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Showing posts from October, 2010

Tasting Room Etiquette

Whether you're new to wine tasting or just wondered what the tasting room protocol is, here are some tasting room Sip Tips. 

What to expect in the Tasting Room and what you need to know to survive the tasting room rituals.

•As you enter the tasting room head for the tasting bar. A host or sometimes even the winemaker will greet you and get you started with wine glasses and explain what wines are available for tasting and if there are any tasting fees.

•Tasting rooms vary from the very elaborate to a simple table set up in the wine making area.

•White wines are tasted first, followed by red wines, and then dessert wines.

•Taste each wine carefully and savor each sip.

•Most wineries will have a sheet of tasting notes. Read the tasting notes as you taste and see if you notice any of the aromas or flavors listed in the notes. Take notes about what you thought about the wine. Your opinion is the only one that really matters. If it's not your favorite - be polite about it. This some o…

The Accidental Artist. Ammo-Head designs. Enter-to-WINE

We have a winner! The re-purposed functional ART goes to Matt Velasco. 
(Matt, please email your contacts at

Doyle Wheeler can take a wine barrel of over 10 years which housed various Red Blends, most recently held the seductive Syrah from Latah Creek Wine Cellars in Spokane WA. and Ta da! turn it into ART with a purpose.

The beautiful Cork 'n Stopper shown below is the re-purposed functional art of Sip's favorite Accidental Artist. A 100+year old french oak, precision turned and hand polished by Doyle Wheeler the "accidental artist" at Ammo-Head design to fit this 2-n-1 Corkscrew stopper! Pop the top and stop it too!!
Retailed at Winestyles, Devtan Trading Company in Northtown Mall, and Gallery of THUM where you can see a display case of his work. $35.00 apiece. A great gift for all us winos (hint hint).

Want it?  I know you do."Share" the First Friday Art Walk post Click here to go to the First Friday Art Walk post Let me k…

CRUSH RUSH Wine Event.

I recently had the privilege to attend an epic wine tasting in the barrel room at Barrister. I had the pleasure of sipping with many of our wonderful local winemakers, who of course brought wine :) 

I also enjoyed the company of some of the fine folks from BHW1, Lorie Hutson from the Spokesman-Review but the real guests of honor were the lucky winners of the Crush Rush Scavenger Hunt. This promotion will be another signature event for the SWA. What an event to remember for the winning group.

If you didn't participate in this Spokane Winery Association promotion, you better mark your calendar for Fall 2011 as this was quite the winescapade of a prize complete with cheese from Saunders. 
Here was the stellar cellar line up:
Latah Creek Wine Cellar: "limited release of remarkable reds" of Zinfandel and Petite Syrah
Robert Karl: "crave -worthy" Claret and "sold out sensation" Rose of Cab Franc.
Barrister: "famously fine" Cab Franc: 2005 & 200…

Ben Joyce Art. The view from up here.

“There is great beauty and intrigue in the layout of a city - from your everyday drive to work, to the historical creation of the streets, to your personal relationship with the town. I hope with my paintings, people will see all of these aspects.” Ben Joyce, Artist
As a last minute suggestion, I attended a "First Friday" Art showing at Barrister Winery on a cold winter night in Downtown Spokane a couple of years ago. To be honest, the draw was the wine, as we knew little about the up and coming artist, Ben Joyce. But since that spontaneous outing, I haven’t been able to forget the fascinating Art of Ben Joyce.

Topophilia: The Affective bond between people and place.
                    The love of place.

Joyce calls his latest series of work Abstract Topophilia. I just call it remarkable. This ingenious perspective of landscapes is created from a bird’s eye view. Programs like Goggle Earth allows Joyce an accessible and affordable view from above, which he then interprets …

Nodland Cellars. Give them a sassy slogan and you get the WINE

Nodland Cellars has a contest going. Give them a sassy slogan and you get the wine. We sippers are so good at these things. Here's the challenge. Give them the best slogan around the words "BAD ATTITUDE - red wine" and the winner will get a free T-shirt with the slogan on it plus a Nodland Cellars gift basket with the ...very first bottle made of the new BAD ATTITUDE red wine autographed by the winemakers. The wine is a blend of Merlot and Malbec and will sell for $20. I'll make sure they get all our creative suggestions.__________________________________________________________________ Sip: Wine with Attitude, BAD ATTITUDE WINE by Nodland CellarsSip: Attitude is everything, BAD ATTITUDE WINE by Nodland CellarsSip:BAD ATTITUDE WINE. Naughty, not Nice by Nodland Cellars.Shannon Myrick Schaff: Give your friends the gift of a lifetime..give them a "Bad Attitude!" specially crafted by Nodland CellarsBill Johnson: Grab a glass, kick some ass
Bill Johnson: …

Blissful Blends and Perfect Pairings

Blissful Blends and Perfect Pairings 
Local chefs offer pairing suggestions for some of the region’s best blends.

Wine blends tend to be complex and, when assembled properly, nothing short of blissful. As you may know, blended wines have been available for quite some time, usually in the form of table wines, which were often at the bottom of the price scale. That is no longer the case, as today’s blend trend is evidenced in the premium wine lists of wineries, restaurants and tasting rooms throughout the region. Our local wineries do red blends very well. There is an intriguing and almost mysterious quality about blends that proves a winemaker is truly a liquid artist.

Here are just some of our region’s finest:

Townshend Cellars T3 (Columbia Valley, $17.95)
For almost 20 years, winemaker Don Townshend has been producing solid wines, but red blends may just be what he does best. Although Townshend’s T3 is one of the most popular Spokane Bordeaux style blends, Townshend’s Vortex has recent…

Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living magazine's "Best Of" reader poll results.


Feature Story
by Kevin Finch, Sarah Hauge, Laurie L. Ross (aka SIP), and Blythe Thimsen
(look after the write up for the intials of the author)

Look up the word “best” in a Merriam Webster Dictionary, and you will get the following result:

adj \best\
Definition of BEST
superlative of good

1: excelling all others
2: most productive of good : offering or producing the greatest advantage, utility, or satisfaction
3: most, largest

We’d like to suggest a fourth definition:

4: top pick, no one is better . Further definitions of the “Best” are as follows:

621 Mallon Avenue,
Talk about fine dining domination! 2010 is the fourth year in a row that you voted Clinkerdagger the top spot for an elegant meal out. Gold medals in three other categories (Most Romantic, Happy Hour Food and Best Dessert) gives the …