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
Nectar Tasting Room is excited to announce our quarterly Cheers for Charity partnership with Teen Closet of Spokane. 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.
Join Nectar and Teen Closet on September 19 from 6-8pm for a free celebration event to honor the volunteers and workers of Teen Closet. 10% of all sales will be donated back to Teen Closet. The event is free but donations will be gladly accepted. Teen Closet is always in need of new or gently used fashionable clothing and jewelry items. New cosmetics and bath products are always needed as well. Donations of cash/check will be accepted.
The event is from 6-8pm at Nectar Tasting Room, 120 N. Stevens.
The Nectar Cheers for Charity is a quarterly partnership with one select non-profit organization. “We’re excited to partner with these various organizations and provide what we can to make a difference in the world,” says owner, Josh Wade.
29 Aug 2012
A few weeks back, Ben Hilzinger (aka The Wine Slinger) was rummaging through the pile of un-tasted samples in the basement and said, “Hey, mind if we break open the Smoking Loon Old Vine Zin.” Fresh off my commitment to blog more, I complied. This week’s wine of the week (#wowwine on Twitter) is 2009 Smoking Loon Old Vine Zinfandel.
2009 Smoking Loon Old Vine Zinfandel
Producer: Don Sebastiani & Sons
My Suggested Pairing: Sweet & Sticky Baby Back Ribs
Having had dozens of value California Zinfandel I thought I knew what to expect when I opened this wine. It was partly what I expected and partly full of surprises. First surprise was the thin color of the wine with the watery edges. The nose of the wine was a little smoky (but no loons) and had a spicy hot burnt rubber aroma as well (the surprise). In the mouth the wine was classic bold jammy prune, stewed berry and spice (expected). This old vine Zin would appeal to a lot of people and would be a nice Tuesday wine or something to have with pizza on family game night. When asked to guess the price, Mr. Wine Slinger said, “I would put it at $18-$20.” WRONG, Benny, this vino is only $10 retail, oft found for less. BOOM, value!
Ahhh, family reunions. You have the cool relatives that you haven’t seen in a while that you just love hanging with, then there are the weird stand offish people that you wonder, “Am I really related to these people.” Of course at every family reunion there is drama, the embarrassing moments and you can never escape the crazy drunk uncle that just takes things a little too far. The 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland, OR was this year’s family reunion for me.
This is my third year attending the conference. My favorite part is the reunion with old friends. I’ve shared the birth of my businesses, my personal struggles, and all the success with a handful of people I’ve met at the Wine Bloggers Conference. I love cheering for friends like Lisa Mattson, who recently won “Winery Wine Blog” for Jordan Winery or Joe Roberts of 1WineDude (previous Wine Blog of the Year winner) and rejoicing in the success of friends like Ed Thralls and William Allen who have both recently launched their own wine brands. My list of family (including the crazy drunk uncle to remain nameless) could go on and on. This year, there were even some “relatives” that I had never met before that I am now happy I know.
MEMORABLE WBC12 MOMENTS
10. Willakenzie Winery Hospitality
Our bus was fortunate to be shuttled to Willakenzie Winery where 5 wineries educated and spoiled us with their hospitality and Pinot Noir. While the warm conditions might not have been ideal for tasting wine, the wineries in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA – Willakenzie Estate, Penner-Ash, Elk Cove Vineyards, Solena Estate and (shoot I forget the fifth one) provided a top notch experience of Oregon terroir, winemaking and passion.
9. Speed Wine Blogging
As fast and furious as this adventure of tasting and tweeting about 10 wines in a 50 minute period can be, it is one of my favorite experiences of each conference. I love being introduced to something new and, of course, being surprised by wines like the Winderlea Pinot Noir or the Alexana Pinot Gris. Both were the best wines of their session respectively.
8. Night of Many Bottles
Imagine 300 people all bringing 1-3 of their favorite wines to share! UGH, I passed on some crazy good stuff just to keep trying other crazy good stuff. I had wine from Georgia, Idaho, Colorado and more. The night was a frenzy of wine tasting. Luckily I kept drinking a full glass of water between tastings. The wine of the night (because it was unique and memorable) was a Pinot Noir from Virginia (Ankita Ridge)…go figure.
7. Pinot Noir Clone Tasting
This incredibly informative break out session by Erath Vineyards showed the vast difference between various Pinot Noir clones that are most found in Oregon. While I’m not a huge Pinot Noir lover, this session gave me an incredible appreciation for the subtle nuances of the grape and it was the most geeky session I attended.
6. After Parties
One thing to know about the wine bloggers conference. Wine tasting starts with donuts at 9:30am and doesn’t end until the final after party is over. Thanks to Randall Graham for his hospitality (where I tasted one of the best wines of the night – a 100% Syrah full of meaty, gamey, spicy goodness), Washington Wine Commission and the ever so gracious Jordan Winery where the party continued until well after 3am!
5. Portland Food Trucks
When travelling to Portland one must venture out to experience the food truck phenomenon. Saturday afternoon Joe Herrig, Ben Simons, Madeline Puckette and I escaped for lunch and enjoyed fries, pies, burritos and some vegan stuff. You should too.
4. Oregon Hospitality
The whole state seemed to open their arms to embrace 350 thirsty wine mongers eager to learn about the state and their wine. Top notch show, Oregon…and the Pinot was superb too.
3. Randall Graham Keynote
While not every key note was worth listening to Randall Graham delivered a speech that was humorous, educational, full of witty prose, and entertaining. Kudos to an industry icon and epic wine maker.
2. King Estate Wine Dinner
OH. MY. GOSH. The Saturday night dinner was an awesome experience. King Estate Winery listened to all the feedback from last year’s conference and hosted a 5 course 5 star dinner complete with interactive micro-site and perfect wine pairings. Top notch showcase guys!
1. My friends and family!
So good seeing you again. Can’t wait to enjoy next year’s family reunion in Penticton, BC