The European-leaning, charcuterie-focused Bishop Arts restaurant Macelliao is offering a five-course prix fixe menu with eight wine pairings from sustainably farmed and estate-grown Willamette Valley Cristom Vineyard winery next Thursday, April 25. For Macellaio’s owners, David and Jennifer Uygur, who also own sister restaurant Lucia, it’s a step back to days for which they harbor a soft spot.
“David and I moved to Portland when we first got married,” says Jennifer, the duo’s secret-weapon sommelier, who honed her wine palate in the Old World. (Her aunt, an opera singer per-forming La Traviata in Verona, brought along the 14-year-old Jennifer, who would later study Italian in Tuscany and travel extensively in Piedmont.) “And then [David and I] moved to Oregon, and I was like, ‘pinot!’” she says.
Cristom, one of the first wineries to which the Uygurs gravitated, has four pinot noir vineyards, each named after one of the founders’ matriarchs. They’ll be the subject of the pairings—two per dish from the same site, for a vertical vintage comparison. (For wine geeks, that’s very cool.)
“What’s cool is that they’re sending in some of their library wines,” Jennifer says, admitting she is “totally geeked out” about this first for either restaurant.
You’ll taste wines from Louise, “their first and lowest elevation vineyard”; Jessie, “one of the steepest pinot noir vineyards in Oregon”; Marjorie, “the oldest vineyard, planted even before they had started the winery”; and “the highest elevation,” the Eileen vineyard. (See the pairings below.) All tastings include a comparison to the current, 2016, vintage.
Jennifer admits to loving pinot noir, which forms a large part of the Lucia wine list, because of the way it shines with food. “It does really well, because of the acidity. It’s so balanced. It’s not too heavy, it’s not too light. It’s not a light rosé, and it’s not a big, strapping cabernet.”
And about Cristom’s sustainable practices, Jennifer says, “You just love them more because they’re also doing the right thing.”
Go here to reserve a spot.
Date: April 25, 7 p.m. at Macellaio
Price: $150 per guest (includes wine pairings, but not tax and gratuity)
2009 Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir
2016 Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir
Grilled snails with green garlic, walnuts, and lardo
2012 Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir
2016 Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir
Foie gras mousse with spring onions
2011 Marjorie Vineyard Pinot Noir
2016 Marjorie Vineyard Pinot Noir
Semolina gnocchi with mushroom ragu
2013 Eileen Vineyard Pinot Noir
2016 Eileen Vineyard Pinot Noir
Rabbit with spring peas, fava beans, and scarlet runner beans