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IPNC Celebrates The Art of Pairing Pinot

I figured out early on that Pinot Noir was the greatest food wine on the planet. Pinot Noir is the natural partner for foods from the sea (salmon, ahi), the air (quail), the water (duck), and the earth (venison, lamb, beef, pork). Pinot Noir is made for drinking with food and when you have the perfect match, the experience can bring you to your knees. Seductive, elegant and earthy Pinot Noir unites friends, food and a good time into a glorious dining experience.

The theme of the 2010 24th International Pinot Noir Celebration is “Wine is Food: The Art of Pairing Pinot.” Ray Isle, Wine Editor of Food & Wine, and James Beard Award nominee, will be the Master of Ceremonies. Over the three day weekend, wines from more than sixty of the top Pinot Noir producers in the world will be matched up with the cooking of nearly fifty guest northwest chefs. The keynote seminar will feature four Pinot Noir wines made by Dan Goldfield of California’s Dutton Goldfield, Lynnette Hudson of New Zealand’s Pegasus Bay, Olivier Lerich of Burgundy’s Domaine De L’Arlot, and Mark Vlossak of Oregon’s St. Innocent Winery. Each winemaker will discuss the vineyard practices and vinification methods of their respective wineries and comment on how each is influenced by food.

The second part of the seminar titled “Daring Pairings“ will be led by Master Sommelier and Perfect Pairings author Evan Goldstein who will be joined by celebrated northwest chefs Renee Erickson of Seattle’s The Boat Street Cafe, Kevin Gibson of Portland’s Evoe, Jason Stoller Smith of the Willamette Valley’s The Dundee Bistro, and Cathy Whims of Portland’s Nostrana. Each chef will create and discuss a pairing for one of the four Pinot Noirs using a different cut of lamb, identifying how they create complimentary recipes to allow both wine and food to shine.

The IPNC is famous for its alfresco lunches, Grand Dinner and Northwest Salmon Bake, making this event as much a celebration of northwest food bounty as Pinot Noir. The chefs team up with northwest farmers to transform locally sourced, sustainable ingredients into edible art. Photos and biographies of all guest chefs as well as speakers and winemakers can be viewed at

This year’s IPNC featured wineries may be viewed at Participating wineries are represented from North America, Europe and the Southern Hemisphere. Unique to the IPNC is the enthusiastic involvement of Burgundians including this year Maison Ambroise, Domaine De L’Arlot, Domaine Ballorin & F, Domaine David Clark, Domaine Jean-Jacques Confuron, Domaine Humbert Frères, and Domaine Jean-René Nudant. Still more have yet to be announced.

The IPNC benefits ¡Salud! Oregon’s Pinot Noir Auction which provides healthcare for the vineyard workers of Oregon. This year’s ¡Salud! Auction is November 12 and 13.

Having attended several IPNCs, I can say without reservation it is truly Pinot Noirvana. Sign up today! The dates are July 23-25, 2010. The cost is $975 for the full weekend. Register online at Plan to stay on the campus of Linfield College for the full experience.

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