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FINCA & Bonny Doon Winemaker Dinner

  • FINCA 327 West 200 South Salt Lake City, UT, 84101 United States (map)


FINCA & Bonny Doon Winemaker Dinner, with founder/ winemaker Randall Grahm

$40 tasting menu, $45 wine pairings + tax/service charge SOLD OUT

Friday, November 6th at 6:00 PM

At FINCA, 327 W. 200 S. in SLC

Limited seats available.  Reserve your spot.

In classic Utah fashion, my first encounter with Bonny Doon wines wasn't actually with their wines, but was with a wine “tech sheet.” It was 2003 and I was the Restaurant Manager of the Garden Café at the Grand America Hotel. Unable to legally pour the wines to the restaurant crew, the national sales rep for Bonny Doon regaled us with stories of the founder & winemaker, Randall Grahm and the many wines he produced. All the while admitting the absurdity of attempting to sell us wine without us tasting the wines. Still, my curiosity was ignited and I sought out all the quirky wines he made from the Heart of Darkness to Vin Gris de Cigar Reserve. I have since served and sold 1,000’s of bottles of Bonny Doon wines and have yet to meet the man himself.

 The tasting laws are still in place 12 years later, but I had an equally lasting impression of the wines and the vision of Randall Grahm. Since 1984 he has been challenging the wine industry by growing grape varietals no one else dared to and marketing the wines in artsy, playful and literary fashion. Long an advent of natural grape growing, biodynamic farming, screwcaps and transparent labeling, Randall goes beyond fashion and follows his own personal “North Star” of responsibility. There are a handful of California wine industry pioneers I have shared a glass of wine with (probably best I don't mention that here) but Señor Grahm is in a different league for me. I am honored to host this visionary rebel rouser at Finca. The wines (and a beautiful cider!) are simply stunning and we special ordered in some “wine club only,” smallest of small production gems for this dinner. ‘Caus why not? How often do you get to drink wine with Randall Grahm?? Might as well pull some top shelf corks and enjoy some stunning seasonal food (like the Tagine with chicken ballontine, fall vegetables, almond cous cous, and sherried currants) from the chefs at Finca. 

If you’ve never been to a wine dinner, you may wonder if you need to be very knowledgeable about this particular wine/ winemaker or at least wines in general to attend.  The answer is a resounding NO!  Our winemaker dinners are small, intimate gatherings where both new and experienced wine drinkers can relax and enjoy great company, while we pair just the right dish with the right wine for you throughout the evening.  Of course, we can talk at length with the oenophiles about structure or bouquet or terroir.  But we’ve created these dinners so the new or learning wine drinker can get as much out of attending a wine dinner as a wine connoisseur.  Because truly the best way to learn more about wine is simply to drink it! Better yet, to drink several different types from the same vineyard paired with stellar food and see what you think of it.  Then listen to the winemaker talk about what they were trying to accomplish with a specific wine or across all their wines, and suddenly you’ll know the personality of that label and the story behind the wine.  And, like a flashlight illuminating one dark corner in the night, you’ll unexpectedly start noticing this wine around you where you never noticed it before – on menus at the restaurants you frequent, at a holiday party, walking by the isle at the wine store – just from one little night among friends.

So join us.  Shake the hand of a legend, clink your glass, and enjoy the lore and beauty of the wines from Bonny Doon Vineyard with the founder himself, Randall Grahm.


Scott Evans

Founder/ winemaker Randall Grahm of Boony Doon Vineyard