Faustina with Cline Cellars Headers by SLCfoodie

Faustina and Cline Cellars Wine Pairing Dinner

Reviewed by Becky

by Craig Ruks & Pedro Gomez

Last Thursday evening, humor and good wine were flowing as we met the owners of Cline Cellars at the popular local restaurant, Faustina. Cline and Faustina worked closely together to create an evening of perfect pairings for local Salt Lake folks to enjoy.

Faustina with Cline Cellars Headers by SLCfoodie

First, we met the co-owner of Cline, Charlie, who had us laughing as he introduced himself with a line something like this, “Imagine what my brother looks like if they chose me to be the spokesperson.”  We all immediately enjoyed his presence as he went on to tell us more about his vineyard in Sonoma County.

Cline provides value-priced wines, which sell anywhere as low as $7 in Utah. They had been priced much higher in the past (the zin paired with the steak was $50 a few years ago and goes for $21 now). He explained that there has been a big push to get prices lower but keep quality the same.
The Pinot Gris, a surprise start to the evening, was given to guests as they waited for everyone to arrive. Crisp and  bright, could definitely taste the apricot in it.

Faustina with Cline Cellars Headers by SLCfoodie

Hillary, the General Manager from Faustina, presented each food course. She worked with the head chef to make all the pairings. She mentioned her own affinity for Cline wines ever since the opening of Faustina (and it is one of the few ones which has been there since the beginning).

The Viognier was paired with a house-cured salmon, topped with caviar and a lemon créme sauce. The sauce was the key, pulled the citrus from the wine and paired it with the salmon. And I must mention that their Viognier is number one in the nation right now!

Faustina with Cline Cellars Headers by SLCfoodie

Faustina with Cline Cellars Headers by SLCfoodie

The second course was a Mourvedre Rose summer wine paired with miso marinated sea bass. The buttery soft fish got its pop from the lemongrass and ginger, and the Mourvedre gave it a sweet, refreshing finish. Every bite was both a palate cleanser and a delight.

Faustina with Cline Cellars Headers by SLCfoodie

For the entree the bold zinfandel was chosen. The staff at Faustina was fortunate to try all of the wines from Cline prior to the dinner, and out of the 8-9 zins that they tried, this was the one that “blew their minds”, and they felt had an autumn, earthier feel.
They chose to pair the Live Oak Zin with Pleasant Creek Hanger Steak and fall ingredients such as local heirloom tomatoes and corn.

Faustina with Cline Cellars Headers by SLCfoodie

For dessert Cline’s Late Harvest Mourvedre was paired with a frozen date cake. The chocolate, berry taste of the wine was amazing with the dessert. The key was to get bits of the berry sauces on the edge of the dessert and follow it up with a sip of wine, so good.

Faustina with Cline Cellars Headers by SLCfoodie

Charlie gave out a bottle of wine per course, and since I was the only one that knew that the Mourvedre grape is originally from southern France I got a signed bottle of the dessert wine! A perfect way to end the evening. Thank you Cline Cellars!

View the Faustina Website for future events.

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