• Celebrity Wine Dinners

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The 2018 Midwest WinefestSM Celebrity Wine Dinners

Friday, April 27th, 2018

 Justin Winery Dinner
YaYa's Eurobistro


Justin Winery
Landmark Vineyards


$125.00 per person

Joseph Spellman, MS 

Winery Sommelier - Justin Vineyards & Winery


Passed Hors d’Oeuvres

Shrimp Roll, Orange Marmalade, Shishito Oil

Cure Salmon Canape, Cucumber, Herbed Crème Fraiche

2017 Justin Sauvignon Blanc 

Petit Salad of Arugula

Duck Fat Vinaigrette, Roasted Grapes, Pistachio Lemon Ricotta, Crispy Duck Skin

2016 Landmark Chardonnay 

Duck Leg Confit

Beef Gnocchi, Chocolate-Fig Mole, Tamarind Gastrique

2016 Landmark Pinot Noir

Beef Bourguignon

Heirloom Root Vegetables, Pommes Dauphine, Shimeji Mushroom Demi

2015 Justin Justification

Chocolate Flan

Burnt Caramel, Smoked Cinnamon Sorbet, Pomegranate Gelee


2014 Justin Isosceles


Charity Raffle Prizes available:


Justin and Landmark Wines, 1.5L Justin Isosceles, Napa Then and Now Table Book, and more…. 



Joseph has worked with wine since 1979, principally as a sommelier, in Chicago’s top restaurant cellars, including Tango, Maxim’s, The Pump Room, The Park Hyatt Hotel, and Charlie Trotter’s. He has also had stints in wine retail, wholesale, and importing companies, as well as the Napa Valley producer Joseph Phelps. He has been a leading wine educator, writer, and consultant, and has led wine seminars in the US, UK, Japan, and Australia. 

Joseph earned the prestigious Master Sommelier Diploma, the 29th American to do so, in 1996. He is a frequent instructor and examiner in the Court of Master Sommeliers, and in 2005 was elected Chairman of the American Chapter of the Court. He has also passed the difficult Certified Wine Educator Examination, in 2003, and has studied for the Master of Wine Diploma with its top instructors. 

Another rare achievement was winning the 1997 French Sommelier Competition in Paris sponsored by SOPEXA, and the title “Best Sommelier in the World in French Wines and Spirits.” He is only the second American to have done so. In the following year (1998) he was named the Bon Appetit Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year. 

Joseph is a major supporter of the arts, serving as an active member in the Lyric Opera Wine Auction Advisory Board. He has led seminars for the Chicago Humanities Festival, various educational and health-oriented charities, and numerous student groups. His donations of tastings for arts, education, and medical charities have consistently fetched high bids for these deserving organizations. A theatre lover, he consulted in 2003 on an original script by Sharon Evans, “Blind Tasting,” at Live Bait Theatre in Chicago. 

Among his professional written works, he is most proud of his critically praised wine notes featured in the landmark series of recipe and photography books by Chef Charlie Trotter. He was the principal wine writer of the 2003, 2006, and 2009 Lyric Opera Auction Catalogues. He also has written grape descriptions for the Wine Grapes posters produced by Ten Speed Press; and over the years he has contributed to the magazines Wine & Spirits, Wine Enthusiast, Santé, Decanter, and Appellation. 

As a professional palate, he has tasted for Beverage Testing Institute, United Airlines, the Grand Jury Européen, the Oregon State Fair, StarWine, the Jefferson Cup, and the Detroit Wine Competition. He has coordinated several wine dinners for the James Beard Foundation and many of its chef-contributors, as well as promotional and charity wine dinners around the US. He has spoken at wine festivals in Aspen, Kohler, Kapalua, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Santa Fe, Taos, Telluride, San Diego, Carmel, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Pinehurst, the Mohegan Sun, Disney properties, and Chicago. 

Other interests include film, fiction, photography, baseball, and beer. 

 Pahlmeyer Winery Dinner
Siena Tuscan Steakhouse  


Pahlmeyer Winery



$150.00 per person 

 Jennifer Graycheck

Sales Manager – Pahlmeyer Winery


Passed Hors d’Oeuvres

Feta Stuffed Dates

Brie with Honey and Almond on Crostini 

Asparagus Salad

Ricotta, Mizuna, Lemon

2014 Pahlmeyer Chardonnay 

Roasted Shallot Tart

Honey, Thyme

2014 Pahlmeyer Merlot 

Roasted Lamb

Olive, Eggplant, Lentil

2014 Pahlmeyer Jason Red Blend 

Braised Oxtail

Polenta, Fava Beans, Morel Mushrooms

2013 Pahlmeyer Red Blend 

Goat  Cheese Cake

Strawberry, Rhubarb, Sable


2014 Pahlmeyer Jason Pinot Noir

Charity Raffle Prizes available:


Pahlmeyer Wines, Napa Then and Now Table Book, and more….


Free Parking Garage Validation



Jennifer has been selling fine wine for 23 years, originally based in Michigan, Jennifer worked on the wholesale side of the business working in sales routes and as a Sales Manager at AHD Vintners. Jennifer has been working as a supplier for 10  years and has been with Pahlmeyer Winery for 2 years.  Passionate about fine wine, Pahlmeyer Winery is a perfect fit for Jennifer.  

A native of Michigan Jennifer and her family moved to Flower Mound, TX in 2009 where she lives with her husband and 19 year old twins.

Pahlmeyer History

The Pahlmeyer story is a tale of international intrigue, passion and Hollywood stardom… Of Jayson Pahlmeyer, friends and family… Of French clones, legendary winemaking and iconic wines...

Following his dream, Jayson partnered with the owner of a 55-acre site in south-east Napa Valley. The two shared a devotion to Jayson’s audacious dream of creating a “California Mouton,” and began imagining the vineyard’s potential. The key, they were sure, lay in planting the finest French clones of the red Bordeaux varieties - a considerable roadblock since importing clones is an international offense. Read more, here.

Pahlmeyer Winery

Founded in 1986 by Jayson Pahlmeyer with the goal of producing extraordinary Bordeaux-style wines. The Pahlmeyer team is dedicated to sharing the magic that turns grapes into exquisite elixirs, presenting an exclusive portfolio of critically acclaimed, hand-crafted wines and providing their customers with dedicated personal service. With modest yields of the highest quality wines and consistent critical acclaim, Pahlmeyer achieved exclusivity and high demand by collectors and buyers from its first vintages. 

Inspired by Bordeaux blends, Pahlmeyer combines winemaking finesse with the highest quality, sustainably-farmed California fruit to create world-class wines that are both balanced and powerful. Read more, here.

Special Sponsor for Wine Dinners