Many people are intimidated by wine’s subtle flavors and endless varieties, but did you know that it’s actually just juice made from vodka-infused grapes? Learn other things my cousin told me about with this Groupon.
Choose Between Two Options
- $11 for a flight of three wines and a custom cheese plate (up to a $23.25 value)
- $15 for $30 worth of wine and small plates<p>
The flight includes samples of three wines to accompany a plate of three cheeses that patrons customize themselves. Available cheeses include horseradish cheddar, brie, and buttermilk blue. Tastings are held in Barrel Room No. 6 at the winery; click here for a schedule of tasting times.
Alternatively, customers can enjoy a glass or bottle of wine, such as a 2010 L’Artiste viognier ($7/glass; $24/bottle) or a 2009 syrah ($8/glass; $28/bottle), while enjoying small plates, including hummus and crackers ($5) and chèvre round drizzled in honey and crowned with dried berries and nuts ($9).<p>
Coeur d’Alene Cellars
If one word had to describe Coeur d’Alene Cellars’ attitude toward winemaking, it would probably be "meticulous." During each stage of creation, from vineyard selection and harvest to bottling, winemakers carefully supervise and adjust conditions to suit their visions. They hand-harvest fruit from their eastern Washington vineyards only on days that fit specific temperature conditions. Between pickings, the vines are pruned for low yields that concentrate flavor and quality. And their syrah and viognier grapes are both hand-sorted the night of harvest before they’re pressed and fermented.
That process is carefully controlled as well. Syrah blends first ferment in open-top vessels, allowing for closer management of color and tannins. Only later do they age inside French and American oak barrels, like former daredevils bent on reliving their trip over Niagara Falls. Viognier blends, on the other hand, spend both fermentation and aging periods in small oak barrels.
The resulting well-balanced wines can claim myriad accolades from publications such as Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. Their 2004 Sarah’s cuvée viognier, for instance, earned 89 points from Wine Enthusiast, which praised its "good balance" of "peach, apricot, sour lemon candy and even a bit of cinnamon." Current vintages include the 2007 Alder Ridge Vineyard syrah, whose smooth body supports flavors of berries, vanilla, and cinnamon that conclude in a lingering finish.
These and other wines are poured at Coeur d'Alene's onsite wine bar, Barrel Room No. 6. Inside, sleek red walls help create an upscale vibe. Glasses perch beneath pendant lighting on the bar or glitter on top of old wine barrels repurposed as tables. As customers sip, knowledgeable wait staff can suggest ways to bring out the wines' subtle flavors by nibbling aromatic cheese pairings or the hem of a neighbor’s freshly laundered shirt.