A fully operational winery since 1987, Sawtooth Winery was once under the care of the Pintler family, who had used their parcel of land as pasture for years. But the rolling, south-facing hills were a bit too robust to be limited to one use, and in 1982 15 acres of grapes were planted. Today, Sawtooth is one of the largest vineyards in Idaho, and those same vines produce the plump grapes destined become one of the eight wine varietals crafted onsite. Those wines have garnered Sawtooth a variety of honorable accolades and press, including a Winery of the Month designation from the Idaho Wine Commission.
With its sun-dappled outdoor patio, laid-back vibe, and cozy interior permeated with the sounds of live music, The Blue Moose Cafe has established itself as a local favorite for informal eats throughout the year. On the converted bungalow?s porch, umbrellas and ceiling fans create a comfortable ambiance that caused one Boise Weekly food critic to proclaim the eatery ?hard to beat? when it comes to "casual summertime dining." Inside, hardwood floors and quirky artwork line the space, where cushioned stools dress ranks in front of a wood-and-granite wine bar.
No matter where you choose to sit, however, the savory selections from the kitchen staff?s eclectic repertoire are the stars of the show. On top of daily specials, which can include everything from green-chili chicken enchiladas to salmon pinwheels with garlic mashed potatoes, the cooks maintain an established menu of lunch classics. They toss crisp salads with ingredients such as fresh bay shrimp and housemade peanut sauce and prepare 19 gourmet sandwiches, including clubs, melts, and grinders. On Friday nights, live bands entertain crowds with original songs and SAT prep questions set to a melody.
Woodriver Cellars’ vine alchemists pluck the fruits of their scenic vineyard in the Snake River Appellation to create a full suite of wines. Visitors to the rustic tasting room lounge upon dark, wooden furniture near a stone hearth, enjoying hors d’oeuvres and sips of the winery’s vintages, which include chardonnay blends, reislings, merlots, and malbecs. Eye-catching works from local artists line the tasting room’s walls as the resonant sounds of regular live musicians tickle ears. The expansive vineyard grounds act as a pastoral vista for weddings and parties, containing a quartet of bocce courts for friendly competition or tense discussions over whether a grapefruit can be used as a substitute ball.
The wine specialists behind Heartwood & Oak Wine Merchants combine two elements as well-matched as vanilla notes in a pinot noir?curated wine selections and affordability. Their carefully sourced wine selections offer significant savings on each tasty glass while introducing clients to new varietals from far-flung locales. Samplers, such as their curated selection of Spanish reds, combine wines by region, style, season, or likelihood of being stolen by the ghost of Hemingway.
Seasoned barkeeps fill glasses with the aromatic pours from a rotating selection of 12 wines, and the cellar stocks a slew of bottled vintages from Idaho wineries to far-flung international locales. Guests can also indulge in sips of 38 domestic and international beers. It's all a part of the new ownership at Corkscrews, who complement their libations with a freshly concocted menu that showcases pizza, salads, a spread of cheeses, and desserts, from cheesecake to ice cream with almonds. On top of filling Corkscrews' cozy environs with daily live entertainment, the owners enjoy renting out the facility and its team of wine handlers for private events such as holiday parties and Flat Earth Society meetings.
Center-cut pork loin drizzled with apricot-balsamic reduction. Pan-roasted halibut topped with sundried-tomato-basil butter. Dishes such as these reflect Muse Bistro and Wine Bar’s simple, timeless formula of pairing perfectly cooked meats with inventive sauces. The chefs reinvent the menu every Tuesday to showcase whatever ingredients are in peak season so that diners can enjoy food at its freshest, before the produce inevitably gets a tattoo to stay with the times.