Wednesday, April 21, 2021

ADVERTISING: Advertorial — Wine Taste 2021

by GEORGE BALLING/the dinner party
| March 31, 2021 1:00 AM

If the first weekend of February 2021 seemed a bit empty to many of us, it’s because it was. For over 30 years the first Saturday of every February was reserved for the Hospice of North Idaho Wine Taste, a chance for hundreds of us to taste literally hundred of wines, all in the name of a most worthy cause. We have been involved in the Hospice Wine Taste now for eight years; I have been on the board of Hospice for six of those years and I can tell you first hand there is no organization more worthy of our support. They do wonderful, heart warming work in the most challenging of circumstances, add in COVID and its effects on all health care organizations, and it is a great year for all of us to come out and support the Hospice mission.

This year’s Wine Taste was delayed because of the state of the pandemic at the beginning of February. It will now be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, at the Hagadone Event Center, which the Hagadone organization so generously donates for the event. For those of you who have attended in past years, you know it is a unique opportunity to taste and purchase hundreds of world class wines, and sample great food from our best local restaurants. The great news about purchasing wine that night is that the retail sales from the evening run through The Dinner Party and we donate all of the profits back to Hospice. As a bonus, for every six bottles of wine you purchase from the event you will be entered into drawings for everything from wine tastes to a selection of magnums!

The night also features silent and live auctions and a raffle for a $5,000 dollar trip to the destination of your choice. A limited number of tickets are sold for this wonderful prize that is funded by the Hospice Board. This year’s theme is Carnevale di Venezia A Night of Mischief, which will include all of the traditional Carnevale decorations and costumes at a time when I would suggest all of us are ready to celebrate just a little after the past year.

The wines that are poured each year at the Wine Taste are a selection of the best our local wine distributors and importers have to offer. Every one of these companies deserve our great thanks, as they make the evening possible. As the Wine Taste has grown as an event, their generous donations have kept pace. Odom/Southern, Odom/Click, Idaho Wine Merchant, Hayden Beverage, Eagle Vino, Winebow, American Northwest Distributors, Vehrs and Castaway Cellars deserve our heartfelt thanks for their generosity and logistical support.

Each guest at the wine taste will receive a genuine Riedel crystal glass when they arrive, along with an order form to keep track of their favorite wines for ordering. Each year we are impressed and thrilled with the selection of wines to taste; there is quite literally wine for every taste and every budget that not only includes a wide range of wineries, but also most every notable appellation worldwide. Our local wineries from around the Northwest are always well represented, but so too are the iconic Napa and Sonoma appellations, as are the “Old World” countries of Italy, France, Spain and others. “New World” wine producing countries like Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia and even South Africa will have wines there as well.

We hope you can join us for the event and the chance to contribute to this nonprofit organization that provides so much support to those who are seriously ill and their families and all who are touched by loss. It is a community resource that deserves support from all of us.

The event is black tie optional, and will be held on Saturday, April 24 starting at 5 p.m. at The Hagadone Event Center. Valet parking is available at the event and attendance is limited, so get your ticket now by visiting and clicking on event tickets. We hope to see you there.

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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!/dinnerpartyshop.