A year ago Spokane residents learned that the Washington Wine Commission canceled the popular long running event, Taste Washington. Many Spokanites felt that the wine commission turned their backs on our city. Conversation of east versus west and second city sprung up at wineries and wine bars around Spokane.
Enter Varsity Communications to save the day! Varsity Communications is the brains behind Taste Washington (Seattle, Portland and formerly Spokane). If anyone is familiar with hosting a grand tasting, Dick Stephens and his team are.
Sunday, June 5 the culmination of their efforts shone the spotlight on why Spokane is a perfect host city. With 60 wineries and dozens of food vendors, The Lincoln Center played host to the first annual Vintage Spokane. With each sip the memory of Taste Washington became more and more faint. Over 400 people plus volunteers, vendors, and wineries enjoyed the wines of Washington and Idaho perfectly paired with culinary creation.
Where Were The Spokane Wineries?
As a local business owner, I have to play the political balancing game but as I talked to several people leading up to and during the event, one question kept coming up, “Where are the Spokane wineries.” With 19 wineries producing wine in town, one would expect at least a 50% participation rate. As I walked around, I was happy to see Robert Karl, Arbor Crest and Knipprath Cellars proudly representing Spokane. I realize that Vintage Spokane got a late start in recruiting and several local events may be tying up the resources of local vintners, but the opportunity to show support and engage customers was missed. As I watched the hundreds of people enjoying wine and food, I couldn’t help but look forward to next year seeing 10-15 of our local quality wineries representing.
While I was there to work (a little), I had a goal to visit some new wineries and revisit some new releases from old friends. Below are some of the stand outs:
- Bergevin Lane She-Devil Syrah
- Cougar Crest Dedication
- Alexandria Nicole Shepherd’s Mark
- Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot
- Rotie Cellars Southern Syrah
- Kiona Winery Lemberger
The culinary delights were incredible as well. Cheese from local Saunders Market was a favorite as well as amazing presentation from Muckleshoot Casino (smoked salmon and marshmallow), and Kennewick’s Chef Frank Magana from Picazo 717 Restaurant (Gorgonzola stuffed, prosciutto-wrapped prawns and Dungeness crab chipotle mac n’ cheese).
If the 2011 Vintage Spokane event is any indication, Varsity Communications may need to look for a larger venue for the 2012 event. Spokane is a wine loving community and showed voracious support for the vintage vino.
See their Facebook page for pictures from the event
11 May 2011
Want to go to the newest wine event in Spokane? Here is your chance. Vintage Spokane needs your help in getting the word out. By simply becoming their marketing force you can qualify to win 2 tickets to the June 5 event. Details on how to participate and qualify are in the last paragraph of this post.
What is Vintage Spokane?
In 2010 we learned that the Washington Wine Commission was no longer going to host the popular Taste Washington event in Spokane. The long running event gave Spokane residents a way to explore and enjoy the wine from over 100 Washington wineries and cuisine from local restaurants. The event promoters, Varsity Communications, saw a need to continue the event for Spokane oenophiles and made the decision to host Vintage Spokane.
With the success we’ve had with Taste Washington in Seattle, we’re excited to bring an event like this back to the Spokane area,” said Varsity Communications President Dick Stephens. “Few cities in the country have a community that is as knowledgeable and appreciative of good wine as Spokane, and the sheer number of incredible wineries and restaurants that are within a short distance of the city limits are staggering. We can’t wait to put it all on display for Spokane residents to enjoy.”
Vintage Spokane is Sunday, June 5 at the beautiful Lincoln Center. 75 wineries and dozens of local restaurants and caterers are expected to participate. Ticket prices are only $60 for this year’s event (lower than previous Taste Washington events). Tickets are on sale now on their web site (http://www.vintagespokane.com) and at Nectar Tasting Room, Latah Creek Winery and Arbor Crest Winery.
Want to WIN Tickets?
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 May 29 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:
From the producers of Taste Washington, introducing Vintage Spokane, Spokane’s newest wine event. Tickets are on sale now (June 5). Visit their web page for more info – 75 wineries and 20 local restaurants. http://www.vintagespokane.com
Learn more about @vintagespokane, 75 wineries and 20 restaurants. June 5 http://bit.ly/jGrZxa #wawine
*Nectar Tasting Room is a media sponsor of this event
Spokane celebrates Spring with the annual Spokane Winery Association’s, Spring Barrel Tasting. For 25 years, Spokane wineries have opened their doors to wine lovers of all ages (21 and over of course) on Mother’s Day Weekend. Spring marks the time when many of the years previous vintages are ready for release and gives oenophiles an opportunity to try wine that is still in the wine making process.
This year two wineries and one new tasting room join the association giving happy sippers 18 locations to enjoy 24 local and regional wineries. Bridge Press Cellars, the most recent addition to the Spokane Winery Association and eMVy Cellars, the proud project of Mark and Valerie Wilkerson will be celebrating the grand opening of the newest tasting room space at 32 W. 2nd Ave next to Sun People Dry Goods in the Spokane Public Market. Also joining in the Spring Barrel Tasting is Nectar Tasting Room where five Washington wineries share a co-op space at 120 N. Stevens.
Spring Barrel Tasting festivities are from 11AM – 5PM Friday through Sunday, May 6-8. Many wineries will be celebrating their newest releases and will be offering discounts on current and new vintages. Wine tasting gives you a chance to “try before you buy” ensuring you find a wine that you love. Tasting fees may apply and many wineries will waive the tasting fee with the purchase of a bottle.
Nectar Tasting Room Spring Barrel Tasting
While we don’t have barrels at the tasting room, you can choose to taste 5 wines from 5 Washington State wineries. Enjoy a newly released Malbec, a gold medal winning 2010 Viognier, or celebrate Spring with a refreshing Sangiovese Rose. In total, 10 wines will be available and for $5 you can taste 5 (refundable with the purchase of a bottle). Look for a special ½ price case sale as well as other discounts.
End your day on Friday with the First Friday celebration that includes photography from Mark Anthony Productions and music from Spokane favorite Darrin Hilderbrand. Music starts at 6:30 and the party goes well into the night usually wrapping up around 10pm. If you’re out and about on Saturday night come by at 9PM for Spokane’s favorite wine party, The Final Sip. For only $10 you get to sample up to 8 of any of the wines we have open (usually 20-30 bottles).
Nectar will also be open on Sunday from 11AM – 5PM. Bring mom by and treat her to a unique wine tasting experience.
- Anelare 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon $33 (reg $44)
- Hard Row To Hoe 2007 Barbera $18 (reg $24)
- Northwest Cellars 2009 Chardonnay $12 (reg $16)
- Northwest Cellars 2007 Cabernet $18 (reg $24)
- Skylite Cellars 2009 Viognier $15 (reg $19)
- Skylite Cellars 2009 Dry Rose $15 (reg $19)
- Terra Blanca 2008 Riesling $10.50 (reg $14)
- Terra Blanca 2006 Syrah $120 case (reg $240)
7 Tips for Spring Barrel Tasting Weekend
- Drink water, then drink more water
- You don’t have to finish every wine sample
- Don’t hog the tasting bar, make room for others
- Make a purchase. When you find a wine you like support the local economy and buy it.
- Eat, take a break for lunch and snacks. Drinking on an empty stomach means trouble
- Don’t wear heavy perfume.
- Most importantly…bring a designated driver
11 Feb 2011
No child should die with unfulfilled dreams. The Wishing Star foundation is one of the true heroes of this world, providing hope and fulfilling dreams to children who live with the impending threat and stress of terminal illness. These young children live their lives with thoughts of doctor’s visits, tests, pain, and medication. The Wishing Star Foundation helps to fulfill dreams of vacations, room makeovers, trips to Disneyworld, Hollywood experiences, and meeting famous people. As individuals in Spokane (and across the internet) it may seem overwhelming for us to do our part. How can we help?
Taste your way to fulfilled dreams. Friday, March 4, at the Northern Quest Resort and Casino, you can taste your way through delicious treats and local wine knowing that with each sip and with each nibble you are making another wish come true. Last year’s event drew over 800 people and raised more than $18,000. This year promises to be even bigger.
Coordinator Taryn Erickson got involved with Wishing Star after a family friend, who was a “wish child” passed away. She watched the miracles first hand and was compelled to be involved. Spokane has 40+ active wishes including 21 year old Andrew who has a rare cancer of the bone. Andrew was diagnosed as a teenager and has given up school, college, job to fight this monster into remission. Your attendance can help fulfill his wish!
This year your $30 ticket (and any additional taste tickets you buy), go to fulfill the wishes of Adrienne, Mitchell, and Evett.
Adrienne’s wish: Adrienne is four years old and suffers from heart defects. Her wish is to have a castle playhouse. Spokane Home Builder’s Apprenticeship Program is currently building the playhouse, but funds are needed for the materials!
Mitchell’s wish: Mitchell is twelve years old and suffers from brachman de lange syndrome. His wish is to go to a NASCAR race. With your help, we are hoping to send Mitchell to a race during the next NASCAR season.
Evett’s wish: Evett is nine years old and suffers from heart complications as well. Her wish is to go to Orlando, Florida. She wants to go to Disneyworld, Universal Studios and the beach. She would like to travel on her birthday this July.
Nectar Tasting Room and Spokane Wine Magazine are proud to be a part of this event and look forward to joining several amazing tasting tables provided by:
- Arbor Crest Wine Cellars
- Chocolate Myracles
- Christ Kitchen
- Coeur d’Alene Cellars
- Dry Falls Cellars
- Dry Fly Distilling
- EMVY Cellars
- Georgetown Brewing/Manny’s
- Hay J’s Bistro
- Iron Horse Brewery
- Just American Deserts
- Marsells Cakes and Desserts
- Masselow’s at Northern Quest
- Mary Hill Winery
- MJ’s Chocolate Fountain
- Mountain Dome Winery
- Nectar Tasting Room
- Northern Lights Brewery
- NQ Banquet and Conference Services
- Pend d’Oreille Winery
- Pixie Dust Chocolates
- Rocky Mountain Chocolates
- Taste of India
- Tom Sawyer Country Coffee
- Townshend Cellars
When: Friday, March 4 from 6-10 p.m.
Where: Northern Quest Casino (discounted room rates available)
05 Nov 2010
Occasionally a wine lover’s dream weekend comes along that requires some major preparation to ensure proper liver treatment and survival. An inexperienced wino will end up passed out just hours into the weekend while a prepared wine lover can skillfully wine their way from event to event still feeling refreshed and rejuvenated on Monday morning. Not one, but TWO such dream weekends are upon us.
They keys to survival are planning, hydration, and an ancient liver massaging technique that I’ll reveal at the end of the post.
Planning the Weekend(s)
Epicurean Delight – Where Celebration Meets Social Conscience
Spokane Convention Center
6pm – Midnight; $150
Epicurean Delight, hosted by The Inland Northwest Blood Center attracted more than 1,100 people in 2009 with record-breaking attendance and participation! Epicurean Delight 2010 will once again feature the most exquisite restaurants, paired with the finest wineries and microbreweries in the Inland Northwest!
Proceeds from Epicurean Delight 2010 will be used to advance INBC’s life saving mission with a portion of the funds designated to providing superior technologies and blood center education and training.
Wine Styles 2 Year Anniversary Celebration
Friday & Saturday, Nov 12-13, 2010
8801 N Indian Trails Rd
Come enjoy all day tastings of various Washington wineries. Wine Styles will have live music, hors d’oeuvres, door prizes, raffle and much more! Amazing sales for everyone! Stock up for the holidays: 10% off 3 bottles, 15% off 6 bottles, 20% off 12 bottles, 30% off 18 bottles. All premium wines (bottles valued at $50 or more) are buy one, get the 2nd 40% off.
Nodland Cellars New Bad Attitude Release
11611 E Montgomery
Spokane Valley, WA
6-9pm, special event pricing of $18
The event of the year at Nodland Cellars! We release the new Rock and Roll series with our new Merlot/Malbec blend, BAD ATTITUDE! Regular $20 btl/special event price $18 btl. Wine, food and song! $5 tasting fee refundable with purchase. Come and rock out with us! Put on some Bad Attitude!
17th Annual Spokane Cork & Keg Festival
Mirabeau Park Hotel
1100 N. Sullivan Rd.Spokane Valley, WA 7-10 p.m. $45 per person
Buy tickets online or find the ticket outlet closest to you:
Sample more than 100 wines and 30 handcrafted beers from the Northwest and beyond. Souvenir wine glass, yummy hors d’oeuvres prepared by Chef Curtis Smith and the Inland Northwest Culinary Academy, silent auction and discount wine store (wine is 20% less than retail with no sales tax!). Enjoy live music by the Martini Brothers!
Liberty Lake Wine Cellars Special Release
Sunday, Nov 14, 2010
Liberty Lake Wine Cellars
1018 S. Garry Rd.
Liberty Lake, WA
Every once in a while people enter our lives that make a significant impact and change the way we live. They leave a legacy. Liberty Lake is celebrating the legacy of Shelly’s father, Gary, who passed away last year, with the release of a special legacy third generation blend. Celebrate Gary’s birthday with the release of Gary’s Legacy Red.
Spokane Winery Association Holiday Wine Festival
Friday – Sunday, Nov. 19-12, 2010
17 Spokane Wineries
11 am – 5pm – tasting fees vary.
In the spirit of holiday celebration, 17 local wineries will host a special celebration of wine, gourmet food and fun as part of the Spokane Winery Association’s Annual Holiday Wine Festival.
Take a break from the bustle of the holiday season and enjoy special moments with friends savoring all that the Annual Holiday Wine Festival has to offer. Also, consider kicking off this holiday season’s shopping with the unique and tasteful gift options at your favorite local wineries.
Join in the celebration with exclusive wine tasting at each winery, gourmet food sampling and discounts at select locations. The individual wineries, each with trademarks and specialties, invite the public to celebrate the season and to talk personally with winemakers and aficionados about production, wines and more during the event.
As I mentioned earlier, the keys to surviving an epic wine weekend are planning, hydration and liver massage. Don’t forget to drink lots of water. Alcohol dehydrates the brain (that’s what causes the headaches by the way). Also, try this ancient liver massage technique to rid your body of the alcohol toxins quicker. *
*Liver massage techniques are not proven. The claims of this blog are purely satirical and to make you laugh. No medical claims are inferred.