An IPNC Interlude — please pause for wine

Grand Dames Dinner IPNC 2014

Iberico de Bellota pork cheeks, served with polenta, thyme and blackberries. Chef Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita. IPNC 2014. Grand Dames Dinner.

If it’s seemed a little quiet over here recently, there’s good reason. I spent Friday night at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon for the International Pinot Noir Conference. Yes, I stayed on campus — in the dorms even — with three co-workers.

It always seems like one night shouldn’t be so exhausting, but somehow, every year, IPNC knocks me out of commission for a while.

Maybe it’s due to eating super rich food all day (foie gras, Iberico pork, veal sausage and more foie gras) or because we drink wine from 3pm till 3am 8am. (Yes, we partied like true college freshmen this year. I saw the sun rise and everything.)

Here are a few pictures from this year’s Grand Dames Dinner, which is set in the middle of the Linfield College campus. Four chefs (all women this year which I thought was awesome) put out an amazing dinner for around 500 people. There’s a reason this is one of my favorite events to “work.”

The best part about dinner is that each table is matched with a winemaker. This year my companions and I struck gold with French winemakers Bertrand Ambroise and his son François of Maison Ambroise. Besides the numerous wines that are poured for each course, they brought several of their own bottles to share with us. Each one was incredible.

Grand Dames Dinner IPNC 2014

Holy yum — that was a good bottle of wine!

By the end of the night our table looked like this:

So much wine!

So much wine!

The whole meal was pretty unforgettable but the best part of the night was the afterparty…sadly only one picture from that is fit for this blog…

4am at IPNC. It's a long story....

4am at IPNC. It’s a long story….


6 thoughts on “An IPNC Interlude — please pause for wine

  1. what the wha’? You went to an international conference on one specific type of wine? I heart you! Amazing 🙂 Thanks for sharing your crazy awesome experience!

    • Yeah — it’s kind of crazy. People pay A LOT of money to attend the whole weekend. There are vineyard lunches, salmon bakes, al fresco tastings — all with copious amounts of pinot noir. It’s incredible!

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