Vintage Spokane Helps Spokane Forget Taste Washington

A year ago Spokane residents learned that the Washington Wine Commission canceled the popular long running event, Taste Washington. Many Spokanites felt that the wine commission turned their backs on our city. Conversation of east versus west and second city sprung up at wineries and wine bars around Spokane.

Enter Varsity Communications to save the day! Varsity Communications is the brains behind Taste Washington (Seattle, Portland and formerly Spokane). If anyone is familiar with hosting a grand tasting, Dick Stephens and his team are.

Sunday, June 5 the culmination of their efforts shone the spotlight on why Spokane is a perfect host city. With 60 wineries and dozens of food vendors, The Lincoln Center played host to the first annual Vintage Spokane. With each sip the memory of Taste Washington became more and more faint. Over 400 people plus volunteers, vendors, and wineries enjoyed the wines of Washington and Idaho perfectly paired with culinary creation.

Where Were The Spokane Wineries?

As a local business owner, I have to play the political balancing game but as I talked to several people leading up to and during the event, one question kept coming up, “Where are the Spokane wineries.” With 19 wineries producing wine in town, one would expect at least a 50% participation rate. As I walked around, I was happy to see Robert Karl, Arbor Crest and Knipprath Cellars proudly representing Spokane. I realize that Vintage Spokane got a late start in recruiting and several local events may be tying up the resources of local vintners, but the opportunity to show support and engage customers was missed.  As I watched the hundreds of people enjoying wine and food, I couldn’t help but look forward to next year seeing 10-15 of our local quality wineries representing.

The Standouts

While I was there to work (a little), I had a goal to visit some new wineries and revisit some new releases from old friends. Below are some of the stand outs:

  • Bergevin Lane She-Devil Syrah
  • Cougar Crest Dedication
  • Alexandria Nicole Shepherd’s Mark
  • Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot
  • Rotie Cellars Southern Syrah
  • Kiona Winery Lemberger

The culinary delights were incredible as well. Cheese from local Saunders Market was a favorite as well as amazing presentation from Muckleshoot Casino (smoked salmon and marshmallow), and Kennewick’s Chef Frank Magana from Picazo 717 Restaurant (Gorgonzola stuffed, prosciutto-wrapped prawns and Dungeness crab chipotle mac n’ cheese).

 

If the 2011 Vintage Spokane event is any indication, Varsity Communications may need to look for a larger venue for the 2012 event. Spokane is a wine loving community and showed voracious support for the vintage vino.

www.vintagespokane.com@vintagespokanefacebook.com/vintagespokane

See their Facebook page for pictures from the event

 

drinknectar

Owner of Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane, WA. (@nectarwine) Publisher of Spokane Wine Magazine (@spowinemag), author, speaker, consultant and internet marketer with Nectar Media (@nectarmedia)

6 comments on “Vintage Spokane Helps Spokane Forget Taste Washington

  1. Mattvel

    Good diplomatic query about our Spokane wineries not being there. Disappointing indeed,but perhaps there was uncertainty about the future of Vintage Spokane and there are some upcoming events. That said, a missed opportunity to showcase Spokane wines especially with some WA wine magazines and bloggers there. Oh well, there’s always next year.

    Reply
  2. William Maltese

    So, there you are … spending all of your time, these days, on Twitter, instead of FaceBook. Oh, well…wherever you are is a good place to be. Another insightful article, here, by the way.

    Reply
  3. Kari Gabriel

    What are the dates for 2012. I’ve attended this event for many years and was very pleased with the job Varsity Communications did last year. Planning my annual wine tasting trip now, and would love to take this event in again!

    Reply
    1. drinknectar

      Looks like they are shooting for June 24.

      Reply
  4. Kari Gabriel

    So is the event on June 24th? I’ve not heard anything yet! If so where, what time, how do I get tickets, etc.????

    Reply
    1. drinknectar

      Kari – the event is June 24 this year at Northern Quest Resort and Casino.

      Reply

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