08 Nov 2012
Looking for the ultimate excuse to go wine tasting in Spokane. Join us for the 27th annual Holiday Wine Festival. This year you can enjoy wine from 24 wineries at 18 different locations. As always the event is the weekend before Thanksgiving so you can stock up on all the wines you will need for dinner and you can get a head start on your holiday gift shopping.
Nectar Tasting Room will feature eight wines (including 5 under $16) and several great deals for your shopping pleasure.
MODIFIED HOURS: Friday Noon-10pm. Saturday and Sunday Noon-6pm
HARD ROW TO HOE: Get a little playful with 25% off of six packs of Afternoon Delight and Lickity Split (1/2 bottles). These are fun conversation starters about fun story of Hard Row to Hoe. We’ll also be pouring the Pinot Noir and Zinfandel (both great Thanksgiving wines).
NORTHWEST CELLARS: Enjoy two great wines at a phenomenal price. Enjoy the newly released 2008 Merlot ($15) and the 2011 Chardonnay ($12). Both are a great value for your holiday imbibing needs.
SKYLITE CELLARS: Hiney returns for the holidays. The popular Walla Walla red blend is back for only $15 a bottle, $80 for a six pack and $120 per case ($10 per bottle). Having a big party, or need a lot of gifts, this is a perfect wine for that. Who doesn’t want a little hiney for the holidays. Also pouring the 2007 Skylite Syrah.
TERRA BLANCA: Every holiday table needs a dry Riesling to cut through all the flavors. Enjoy the 2011 Terra Blanca Riesling for only $11. Go bold or go home with the 2008 Red Mountain Cabernet at only $16 a bottle. The rich fruit forward Cabernet will please your wine loving crowd.
OTHER PLACES TO TASTE
Mike Conway, Owner/Winemaker at Latah Creek Winery, says that the spirit of Holiday Wine Fest really hasn’t changed, as it has always centered around gift-giving and exciting new food-and-wine pairings. Now President of the Spokane Winery Association, Mike Conway incorporated Latah Creek in 1982 (the same year as another mainstay, Arbor Crest Wine Cellars), and was part of the original HWF event in 1986. Each year, his wife, Ellena, creates a special 4-5-course meal, a different course to be featured at each pouring station. Latah Creek also boasts one of Spokane’s best winery gift shops, which Ellena will stock with brand new holiday items.
Nodland Cellars is a micro-boutique winery in the Spokane Valley that consistently makes some of the best wines I’ve tried. Tim Nodland (owner and winemaker) is on hand to guide you through the tasting and educate you on the joys of his old world style Bordeaux blend. Noland is also home to the popular ‘Bad Attitude” blend that can help turn any holiday bad attitude into something quite a bit more enjoyable. Join Tim and his team at 11616 E Montgomery in the Spokane Valley (look for the signs).
Come downtown and discover the 13 tasting rooms housing 18 of Spokane’s wineries. Enjoy the hidden gems at Robert Karl Cellars (Pacific and Brown) or stop by the Broadview Dairy building (905 N Washington) where you can try wines from Caterina, Lone Canary, and bubbly from Mountain Dome. Exploring downtown is a fun way to enjoy Holiday Wine Festival. There are many places to stop to eat and you can take a break from your day with some shopping or a stroll through the park.
Visit these and Spokane’s many other wineries this holiday season. Holiday Wine Fest 2012 runs November 16th-18th, Noon-6pm. Remember, if you are planning to taste with a group of 10 or more, please be courteous and call the winery ahead of time. Tasting fees may apply. For more information about this event and all participating wineries, visit www.SpokaneWineries.net. Visitor information can be obtained at www.VisitSpokane.com. For wine tours, visit www.GroupCoordinators.com orwww.SpokaneWinerytours.com.
03 Oct 2012
Welcome to the fourth quarter of 2012. I’m constantly amazed at how fast time flies when you’re having fun. In the midst of our busy lives I hope we remember to love fully, make a difference in the lives of others, and enjoy great wine with friends. As the weather turns cooler we have a great line up of wine events to help warm your soul. Nectar is a perfect place to hang out with friends. We have live music EVERY Friday night and check out our added Saturday dates below. Enjoy life with friends, drink happy!
It’s First Friday weekend! Talent abounds in Spokane’s art and music scene and we are proud supporters of all the artists and musicians who help Spokane come alive the FIRST FRIDAY of every month. Join us this month with contemporary acoustic hits performed by Daniel Mills (Son of Brad) and the Urban Reflections photography display from Kris Ogren of KCO Photography. Reserve a table – call 509.869.1572.
1/2 price 2008 Terra Blanca Cabernet. Regularly $240 per case now only $120 per case
- Thirsty Thursday returns with a vengeance. We know you’re thirsty and we’re here to help. As always 1/2 price appetizer plates with the purchase of a bottle and now…15% (25% for members) any 3 pack of wine. Stop in after work and stock up for the weekend. Why a three pack? One bottle for each day of the weekend.
- Friday we welcome for the first time, Tommy G. A well known Spokane musician, Tommy will be playing your soulful acoustic favorites from the 70′s 80′s and today. Music starts at 6:30.
- Saturday is always a fun day for wine tasting with friends. We open at noon and close at 10. The Final Sip is from 9-10pm. If you’ve never joined us for The Final Sip, it’s time to remedy that…STAT.
- Friday – music with Rob Bryceson; 6:30
- Saturday – music with Eric Neuhauser; 6:30
- Thursday – Thirsty Thursday continues
- Friday – music with Sam Endress; 6:30
- Saturday – music with Ron Criscione; 6:30
HOLIDAY PARTIES AND CUSTOM LABELS
Don’t forget to book your holiday party at Nectar Tasting Room or The Barrel Room (or both). We can host your private, corporate, or charity party for groups of 20-100. Prices are reasonable. Many mid-week prime dates are already filling up, so don’t delay. For rates and details visit our Event Rental page on this site.
Looking for a great way to say Merry Christmas or Thank You to your staff? We can do custom wine labels with any Northwest Cellar wine. Whether you need 1 or 100+ bottles, we can accommodate your needs. We’ve done custom labels for large charity events like The Pumpkin Ball and for small thank you presents. Call today 509.869.1572
12 Sep 2012
Wow, 40! It’s hard to believe that 40 years of my life has gone by. I’m not really effected by the number. In fact, I feel better than I’ve ever felt my whole life. While I wish there were lessons I would have learned about myself 20 years ago, I don’t see any benefit reading the stories of the past. Living in the now and being present are where I’m trying to focus.
This isn’t a wine post on a wine blog, it is more of a reflection post about life, the future, and philosophy…however, it does involve wine. Today, after all, I celebrate my 40th year in Napa California ready to consume mass quantities of WINE with friends new and old.
I’m a goal setter. I always have been. For as long as I can remember, at the beginning of every year I jot down things I want to accomplish for the upcoming year. While I’m not into every piece of “The Secret” and “The Universe is Listening” stuff, I am a firm believer that when you put something out there in writing or verbally then your brain begins to do amazing things to work toward those accomplishments. One of my favorite quotes is “your attention (direction) goes where your energy flows.” When I set out to open Nectar Tasting Room or even publish Spokane Wine Magazine, I had no idea HOW things were going to get done but I started telling people, “Hey, I’m opening a wine business. Not sure exactly what it’s going to look like, but I’m doing it.” I’m proud of what we (you, me, Benny, Christina, Ashley, Breanne, Sulo) have done with Nectar. Business is growing and we are doing it our way. I’ve spent a grand total of $400 in traditional marketing in 2 years. I’m proud of my relationship with each and every one of you. Business is going to keep growing. In the next few months we will be offering wine online. In the next 18 months we will be adding another location to the family. Nectar is the foundation and the fun. It is my creative expression of something I am passionate about.
nectarMEDIA is my newest business. Currently I’m building my client base and creating the foundation of what will be the Northwest’s premier online brand management company. The Go Social Conferencein Spokane is a first step. We will be looking at hosting this conference in other cities (Boise, Tri-Cities) in the future. Look for 2013 (and my 40th year) to be a breakout year for nectarMEDIA.
I may have made some mistakes in my 20′s and 30′s but the future of the 40′s and beyond looks very very bright. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not into re-reading the past stories, but I do know that I had to make some major adjustments in life and in my character to be content with who I am and to lay the foundation for the best years of my life. Without going into detail (although most of my life is an open book), here are the major thoughts that the next 10 years of my life will be guided by.
LIVE IN THE MOMENT: BE PRESENT
The past holds no control and the future can’t be controlled. The only outcomes that can I have control of are my reactions and my actions. Forcing the future leads to insecurity and often times bad decisions. The ‘grass is greener’ syndrome just means that you are either neglecting your own grass or the other yard is full of shit. In my 40 years I don’t think I’ve ever been just happy being me. The last two years have been awesome and I am learning to love living in the moments that life affords me.
SUCCESS LEAVES CLUES
This thought is from Tony Robbins and is so true. I’m focusing my efforts on learning from those who are successful in business, relationships, life, money management, fitness, etc. These people of mastery can help save time energy and effort in wasted mistakes. I’m surrounding myself with people of excellence, not people of mediocrity. Upgrade your sphere of influence and you’ll upgrade your influence on others.
It took me 4o years but I finally realize that I deserve the very best and I won’t stop until I have what I’m after. I have goals for Nectar, nectarMEDIA, financial goals, and more. I know I want a family, I want to travel and explore the world with someone I love. It’s pointless to circumvent the best for something pretty good just because you don’t have the patience to wait for the right timing or the diligence to work hard. Going back to my first point, I’m content to live in the moment, enjoying the present, letting life play out because you can’t force spectacular, success is not instant, wealth is built with hard work, and love is a natural expression of two people being in step in every area of life. None of these things can be rushed and all of them are worth pursuing.
Now to the wine. You all know me as the Nectar guy, or the wine blogger turned business man – I’m cool with that. I love wine. I love the subtle differences found in every bottle I open. I love the celebration of the artistic passion given to the bottles of artisan small business owners. While I love Washington wine and KNOW that our state produces some of the best juice in all the world, I couldn’t think of any better place than Napa / Sonoma California to celebrate the best decade of my life. Everyone I talk to gives me advice on where to go, what to do, who to see, etc; but I’m looking forward to taking each of the next 5 days as they come- hanging out with my friends. If I only get to a handful of wineries, so be it…I’ll be back again. I plan on enjoying several bottles of wine, private parties, VIP tours, amazing food and walking through the vineyards as harvest nears. I plan on spending some time alone enjoying the scenery while reflecting on how incredible life truly is and how blessed I am to have each of you as friends. Thanks again for everything and for indulging me on a 40th birthday mostly philosophical, slightly rambling, minimally wine-centric post.
Enjoy life with friends…drink happy!
06 Sep 2012
Kids are back in school, the nights are getting cool, and you’re all returning from the lake and the pool. Grapes are beginning to be harvested and the 2012 vintage starts to become wine that you will soon consume. These are the signs that summer is ending but don’t be sad because we have a great line up of events and new wine coming your way to help ease you into fall and *gasp even winter! Thanks again for helping us through another successful month. August was a full 80% better this year than 2011.
- THURSDAY – It’s Thirsty Thursday Tango night once again. If you haven’t been down for our monthly Tango night, you are missing out on a lot of fun. We have glass specials for dancers and you can come watch, come learn and even get in on the action to dance. Open 2-9 (Tango from 7-9).
- FIRST FRIDAY – Once again we have quite the line up for First Friday. Join us as Mr. Bob from Northwest Cellars joins us for his final appearance of 2012. If you haven’t tasted with Bob, you’re missing out. He is bringing with him 5 – yep FIVE – new wines including the new Carmenere, Malbec, Merlot and Syrah. Also on deck for the night is the swinging jazz of Rachel Bade McMurphy and a VERY unique art presentation.
This exhibition is a romantic representation of the couture gowns designed and created by Kirsten Longly, as seen through the eyes of photographer Jennifer Harvey. The images represent the fearless joy of embracing your dreams. The gowns will be hitting the runway on September 27th at the Bing Crosby theater in a joint effort to raise funds for Teen Closet, a charity that speaks directly to Kirsten’s heart.
- SATURDAY – The fun continues with Northwest Cellars with 15% off bottles and 25% off mixed cased of NWC wines. If First Friday is a little busy for you, Saturday is the perfect pace to enjoy the new wine.
9/12 ALERT Nectar Tasting Room owner, Josh Wade turns the big FOUR OH!
- THURSDAY – Thirsty Thursday continues for all the wine lovers out there. Get 1/2 price appetizer plates with the purchase of a bottle of wine (to stay or to go). Enjoy our free wi-fi for the last meeting of the day or just stop by with a group of friends.
- FRIDAY – We’re hosting a rehearsal dinner in the main space but The Barrel Room will be open all night for you to enjoy!
- SATURDAY – Enjoy the music of Joe Caruso from 6:30-9:30 and The Final Sip from 9-10pm
- WEDNESDAY – Join our Quarterly Cheers for Charity celebration with Teen Closet. Teen Closet’s mission is to help boost the self esteem of teenagers in foster care, by providing fashionable clothing and accessories of their choice. Directors Robyn Nance of KXLY, and Linda Rogers, president of the Foster Parent Association, saw a need to help children in the foster care system with the items that often go overlooked. The event is free (donations welcome); 6-8pm
- FRIDAY – After our Gonzaga MBA event we welcome back Janet Johnson. Back by popular demand, Janet plays great renditions of acoustic folk and some country and blues. 6:30-9:30
- SATURDAY – The RESERVE FLIGHT returns. Come taste 5 of our best wines (rarely available in the tasting flight). These wines range from $40-$60 each. Taste them all for $10.
Attention business owners, entrepreneurs, marketers and operations managers. Social media and online marketing tools are changing the way you interact with and engage customers. The Go Social conference brings in national speakers and local experts for a day of education, motivation and equipping you to succeed. Tickets can be found at the GoSocialINW site.
- THURSDAY – Fall is here. We will help you cope. How does a 1 day 25% off everything sale sound. We’re open 2-8, don’t miss out on your favorite wines at the lowest per bottle price we have all year long.
- FRIDAY – Closing on a Friday night for the first time ever. One lucky couple is getting married and they decided to rent the entire space for the night for their rehearsal dinner.
- SATURDAY – Open all day and into the night. We welcome for the first time, Rob Bryceson to the stage from 6:30-9:30. Rob plays a great blend of acoustic blues and classic rock hits…a perfect companion to a bottle or two of red wine.
05 Sep 2012
It’s pretty rare that I try a wine under $15 that is a must buy, but the 2010 Graffigna Reserve Malbec is now high on my list to have again. Originally sent to me for Malbec Day #malbecday, this wine sat at an old address until just this past weekend. I’ve never been a huge fan of many lower price Argentine Malbec because of their jammy single dimension character but this wine, but this week’s #wowwine (hashtag on Twitter) is a winner.
2010 Graffigna Centerario Reserve Malbec
Producer: Graffigna Wines
Appellation: San Juan
Cooperage: 12 months in 85% French 15% American
My Suggested Food Pairing: Broiled Lambchops with mint chimichurri
The Graffigna Malbec is very dark and extracted in the glass with hints of ruby red tones around the edges. It’s a pretty, yet ruggedly handsome wine with a thickness of hue. Aromas of plum, tobacco, blueberry and vanilla erupt from the glass. It reminds me of a few Washington Malbec that I’ve had over the years. The palate is definitely fruit forward without being over the top like sucking on a jolly rancher. There is a hint of blueberry preserve action going on like in a jelly filled donut. I like how the palate evolves to include black pepper and the characteristics of strong oak aging. You’ll like this wine if you enjoy full flavored (fruit first) wine. If you’re turned off by full fruit with medium oak characteristics, this wine may leave you feeling a little like a tree hugger. I’m all in at the price point of $13
See other Argentine Malbec reviews