Event: Finca Spanish Winemaker Dinner August 30, 2014 by Stuart Melling Finca: team meetingI’ve said it again and again and I’m going to bore you on the same point yet again – the team behind Finca and Pago are at the peak of their creative powers right now. Note: scroll to the bottom of this post to see what I mean…On September 13th at 6pm – you will have another chance to sample the kitchen team’s excellence once more – not to mention while also enjoying a bevvy of special wines too. On the Saturday in question Finca will be hosting a very special event highlighting no less than three Spanish wineries. Finca will be welcoming winemaker/owner Raimundo Abando from Solar de Randez in Rioja, winemaker/owner Maria Alfonso of Volvoreta in Toro, and export manager Dayne Bower of Camino Alto in La Mancha. Pago and Finca owner Scott Evans explained the genesis of the dinner:RIOJA – TORO – LA MANCHA, consider it a treatise on Tempranillo. Not a single varietal grown in the US expresses itself as diversely as Tempranillo grown in these distinct and diverse regions of Spain. From the Northern region of Rioja, Tempranillo expresses its elegant side due to less heat and more mountainous terrain. Softer fruit profiles, great age-ability and an affinity to handle oak (new or used) better than many other regions growing Tempranillo. Toro is hot, dry and overall one wonders how anything grows in the Mad Max like terrain that is Toro. The wines express power and full fruit flavors. The best producers (like Maria) coax elegance out of the strength. La Mancha is a larger region and the wines vary greatly. I have found the best of La Mancha to be fruit forward wines that are better with less or preferably no oak. This allows Tempranillo’s innate red fruit characteristics to come through. Camino Alto delivers just that – fresh and delicious wine. Don’t over think this wine, just enjoy!Often I get to regale a guest with my adventures visiting wineries across Spain and each time I hear, “I wish I was there, sounds amazing”. Well yes it is amazing (I leave out the parts about being in a rental car for the bulk of the trip) and it is amazing because I get a chance to meet amazing people pouring passion into their work and uncorking their stories and wines with me. I have sat at their tables, met their families (wives/grandmothers/grandfathers/fathers) and broken bread in their homes. That is what wine is about to me: the journey, the story and the amazing people that bring this magical elixir to our glasses. I can never walk past their labels on the wine shelf the same way again. I always recall the stories, the sun (and rain), the cheese, the jamon, and the love these folks put into their craft. My hope is simple: join us – meet them – create your own stories and see three labels in a unique and personal way.The very special menu for the evening is as follows: Welcome * Camino Alto, Joven 2012 + Tempranillo, Castilla La Mancha, Spain (3oz)Pescado * Gambas Escabeche + compressed melon, tomato, cucumber, fried avocado * Solar de Randez, Blanco 2013 + Viura, Rioja, Spain (3oz)Ensalada * Charred Green Beans + house cured tuna, pickled cherries, ajo blanco, fried shallots * Solar de Randez, Finca San Angel 2010 + Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain (3oz)Asador * Cordero + confit eggplant, cherry tomatoes, verbena & mint chimichurri * Solar de Randez, Reserva 2002 Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain (3oz)Tapa * Arroz a la plancha + wild mushrooms, venison, huckleberry, coffee * Volverta, Probus 2010 Tinta de Toro, Toro, Spain (3oz) & * Volverta, Sin Sulfitos 2010 Tinta de Toro, Toro, Spain (3oz)Dessert * Plum Upside Down Cake + almond turrón, smoked whipped creamCost for the meal on is $45 for food and $45 for wine pairings (+ tax + gratuity). It’s a bargain with a capital B followed by ARGAIN. Reservations should be made via email: email@example.comHere’s a few snaps from recent dinners I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy from this wonderful team – if these doesn’t make you reserve your seat right now I don’t know what will:Pago: Summer crudties from Santa Giustina wine dinnerPago: Morgan Vally Lamb Shoulder and “mint pasta” from Santa Giustina wine dinnerPago: Local carrot tasting from state of Utah eventPago: Macarons with peach puree from state of Utah eventFinca: Tomato salad from Ransom wine dinnerFinca: Boar empanadas from Ransom wine dinnerStuart MellingHi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake. I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate” “I thought he was older” “I don’t share his feelings” Signup to our free newsletter and never miss a single update. We will send you an email just once per week with every story from the last seven days. You can signup for free here. This article may contain content provided by one of our paid partners. These are some of the best businesses in Utah. The current businesses we work with include: BGR Bourbon House BTG Wine Bar Caffe Molise Cafe Niche Current Fish & Oyster Feldman's Deli Kyoto Log Haven Oasis Cafe Saffron Valley SLC Eatery Stanza Italian Bistro Taqueria 27 Whiskey Street White Horse For a list of all our past relationships see our historical partnerships.