“Drinking good wine with good food and good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures” - Michael Broadbent
Food and wine. These two simple words can encompass so much and for many brings warm thoughts of pleasant conversation, laughter and memory making with friends and family. I was excited to attend the 2nd Annual Coeur d’Alene Food and Wine Festival last month and bring my husband Ryan as my plus one. I had attended the festival last year and knew that it would be a treat to have him join me this year and indeed it was. While neither of us are wine aficionados to any degree we can most certainly appreciate a fine glass of wine that is paired with a lovely meal. Ryan was excited to attend with me as he had heard rave reviews after my experience last year. We worked on this blog post together which is something that we haven’t done a lot of, but after thoroughly enjoying what we experienced, why not do something new together after 15 years of marriage, like writing a blog post? Haha.
In very Pacific Northwest fashion, the spring weather was quite cold and rainy on the Saturday that we attended but we didn’t let that deter our excitement and anticipation for the day. After checking in at the Coeur D'Alene resort we headed straight to our first event for the day, the Coeur d’Cocktails class featuring Mixologist Justin Schorzman. It’s not everyday you get to enjoy 3 delicious cocktails before noon! Justin, the director of Beverages at the Coeur d’Alene Resort for the last 6 years, has such a wonderful personality. We loved his combination of technical expertise and approachable education style which made his class so much fun to be part of. He was very descriptive about why he chose certain ingredients and was very engaged with great answers for questions from the audience. Each drink was paired with a lovely hors d'oeuvre that helped to complement the main ingredients in the drink. Our favorite tip that he shared was to never put ice in your cocktail shaker first as it will take the essence of the ingredients out of the drink. Mix them together in the bottom first then add ice to chill and quickly serve.
Our second event was the Coeur d’Alene Cellars Wine Lunch held at The Cedars Floating Restaurant. If you haven’t had the chance to visit this restaurant, we highly recommend that you make a plan to soon. To get to the restaurant, you cross a dock over to the structure which is a virtual floating island. When we arrived the wind was driving rain and whipping waves up heavily on the lake which made a fantastic backdrop for a lovely meal and excellent wine tasting. We were seated with 2 other couples who enjoyed the festival so much that they planned on making it a yearly tradition, one of the couples had traveled all the way from Indiana to partake in the festivities. The staff at The Cedars were very accommodating and prepared a delicious 4 course meal paired with new and very generous amounts of wine with each course. A bottle of wine was given away during each course as raffle tickets were drawn. In fact, we won a lovely bottle of 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon from Coeur d’Alane Cellars! Coming away from The Cedars completely satisfied (it was such a phenomenal meal) and ready for a long nap after all the perfectly delicious and rich food and copious amounts of wine we headed back to the Coeur d’Alene Resort for our final event of the day, The Artist Den & Idaho Wine Tasting Room. This event was a pleasant delight for the eyes as well as the taste buds. There were lovely paintings and various mediums of artwork by local artists throughout the room to be discovered while we also had the opportunity to discover new and exciting flavors from various vintners from Idaho wineries. We even had the privilege of sampling some excellent fruit forward mead from Camas Prairie Winery based out of Bovill, Idaho (our favorite was the raspberry mead) and a very pleasant Chardonnay from Pend Orielle Winery from Sandpoint.
As we think back on the festivities that we so thoroughly enjoyed just about 6 short weeks ago, the word BRAVO comes to mind. The Coeur d’Alene resort and its team, Cally and Danielle in particular, deserve both a round of applause and many accolades as it is very apparent that they put a tremendous amount of intention and hard work into creating such an incredible 3 day event. We can wholeheartedly say that the The Coeur d’Alene Food & Wine Festival is created and executed with a level of professionalism and grace that you don’t often find here in the Inland Northwest when it comes to events which is why it is a yearly event that we believe should take top priority on your calendar. For details of future events be sure to keep your eye on the Coeur d’Alene Resort website.