Idaho Wine Festival 

Ever wonder how Idaho wines measure up? Here's you chance to find out. Next Saturday, August 26, the Treasure Valley Wine Society is hosting their third annual Idaho Wine Festival. The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. in the main ballroom of the Doubletree Hotel Riverside. Tickets are available through Select-a-Seat for $32.50 or you can get them at a number of valley locations, including A New Vintage Wine Shop, Porterhouse Market, Cork & Barrel and the Boise Co-op. If it doesn't sell out, you can pay at the door, but the tariff goes up to 40 bucks.

Your ticket gives you access to all the wines submitted for medal consideration. That's over a hundred different wines from 23 different Idaho wineries, and you get to keep the festival glass. Hors d'ouevres will be provided, including Ballard Family artisan cheeses. This Gooding dairy recently took home a gold medal from the American Cheese Society for their Hot & Spicy Pepper Cheddar. Throughout the evening you'll be able to bid on silent auction items ranging from wine and cheese selections to fly-fishing and golf excursions.

Near the end of the evening, they'll announce the medal winners, including the Taster's Choice award sponsored by Albertson's and voted on by those attending the event. See if you agree with the pros who spent countless hours last Saturday judging the wines. This year's panel included a local sommelier, a local chef, a wine distributor and three different winemakers from Washington and California who have relocated to Idaho.

I had the privilege of sitting in on a couple of flights toward the end of the first round of this grueling marathon. They had been going at it for over four hours, but seemed remarkably fresh, and I found myself in agreement with most all of their choices. If you are into wine (and why else would you be reading the Wine Sipper) then this chance to explore what's happening on the Idaho wine front is not to be missed.

Here's the list of participating wineries:

Bitner Vineyards

Camas Prairie Winery

Carmela Vineyards

Clearwater Canyon Cellars

Cold Springs Winery

Frenchman's Gulch Winery

Galena Summit Winery

Hells Canyon Winery

Holesinsky Winery

Indian Creek Winery

Koenig Distillery & Winery

Miceli Vineyards & Winery

Parma Ridge Vineyards

Pend d'Oreille Winery

Sawtooth Winery

Silver Trail Vineyards

Snake River Winery

Ste. Chapelle Winery

Terra Nativa

The Winery at Eagle Knoll

TimberRock Winery

Weston Winery

Williamson Winery

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