Front Door First Thursdays - A Taste of Idaho - Co-op Wine Shop 

Beer. Cheese. Beer. Cheese.

Each First Thursday, Front Door Northwest Pizza and Tap House pairs up the brew with the dairy for a tasting of various Belgian ales and a complementing fromage recommended by the Boise Co-op cheese guru. This week's tasting, however, ditches the Belgians for something more Idaho—handcrafted brews from Grand Teton Brewing Company.

Based in Victor, Idaho, Grand Teton has been brewing since 1988, and anyone who knows a domestic from shinola when it comes to beer can tell the brewmeister has a talent. Just swig on a bottle of Bitch Creek ESB or the cooler weather Mammoth Mai Bock. It's liquid satisfaction in a glass.

Get a few four-ounce tastings from Grand Teton, as well as cheeses that pair with each, while GTBC's Chuck Nowicki gives a presentation on each beer.

Thursday, September 6. Tasting starts at 6 p.m. and ends when the last of the cheese has been cut ... er, eaten. $12. Front Door Northwest Pizza and Tap House, 105 S. 6th St., 208-287-9201.

Take a Bite Out of Idaho

This weekend hosts the third annual A Taste of Idaho, featuring samples of local food and beverages from Idaho's best chefs, producers, wineries, breweries and dairies. At 10 a.m., 12 Idaho chefs will compete in a competition sponsored and judged by the American Culinary Federation. For more information, visit 2.idahoag.us/idahopreferred.

Saturday, September 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $5 admission, kids under 12 FREE. Beer tasting $5, wine tasting $10. Boise Centre on the Grove, 850 W. Front St., 208-336-8900.

Toast to the Boise Co-op's New Wine Shop

Little known fact for you oenophiles out there: The Boise Co-op Wine Shop is up and running. Located in the parking lot across the street from the Boise Co-op proper in the retail space that was formerly home to Hill's Pharmacy, the wine shop opened silently several days ago, hoping to get in a few days to work out any kinks before the grand opening celebration this weekend.

Self-described wine department "overlord" Divit Cardoza says that the Co-op will continue to carry wine, although the selection will be slimmer than shoppers are used to.

"We've been agonizing over what to leave and what to take [from the Co-op]" says Cardoza. "It has not been a random choice. We just had to determine what was the least amount we could leave without upsetting people."

The hope, Cardoza says, is that the wine selection still available at the Co-op will satisfy customers without inconveniencing them.

"What we did was leave the top 10 percent sellers in each category. For example, the best-selling $15 Chardonnay and the best $25 Chardonnay." Even with nearly 50 choices by the case and another 300 choices of individual bottles that are still available at the Co-op, it's only 10 percent of the selection available at the new shop. For serious wine shoppers, however, the new space provides not only increased selection, but more elbow room, something the wine department's space in the Co-op hasn't had much of for years.

The Boise Co-op Wine Shop hosts its grand opening celebration this weekend on September 8 and 9. Winemakers will be on hand to pour tastings and talk up their vintages, but don't forget to bring your ID if you intend to partake. For more information, visit BoiseCoopWineShop.com.

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