ADVERTISING: Advertorial — GEORGE BALLING: With sincere thanks

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Local wine consumers and our friends and customers will be reading this on New Year’s Day. It is hard for Mary and I to believe that we are closing the books on our 12th year in business here in Coeur d’Alene. We just passed the anniversary on Dec. 17. Since that date in 2007, we have hosted many winemaker dinners, wine tastings, wine club release parties and other events here at our shop and with our wonderful restaurant partner for our winemaker dinners at Fleur de Sel in Post Falls.

We have been truly overwhelmed by the support from the community for our small, family-owned business. The point of this shorter than normal column, which will publish as we open the book on a new year, is to simply and sincerely express our thanks. The list is long of all of those who we have worked with over the years that deserve our heartfelt appreciation.

First in our minds at all times are the wonderful customers and wine club members that we see here at the shop and our events. Your kind words and actions, unwavering support and spreading the word of what we try to accomplish here at our shop is truly special. We are inspired by all of you and are always amazed at how many folks drive from Bayview, St. Maries, Sandpoint, Spokane and the Silver Valley, and those who are just down the street, to join us in our shop. Our mission has always been to not only serve our community here in North Idaho, but also to create a community among our customers and friends and all of you have made it enjoyable and rewarding in so many ways.

We would like to thank all of our distributors and sales people from all of those organizations across Idaho for providing great service, but also for working with us on our mission to provide all our customers with wine choices they can be proud of. Everyone of the distributors we work with understands that we strive to provide new, innovative and vast choices of wines for every consumer in the market. We couldn’t do it without them.

For more than six years now we have partnered with Fleur de Sel in Post Falls on our monthly winemaker dinners. We couldn’t have asked or hoped for better partners. Laurent and Patricia know the challenges of running a small, family-owned business like theirs and like ours. They are always considerate of us and work tirelessly for the advancement of our events and the community here in North Idaho. We all should be honored to have a restaurant of this caliber right here in our small town. Thanks also to Renee, Peter, Eddy and all of the staff at FDS — we couldn’t do it without you!

Finally, we would like to thank all of our friends at the Coeur d’Alene Press. I have been writing this column for more than eight years now, and simply could not get it to all of you without their help. Mike Patrick, Kari Packer, Hillary Main and Holly Paszczynska do outstanding work every week to get this column in the paper, and their support means the world to Mary and me.

So again, thank you to all of you who read this on a weekly basis and who support our shop. We are looking forward to more great years to come and will see all of you here soon!

• • •

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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