02 Nov 2011
2011 marks Spokane’s 26th annual Holiday Wine Fest. One of four major events sponsored by the Spokane Winery Association, Holiday Wine Fest takes place the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. During the three-day event, a record 25 official wineries in Spokane will open their doors to the public (with Nectar Tasting Room housing five wineries and a satellite tasting room for Cougar Crest Estate Winery opening earlier in the year). What better way to shake off the cold and kick-start the holiday season than by sampling the wide variety of world-class wines that Spokane has to offer (and perhaps take care of a little holiday shopping, as well)? Here, a few wineries whet your appetite…
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.
One of the main attractions to HWF is that winemakers are typically on-site to pour wine and answer questions. Steve Trabun, Owner/Winemaker of Barili Cellars, says “It’s important that people really understand (the winemaking process). We like to educate and we like to do it with a real personal touch.” It’s that personal touch that Barili, one of a few micro-boutique wineries in Spokane, feels fortunate to be able to provide year-round. Since joining the Spokane Winery Association in January of 2010, Steve and fellow Owners/Winemakers Dana Trabun and Russ and Marlene Feist, have been able to grow the operation from just over 150 cases per year to 400 cases. They believe that part of their success is their low price point of $15-$22/bottle, which customers can most certainly take advantage of during HWF weekend. Barili invites you to join in the season’s camaraderie and fun.
Perhaps a great thrill to the 1,000-plus crowd expected on HWF weekend is the prospect of discovering a hidden gem. Tucked away in the depths of the Freeman Center on 2nd and Lincoln, a spot almost as elusive as Barrister Winery’s Railroad Avenue, is just such a gem: Grande Ronde Cellars (though not to fear, as HWF tour maps will be available at all participating locations!). Owner/Winemaker, Dave Westfall, owned a wine import business for 17 years prior to starting Grande Ronde in 1997, and in 2009 published a book he co-wrote with Sam Lange called Journey to… Eastern Washington Wine Country. His industry experience and connections to winemakers and vineyard owners near and far perhaps make him one of the most knowledgeable winemakers in the state. Grande Ronde’s Red wines consistently score 90 points or higher in Wine Spectator.
Visit these and Spokane’s many other wineries this holiday season. Holiday Wine Fest 2011 runs November 18th-20th, 11 am to 5 pm. 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 or www.SpokaneWinerytours.com.
About the Author:
Sulo Abeid is a wine slinger at Nectar Tasting Room and the mother of two. Sulo is a graduate of Gonzaga University and is currently studying for her Masters in business administration at Whitworth University. Sulo’s wine experience comes from her years as the tasting room manager at Lone Canary and work at other Spokane wineries.
06 Oct 2011
Ahhhh, Fall…changing colors, cool temperatures, pumpkins, trick-or-treat, turkey dinner, family and lots of red wine. As the season changes and we move indoors it becomes the time to get together with friends. The Nectar wineries are busy hauling in the 2011 harvest creating the perfect beverage for you to enjoy in 1-3 years. While this year’s grapes become a future celebratory drink, we hope you’ll enjoy the October events at Nectar. Enjoy life with friends, drink happy.
Join us Friday and Saturday (10/7,8) as Northwest Cellars visits with new wines, bubbly tasting, and special discounts. Get 15% off of NW Cellars bottles and 25% off of mix and match cases.
THURSDAY – Join us as we welcome Molly Allen of KZZU every Thursday in October. Enjoy a selection of $5 glasses of wine, sparkling wine mixers, prizes, and 1/2 price appetizer plates with the purchase of a bottle.
FIRST FRIDAY – This month we are featuring the abstract art of artist Jeffrey Lloyd. Jeffrey’s painting style develops into an array of shapes and layers. The inspiration for his paintings are spiritual and emotional, having to do with faith and friendship. The occasional life experience is also evident giving a realistic interpretation to his paintings. Accompanying Jeffrey’s art is the amazing musical styling of Darin Hilderbrand. Artist reception starts at 5pm and music begins at 6:30.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Awareness Weekend. Join us as we donate $1 back from every bottle sold
Two of my favorite musicians are playing at Nectar this weekend. Friday, enjoy the music of Karrie O’Neill, Saturday we welcome Michael and Keleren Millham of Sidhe. Music starts at 6:30. Bring a date, bring some friends, start with a glass, stay for the whole bottle.
WEDNESDAY – A rare Wednesday open for the annual Project Beauty Share Beauty Bash. Project Beauty Share is an initiative to collect cosmetics and beauty products and distribute them through local agencies to women of all ages whose circumstances do not allow them to afford these products. The Beauty Bash is $10 and gets you a glass of wine, light bites and a special gift. Donations are encouraged. Please visit Project Beauty Share for a list of the needed items.
THURSDAY – More Molly Allen of KZZU
FRIDAY / SATURDAY – The “reserve flight” returns. Taste through 5 of our highest end wines. The $10 tasting features wines that are $40-50 and are rarely available for tasting. Treat yourself to something special. Saturday, stop by for music with Ken Davis; 6:30-9:30.
SUNDAY – Our second wine and dine event is going to be a fun educational class pairing 8 wines with various appetizer dishes and small plates. Learn the characteristics found in wine aromas and flavors with this fun and unique exploration using common scents and flavors found in your local grocery store. Whether you are well versed in wine or are just beginning your enological journey, you’ll have fun and come away with new information on how wine is made, what to look for, how to wine taste, and basic food and wine pairing techniques.
SATURDAY – Join us for a wine tasting painting class with Tipsy Muse. We’ve finally rescheduled this event where you can paint the Tuscan Landscape while enjoying a glass of grapes. The three hour, artist guided class is a fun way to explore your creative side.
07 Sep 2011
Time to hit the prime time! Okay, well it’s not quite prime time, but I’m excited to announce that I’ve signed an agreement to appear on a local TV program with KXLY’s Mike Gonzalez. HFNTV’s In the Kitchen airs Saturday morning on KXLY in the Spokane area and in Tri-Cities, Yakima, and Alberta. The potential viewing audience is 600,000 people. In the Kitchen showcases local food fare at area restaurants. The addition of a weekly wine segment is a fantastic combination.
Each week I’ll showcase a Northwest winery (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alberta), vineyard, or wine event. The five minute segments will be a great way for wineries to be introduced to a large audience base.
In addition to the weekly segment, HFNTV and I will be exploring the options for developing a regionally focused wine program of which I will be the host. This is all very exciting and something that I had visions of when I first launched the drinknectar.com blog in November 2009. Thanks everyone for your ongoing support and encouragement along the way.
ATTENTION WINERIES: If you are interested in learning more about appearing on HFNTV’s In the Kitchen, please email Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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HFNTV ANNOUNCES NEW WINE SEGMENT WITH NECTAR TASTING ROOM’S JOSH WADE
Hispanic Food Network TV’s ‘In the Kitchen’ program announces a new partnership with Mike Gonzalez, KXLY evening anchor, and Josh Wade, Nectar Tasting Room. “Wine and food are a perfect pairing,” says Gonzalez, “and Josh was the most logical choice for the evolution of the show.” Wade will be developing and hosting a regular weekly Northwest wine segment featuring wineries, vineyards, and wine events across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and parts of Canada. Josh has developed a strong following through his blog, drinknectar.com and the businesses Nectar Tasting Room and Spokane Wine Magazine. “I’m very excited to be working with Mike and his crew. Together we will help bring a greater awareness to the diverse wine and culinary experiences in our area,” says Josh. In the Kitchen airs Saturday morning on KXLY in the Spokane area and regional affiliates in Tri-Cities, Yakima, and Alberta, Canada. For more information contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
www.drinknectar.com www. hfntv.com
01 Sep 2011
Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. As wineries around Washington hope for an endless Indian Summer, we are excited to welcome all of you back from the lake and down to Nectar Tasting Room. We’ve got SEVERAL fun things lined up for you to help ease you back into the routines of school, homework, changing seasons and the dreaded “W” and “S” words that are right around the corner for Spokane residents. The patio will remain open as long as the weather is permitting, so if you haven’t been down for a sip on the patio, that is just one of many great reasons to join us. We’ve got 44 other reasons too (that’s how many wines we have on our menu if you didn’t catch that).
SEPTEMBER IS CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. PLEASE COME AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!
THURSDAY – Join us for the 2nd Annual International #CabernetDay event. Nectar is a proud host location for this worldwide celebration of the king of grapes. We will have specials on ALL our Cabernet and Cab based blends, a sneak peek of the 2008 Skylite Cellars Cabernet and six secret Cabernet for you to sample…shhhh, don’t tell.
FIRST FRIDAY – Talent is oozing out the walls at Nectar. We are proudly displaying the Art From the Vine display from photographer Richard Duval. This unique vineyard perspective will be displayed on metallic paper and stretched canvas. Richard’s artwork will also be on a limited six pack of Northwest Cellars wine including a signed and numbered print. VERY LIMITED quantities available. Come down and enjoy the beautiful music of Karrie O’Neill from 6:30-9:30.
SATURDAY – I’ll give you three great reasons to come down. One – afternoon wine tasting; Two – joining us from Austin, TX is the blues and fingerstyle guitarist extraordinaire Dorian Michaels. If you can make it out to see him from 6:30-9:30, your life will be better for it…I promise; Three – The Final Sip, enjoy up to 8 samples from all the wine we have remaining from the weekend of fun. The Final Sip goes from 9-10pm.
FRIDAY – Get out of the house and come down for some wine tasting fun.
SATURDAY – Tipsy Muse Painting With Spirits returns. Since you were all at the lake in August, we rescheduled the Tuscan Landscape class. Bring a friend or 10 and enjoy an instructor led painting class, a glass of wine, and some appetizers.
Wine release weekend. Join us Friday and Saturday for the brand new 2009 Anelare Nonna Viola. Nonna has been one of our best selling wines since we opened and we are excited for the new blend and new release. Winery owners Kahryn and Forrest Alexander will be here pouring and sharing the wine.
FRIDAY – Relax with the soulful, bluesy sounds of Maxie Ray Mills. Maxie is always a treat and plays from 6:30-9:30
SATURDAY: Don’t miss The Final Sip. This is Spokane’s favorite wine party. Save the grapes, don’t let them get dumped down the drain. For only $10 ($5 for members), taste through 8 samples of whatever wine we have left open on the counter.
Get on your dancing shoes for a full weekend of music. Friday, enjoy the jazz and swing from the popular Kathleen Cavender. Saturday, mix it up with the acoustic variety of the almost famous Ken Davis. Music starts at 6:30 both nights. With the June released Groupon expiring soon, we’re sure to be busy, so come early and get your seat. Mr. Weatherman says the patio will still be open!
September 29-Oct 1
We’re giving back and inviting you to help. Kids can’t fight cancer alone and this weekend is your chance to help raise awareness and funds for the American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest (ACCOI).
THURSDAY – Childhood Cancer Awareness Day: 10% of all proceeds and $25 of every membership sold will be donated back to ACCOI
FRIDAY and SATURDAY – Stock up to give back. $1 from every bottle sold for the weekend goes to help the kiddos with cancer. We will do our part to help, come join us!
30 Aug 2011
Every time I drink wine it is a celebration and let’s just say I celebrate quite a bit. Luckily for me, Cabernet Day is right around the corner and invites another reason to raise my glass. This Thursday, September 1 marks the second year of celebration with interest and excitement up tenfold from 2010. Founded by Rick Bakas, formerly the social media director for St. Supery in Napa Valley and now the VP of Marketing at PressPay, Cabernet Day will involve a hell of a lot of folks around the world drinking Cabernet Sauvignon and discussing their experience through social media.
Many wineries are holding events and parties onsite (you mean people still hang out in person and…talk?), but most people will compare notes online via hashtags such as #Cabernet and #Cabernetday on Twitter. One might ask, now what’s the point of celebrating a wine that is, realistically, already the king of vino and destined to sell like crazy without any promotion at all? But you see, that’s the point! Cabernet, the beautiful and successful child of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, has done wonders aiding the exponential growth of the wine industry over the years and we all owe it more than some care to admit. Clearly one of the world’s most recognized red grape varietals, its ability to grow well in almost every wine growing region yielding consistently approachable fruit and exceptional value is certainly cause for celebration.
I’ll be the first to admit, Cabernet was my first love simply because I could pronounce it confidently at restaurants. Did I attempt “sauvignon”? Not so much, but everyone knew what I meant. Seeing names like Montepulciano d’Abruzzo scares most newbies, but seeing a Cab on the wine list brings the heart rate back to normal and paves way for easy ordering on a first date. I love everything Rick Bakas does for the wine industry. He’s innovative, smart and brings a sense of simplicity back to wine when most people try to complicate things to the point of frustration. With Cabernet Day, he has proven me right yet again and it’s exactly the style of social networking that enforces twitter’s stronghold on this beautiful, new circuit of interaction. Get involved! Even if Twitter makes you cringe, investigate your local wineries to find out who is participating or, better yet, make a night of it and plan a dinner party with guests bringing their favorite cabernet to compare. Life is all about enjoying yourself, so don’t pass up this great opportunity to share wine notes and feel like you’re having a glass of wine with people all over the world.
For more information on #CabernetDay – visit here >> http://cabernet.eventbrite.com/
Cabernet Day At Nectar
Join us at Nectar Tasting Room. As one of the 2011 host spots we will have deals on all of our Cabernet and Cabernet based blends. You can enjoy 1/2 price appetizer plates with the purchase of a bottle AND we’ll have some fun surprises that we can’t tell you about, but trust me – you’ll like it! See you Thursday for #CabernetDay.
About The Author
Ben Hilzinger is a wine slinger at Nectar Tasting Room and at the Arbor Crest Winery. During the day he masquerades as an aspiring drum teacher seeking to instill a sense of rhythm in wanna be rockers. In the evening Ben dons his rock star cape as a drummer for a local band. Ben hopes to share the love of wine with his generation and has aspirations to be a wine maker.