Salón de Viñerons / Try & Buy
Last week, I was one of the lucky few to be invited to the presentation of Salón de Viñerons at Quinto Cuarta. This was a dinner coordinated by Paladar & Tomar as a lead-in to the PopUp Wine Try & Buy happening December 13th & 14th at Hotel Villa Emilia in Barcelona. This event on those two days allows people to pay merely 5€ to try the wineries presented, talk with the winemakers, and then buy the wines directly from them just in time for the holidays (and keep the glass to take home.)
For those unfamiliar with Quinto Cuarta, it’s a quasi-clandestine delicious dining experience. I need to emphasize the “quasi” aspect as in this day and age, nothing is truly hidden and you can check in there via whatever App you desire on your phone. Run by chef, Alessandro Castro in his home, the dinners are Italian in foundation, but generally Mediterranean in spirit with a great deal of experimentation on his part. Everything I tasted was fantastic, starting with the creamed buffalo mozzarella seen above and ending with the cake of orange and pistachio. The full menu was as follows:
- Creamed buffalo mozzarella with dried tomatoes
- Olive tapenade with floral aromas
- Anchovy with flambeed mango
- Panzotti with scallops and shrimp in a pantesca sauce
- Carpaccio of bresaola with arugula pesto
- Lamp chop with a puree of chestnuts
- Strudel of white sausage and figs
- Crumble cake of orange and pistachio
Of course, the food was just one part of this as a “Salón de Viñerons” is indeed an evening spent with the winemakers and their wines that were all perfectly paired with each of the dishes. Dishes 1-3 saw Massimo Marchiori pouring the Inquieto he makes at his Partida Creus winery down in Bonastre, Baix Penedès. It’s a genius natural red sparkling wine made from the Mourvèdre grape that they call Garrut locally in the area. A truly wonderful pairing that showed the power of this wine when had with a meal.
Dish four was paired with Ivo Pagès’ Sirenes white that is part of his Vinya Ivo wines and provided a great, fresh contrast with the seafood pasta. While light and fresh, it wasn’t watery and is a fine example of the white wines produced up in Empordà. Dish five was had with the Ca’Vernet by Marco Bernava of Bernaví winery in Terra Alta. The hearty, earthy qualities of the wine were great with the bresaola as while showing a solid backbone, it wasn’t the least bit overpowering.
Dish six saw us shift to Priorat and the Clos Figueras red, Font de la Figuera that Christopher Cannan and his winery have been dutifully making in Gratallops for many years now. It was a reminder as to why we set off on our Priorat adventures last year as the wine is a wonderful example from the region and was happy to be had alongside the lamb chop.
For dish six, we veered out of Catalonia to the Campo Alegre area from Bodegas Fraçois Lurton in DO Toro. Hearty and different, it was indeed a punch up in body from the Font de la Figuera, but it provided a good peak to then come back down to the seventh dish and back to Partida Creus with their Vi Dolç Natural. Again, a great example of what Massimo is doing with his turn to full natural wine production.
This isn’t just to read about, though, because if you’re in Barcelona, check out the Salón de Viñerons event next week. Of course be warned that if you mix in enough wine with enough time, things get a bit, well, crazy.