All Wined Up

DC Wine Week Interview
with Lucas Paya, Wine Director, ThinkFoodGroup

Guest post by Pheniece Jones

Lucas Paya is Wine Director for José Andrés´ ThinkFoodGroup where he oversees the wine program for all ThinkFoodGroup restaurants in Washington, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, as well as the upcoming SLS Hotel South Beach and Dorado Beach, a Ritz Carlton Reserve in Miami. In collaboration with chef José Andrés, Lucas is responsible for researching, developing and evolving wine menus.


This week, Jaleo has a special offering just for DC Wine Week participants! Stop by and enjoy a $35 prix fixe menu with ½ glass wine pairings. It’s a great chance to try their famous tapas (like the delicious Gambas al ajillo) and a dessert, along with wines specifically chosen to complement the flavors of Spain (like the Castelo de Medina 2009 Verdejo). Between Jaleo, Zaytinya, minibar, Oyamel and America Eats Tavern, DC-area wine lovers have many options to experience the thoughtful wine menus that Lucas puts together.


Lucas also brings a global flair to his position. For almost five years, he served as Chef Sommelier and Wine Buyer for world-famous chef Ferran Adrià’s highly esteemed restaurant elBulli in Catalonia, Spain. Additionally, Lucas served as Chef Sommelier and Wine Buyer for the Sanderson Hotel in London. Simply put, Lucas has trained with the best from around the world.


As a sommelier, he brings a deep appreciation and respect to the selection of wines. According to Lucas, “wine is the key to a good front of the house experience.”


Here, he shares his thoughts on DC Wine Week and why he doesn’t have a favorite wine.


Pheniece (@hautePJones) is an Army brat who calls the Washington, DC area home. To fuel her busy days, she believes in the power of a glass of red wine, condiments, lamb burgers and plotting her next travel adventure (but not necessarily all at once!).