ADVERTISING: Advertorial — GEORGE BALLING: Now is the time

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Every year on the first Saturday of February, Hospice of North Idaho holds their wine taste event. It is the single largest fundraiser for Hospice, and the premier wine event of the year here in North Idaho. Mary and I have worked with Hospice of North Idaho on the event for six years now. I have been on the board going on five years, and we can tell you with certainty from our involvement that this is one of the most worthwhile nonprofit organizations in all of the Northwest. The organization does simply extraordinary work, delivered with compassion and grace in the most trying of circumstances. We could not be more proud of our affiliation with Hospice.

If you have attended the Hospice Wine Taste and become familiar with the organization and its many good deeds, then you know how fun and rewarding it is. If you have not, now is the time! This year with the Hayden Lake Country Club under renovation, the Hospice Wine Taste will be held at the recently completed Hospice Community Center, located at the “campus” at 2290 West Prairie Ave., presenting a great opportunity to see the facility and how it contributes to the overall mission of Hospice of North Idaho. The event is on Saturday, Feb. 2, and it starts at 5 p.m. Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased through Hospice of North Idaho.

Here is the best part for wine lovers of every experience level and with every taste and palate preference — you get to try wine. A lot of wine! All of our great local distributors volunteer their time to put together hundreds of wines to taste. The samples are all donated to help the cause by the distributors themselves, the importers and wineries. As you taste through this monumental collection you have an order form which you can use to purchase your favorites from the evening. We handle the retail sales here at the dinner party, donating all of the profits from the wine sales back to Hospice to further support the mission.

In addition to the opportunity to taste all this great wine, food is a yummy part of the event as well. Scores of local restaurants donate their time, expertise and delicious creations so you can dine as you taste through the lineup. Each year we have been simply blown away at the caliber of the food that our local restaurants put out at this great community event.

For even more wine fun, take the chance to buy one of the limited raffle tickets, which allows the grand prize winner a chance to design their own wine country trip to any of the appellations around the globe. Also at the live auction, a number of trips will be offered, including one to the Napa Valley and other destinations featuring world-class accommodations.

This annual event is not only the most widely-attended and complete wine event in our area, it is the chance to support this vital nonprofit group. Now is the time to make that decision and offer your support, all while using the event to taste and find your new favorite wines. Mary and I look forward to seeing you there!

• • •

George Balling is co-owner with his wife, Mary Lancaster, of the dinner party, a wine and gift shop in Coeur d’Alene by Costco. The dinner party has won the award for best wine shop in North Idaho twice, including for 2018. George is also published in several other publications around the country. After working in wineries in California and judging many wine competitions, he moved to Coeur d’Alene with Mary more than 10 years ago to open the shop. You can also follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/#!/dinnerpartyshop.

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