Paired with 2017 Prelude Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir

Third Course
Herb Smoked Anderson Family Farm Lamb Lollipop with Aged Balsamic Glaze | Paired with 2015 Villanelle Tonnelier Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir

Fourth Course
Reverse-Seared NY Strip with Parsnip Puree, Candied Carrots and Savory Herb Granola | Paired with 2015 Titan Pinot Noir

Fifth Course
Estate-Made Gluten-Free Grape Crisp with Smoky Whipped Cream | Paired with 2016 Firebird Syrah


Here’s a few photos from the event.

Personalized menus were one of the small details we worked into the event.

Bells Up’s first winemaker dinner was limited to 30 guests and held in our winery/tasting room.

Chef Adam and Pit-Master Sean of Ember and Vine work on the first course. (Photo courtesy of Ember and Vine)

Sommelier Mary of Ember and Vine samples one of the citrus-grilled shrimp to ensure it pairs well with our 2017 Rhapsody Pinot Blanc. (Photo courtesy of Ember and Vine)

Dining captain Todd made sure everyone had more than enough to eat.

Our front door, ready and waiting for the guests to arrive.

Everything smelled so delicious that our neighbor’s dog, Sadie, parked herself outside the tasting room in hopes of providing her taste testing services.

Our incredibly talented neighbor Stephanie put together every single bouquet in the room.

One of two first course nibbles: Citrus Grilled BBQ Shrimp Skewers paired with 2017 Rhapsody Pinot Blanc. (Photo courtesy of Ember and Vine)

Although there were a few showers during the day, we wound up with some sunshine, which let guests like Lisa and Don snag a selfie from the #wineporch as the dinner started. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Conrad)

A peek through a glass of 2017 Prelude Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir at one of the personalized menus. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Conrad)

Another menu close-up. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Conrad)

The second course: Grilled Golden Beet Salad with Bacon, Rosé Infused Dried Cranberries and Shaved Parmesan paired with 2017 Prelude Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir. (Photo courtesy of Kristin Fintel)

The third course: Herb Smoked Anderson Family Farm Lamb Lollipop with Aged Balsamic Glaze paired with 2015 Villanelle Tonnelier Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir. (Photo courtesy of Kristin Fintel)

The fourth course on the grill before serving: Reverse-seared NY strip. (Photo courtesy of Ember and Vine)

The fourth course: Reverse-Seared NY Strip with Parsnip Puree, Candied Carrots and Savory Herb Granola paired with 2015 Titan Pinot Noir. (Photo courtesy of Kristin Fintel)

The fifth course, dessert: Estate-Made Gluten-Free Grape Crisp with Smoky Whipped Cream paired with 2016 Firebird Syrah. (Photo courtesy of Kristin Fintel)

Fanfare Club Members the Conrads. (Photo courtesy of Katie Moore)

Celebrating a birthday, the Bykoskis and Putneys. (Photo courtesy of Katie Moore)

Winemaker Dave with the Allbrittons and Fanfare Club Founding Member Joan Robbins. (Photo courtesy of Katie Moore)

Longtime friends and Fanfare Club Founding Members the Hardys and the Fintels. (Photo courtesy of Katie Moore)

Members of the Robbins, Reed and Allbritton parties. (Photo courtesy of Katie Moore)

Suzanne and Bob Litviak, Fanfare Club Founding Members. (Photo courtesy of Katie Moore)

Dear friends Sarah and Skip Miller, also Fanfare Club Founding Members. (Photo courtesy of Katie Moore)

Growers Mike and Julie Slater, whose Pinot Noir forms the bulk of our Titan Willamette Valley Pinot and 100% of the Villanelle Tonnelier Vineyard Reserve Pinot. (Photo courtesy of Katie Moore)

Our favorite neighbors, and Fanfare Club Founding Members, Stephanie and Jim Houchins. Stephanie designed and put together every single flower arrangement in the room for us!

Fanfare Club members the Madrids and their guests. (Photo courtesy of Katie Moore)

A decade ago, Sara and Dave and Sarah and Skip all stayed at Chehalem Ridge B&B with owners Curt and Kristin. We’ve all become good friends, and now all of us live in the Portland area. It’s still incredible to us that we can get a photo with these great folks.

By popular demand of all who attended, we’ve already booked Ember and Vine to return next year for another Winemaker Dinner. As with this event, attendance will be limited to 30 total, so stay tuned for details and the finalized date.

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Bells Up Winery | 27895 NE Bell Road | Newberg, Oregon 97132 | 503.537.1328 | info@bellsupwinery.com

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