Introducing Nectar Tasting Room

Four years ago I told my wife, “I want to open a wine and coffee bar,” a combination of retail wine, wine by the glass, and Starbucks. Money in the morning, money in the evening, a business model that combines the two things I love! While not quite that exact same vision, today marks the biggest announcement and biggest adventure I’ve embarked on. Last year, I started this blog with the intention of reaching out to wine lovers in the Spokane area for an eventual business opening. I distinctly remember saying, “If I can open a business in a few […]

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Vinotology Press Conference: Ben Announces His Big Move

  In August, Ben Simons of Vinotology announced his free agency. In a brave move, he left the comfort of his paying job to pursue the uncertainty of the free market. His pursuit of passion is an admirable and brave quest for those of us surviving in the cube farm of corporate America. Immediately after entering the market, suitors began calling. Potential candidates were Arizona, Oregon, California, Washington and even staying in the home state of Texas. Ben has been an active champion for Texas wine, blazing trails by getting Texas wine into the hands of influential wine writers. Ben […]

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Go East Young Man: WA Wine Report Visits Spokane

“It’s definitely a ‘come to Spokane’ for me. The visit exceeded my expectations,” says Sean Sullivan of Washington Wine Report. “The people here are passionate about wine, a lot of interesting stories, a lot of interesting (wine) going on here.” For months I’ve been trying to coax some west side writers to Spokane to experience the quality that I get to experience every day. In June, I was honored to be a part of a trip that included Joe Roberts (1WineDude), Ben Simons (Vinotology) and Eric Hwang (BricksofWine). For the last two weekends, I’ve had the privilege of drinking wine […]

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Restaurant Wine Lists Are Put on Notice

Restaurant wine practices are a sour subject. Earlier in the year CNN.com ran a story on the top five “rip-offs” and restaurant wine prices came in on the list. Often with a 400% above wholesale markup, restaurants are passing off bad wine at high prices and often in inferior stemware with a less than knowledgeable staff. As I type this I can hear restaurant owners around the US complaining about high overhead, stemware breakage, and loss, there is obviously a more balanced way to sell wine. It’s time to call out the good restaurant wine lists and put the bad […]

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From the Grape to the Glass: Pt 2 Science of Grapes

There is a geeky side to grape farming. A little bit of science is blended with hard work to create each artistic glass we drink. As we follow the 2010 Barrister Winery Sagemoor Cabernet Sauvignon from the grape to the glass, we dive into the science inside the grape. In part one of the series (From the Grape to the Glass Pt1 Progress Reports) Greg Lipsker, co-owner and winemaker of Barrister winery, visits the vineyard for a status check on the 2010 fruit. The grapes are undergoing veraison (a process where the green fruit turns purple) and vineyard manager, Derek […]

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