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!
03 Jul 2012
Bring on the hot days of summer. The patio is waiting, the air conditioning will blowin’ and the wine will be flowin’. Before you escape each weekend for your recreational activities, come down to Nectar and stock up on your deck wine and boat wine. Every Thursday in July and August, get 15% off ANY Nectar favorite (members get 20% off). Stop by and stock up for your weekends.
Also, don’t forget, if you have a need to host an event in July or August we’re offering every Monday and Tuesday at just $50 per hour. Book your private party in The Barrel Room or the main room now.
THURSDAY we Tango. Join the Spokane and CDA Tango club from 6-9pm for a night of dancing and fun. Come watch, come learn, come dance!
Stop by for First Friday with abstract art from Leah Crowley and music from a crowd favorite, Maxie Ray Mills. Nectar is always a hot spot so call for large group reservations 509.869.1572
Don’t forget about our Thirsty Thursday sale, 15% off any bottles (20% for members).
FRIDAY: Music from Ron Criscione at 6:30
SATURDAY: Purchase the downtown wine walk and taste at 4 downtown wineries for 50% off. Enjoy wine tasting at Arbor Crest, Cougar Crest, Whitestone Winery and Nectar for only $10. Join us for The Final Sip fro 9-10pm. Help us finish off all the open bottles of wine before they get dumped down the drain. Save the grapes!
FRIDAY: Music from Eric Neuhauser at 6:30
SUNDAY: Want to know more about wine? Whether you’re new to wine or just want to know more about how it is made and what characteristics are found in the wines you buy, TASTE will give you the knowledge. There is no better way to learn than with hands on (or in this case, tastebuds on) training.
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE >> http://tastenectar.eventbrite.com/
THURSDAY: 1/2 price appetizer plates with the purchase of a bottle AND 15% off any bottles purchased (20% for members) Stock up for your summer escape to the lake.
FRIDAY: The amazing Traveling Vagabonds return. These two ladies (and gent) provide a high energy show that will surely get your toes tapping and maybe even dancing. Music starts at 6:30
P.S. Thank you for another record breaking month. June marked our third consecutive record sales month. We owe it all to you, Spokane! Help us keep the momentum going through the summer.
Have you heard the news? Wine lovers everywhere are rejoicing with the announcement that Vintage Spokane is coming back to Spokane for a 2nd year. Last year’s inaugural event at The Lincoln Center was a smashing success. Spokane wine lovers came in large numbers forcing the event to move to the larger Northern Quest Resort and Casino. Now we can sip, taste, stay and play! Want more good news? The event costs less, only $45. Want more good news? The event length has been extended. Want more good news? You can buy the wines you like at the event. You can purchase VIP tickets for only $60 and get an extra hour of less crowded tasting and interacting with winery owners and wine makers.
Visit http://www.vintagespokane.com for all the information. The event is Sunday June 24, 2012
WIN TICKETS! IT’S EASY
Entry is easy, we need YOU to help spread the word. Post the following as your Facebook status (or as a tweet) and then leave a comment on this blog so we know you did it. One winner will be selected on June 15 and will receive 2 tickets to the event. While you’re here, go “like” the Vintage Spokane Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.
SAMPLE FACEBOOK POST
Wine lovers rejoice. Vintage Spokane returns to Northern Quest. Over 60 wineries, amazing food, and a fun wine experience. Sip, Taste, Stay, Play http://www.vintagespokane.com on June 24. Win Tickets here – http://drinknectar.com/2012/06/05/vintage-spokane-2012/
Go to @vintagespokane @northernquest 60+ wineries. Sip, taste, stay, play http://bit.ly/jGrZxa Win Tix HERE> http://bit.ly/L7JAOn
*Nectar Tasting Room is a sponsor and participant in this event
I’ve stayed at a lot of hotels in my nearly 40 years. Some of my favorites included the Grand Hyatt on Kaanapali Beach Mandalay Bay in Vegas and the suite at Desert Wind Winery in Prosser. While Spokane’s gem may always be The Davenport Hotel, my recent stay at Northern Quest Resort and Casino exceeded my expectation and set a new benchmark in my mind.
Bottom line for those who won’t stay to read the rest of the review: Northern Quest is an oasis in Eastern Washington. Whether you are looking for a quick getaway vacation or a modern hotel with all the amenities for your extended stay in Spokane, Northern Quest Resort and Casino should be one of your first choices.
Whether you are staying in the 450 sq ft Classic King room (which I’ve previously stayed in) or the 900 sq ft Superior Suite (the digs on this visit), you can expect modern decor, top notch finishes in every room, and extra attention to detail rarely found in other local hotels (or national chains). Personally I was impressed with the choice of tile and texture in the bathrooms and entry way. Speaking of bathroom, you may never want to get out of the shower. The classic rooms have an extra large shower (big enough for two if you need) with three adjustable body spray jets. The suites boast a digitally controlled shower heaven with an overhead rain shower, three adjustable body spray jets and a hand held.
I’m always happy to see amenities like a Keurig single brew coffeemaker, iPod docking station, and large flat screen TV’s (even in the bathroom). The bathroom (and hall in the suite) have a motion sensor night light so you don’t stub your toe when having to get up in the middle of the night. While the bed was a little on the soft side for my taste, the linens were very high end as well.
While the room begs to just enjoy its comfort, the best part of Northern Quest are all the activities to enjoy outside the room. Everywhere you turn you will be impressed with the details, finishes and thoughtful touches. During this stay and a previous stay, I enjoyed The Fireside Lounge, Impulse (nightclub), The Q sports bar (with dozens of TV’s and a massive 30′ big screen), Liquid, and the amazing Masselow’s restaurant (review coming soon).
400 words into this review and I’ve not even mentioned the casino, luxurious spa or spacious event areas. Other than a quick tour, I didn’t partake in any of the services at La Rive spa, but I was relaxed just from walking through the space. The full service spa is tops on my list for the next visit.
Northern Quest’s casino is impressive. I love Las Vegas and try to get there once a year. I’ve stayed at 7 hotels there and probably visited another 20. While Northern Quest may not boast the size of casino floor of MGM Grande or the over the top decor of The Bellagio, there are rows and rows of slot machines and every table game you could imagine. My game of choice has become Craps and NQ does a fantastic job. The table managers and staff are incredibly informative, quick and make even the most intimidated gambler feel welcome.
The room rates at Northern Quest are very impressive for a resort of this caliper. From their web site listings it looks as if a classic king room is only $139 per night (with occasional deals and packages) and the superior suite was only $299 per night. The pricing at the restaurants, bars and even the room service prices were in line and didn’t leave me feeling gouged.
Lastly, the service at NQRC was impeccable. The valet (although quite busy during check in) was quick, the on staff concierge (a rarity in Spokane) was helpful, and even the glitch with the in room TV was quickly fixed by an onsite technician. My only complaint about Northern Quest would be the casino floor ventilation. Smoking is prohibited in the casino and after a few hours I feel stuffy and effected by the smoke.
Only 10-15 minutes from Downtown Spokane, Northern Quest Resort and Casino is on my list of continual must stays. I can’t wait to get back to Masselow’s for Filet Mignon, a beer at The Q, and another hour in the heavenly shower. What happens in Vegas, happens in Airway Heights.
Get the details on Northern Quest Resort and Casino. Their web site has virtual 360 degree tours of all the rooms and spaces.
*Room and dinner was provided complimentary, review was not guaranteed based on this compensation
21 Mar 2012
Spokane and wine again? You got it, I never tire of talking about the amazing wine scene in Spokane. With 25 wineries claiming a presence (19 producers), Spokane provides residents and visitors an abundance of grape exploration. Four downtown locations, including Nectar Tasting Room have recently teamed up to provide a walking wine pass.
Arbor Crest (at River Park Square), Cougar Crest, Whitestone Winery, and Nectar Tasting Room are all within 4 blocks of each other. Whether you’re staying at The Davenport Hotel, doing some shopping at River Park Square, or coming downtown for dinner, the tasting pass lets you taste wine at all four wineries for only $10 (regularly $20). The pass can be purchased at all four locations and has a one week expiration date.
Get out and explore.
*The Walking Wine Tour card is not valid on First Friday or Spokane Winery Association event weekends. Limit one pass per person.
Arbor Crest Winery – 808 West Main, 3rd Floor of River Park Square
Cougar Crest Winery – 8 North Post
Whitestone Winery – 8 North Post
Nectar Tasting Room – 120 North Stevens