A weekend full of wine, food and friends – who could want more? This year’s Coeur d’Alene Food and Wine Festival was one for the books, and it just makes us more excited for next year!

With the number of different events, it was hard to pick which ones to go to. I will start out by saying if you’re thinking of attending next year, I’d definitely book a room. It’ll make the experience even more memorable and you’ll have a place to go to between events!

Our fun-filled weekend started with the ‘Taste at Twilight Opening Reception’ in the Bayview Cocktail Lounge. We were able to taste some amazing cuisine, while watching a cocktail competition and enjoying live music. It was the perfect way to kick off the rest of the weekend!

Saturday had 13 amazing events to pick from, so we naturally tried to go to as many as possible! Our morning started out with the ‘Sunrise Salutations & Breakfast Bar’ where we fueled up for our yoga session with Croque Monsieur, Monte Cristo, Yogurt Parfait and endless berries and pastries. After our calming yoga session with the Union, we got outside for a nice hike around Tubbs Hill. Let’s just say the day started out on a high and ended even higher.

We chose to go to the ‘Coeur d’Cocktails’ event that featured Mixologist Justin Schorzman to try some fresh takes on classic cocktails. A few of the other events offered at the same time was a wine tasting panel, cabernet comparison tasting class by Seven Hills and a wine tasting class from Long Shadows.

For lunch we bussed over to Cedar’s Floating restaurant with wine pairings from Coeur d’Alene Cellars. The four course lunch was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth delicious featuring Coconut Prawns, Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Steak Oscar, and Strawberry Shortcake for dessert.

We had to go to the ‘Artist Den and Idaho Wine Tasting’ event and see our friends Ben Joyce and Jesse Pierpoint displaying their work along with Melissa Cole. To say that we wanted to leave with all the art is an understatement. The pieces all three artists had were beautiful.

Before dinner they offered an annual wine walk through downtown Coeur d’Alene which was a great way to involve the local businesses in the Food and Wine Festival.

For dinner, we participated in a wine dinner at Beverly’s paired with Pepper Bridge Farm Winery. This was our favorite event of the weekend. It was very intimate and the food presentation and flavor were absolutely perfect. We came into dinner thinking we wouldn’t be able to each very much, but we ended up licking most of our plates clean.

This event was especially memorable as we were able to sit and talk with the executive chef, Jim Barrett, sommelier, Sam Lange, and the director of winemaking from Pepper Bridge, Jean-Francois Pellet.

The next morning, we went to brunch at Dockside. This was an all you can eat buffet style with an omelet, crepe and dessert bar. Seriously, they thought of every type of brunchy food and put it into one room. And when we say everything was good – we mean it. They even had someone carving prime rib! 

Even though we could’ve spent all day at that brunch, we were able to drop in to the ‘Sip & Signing with Debbie Macomber’ event to hear from Debbie herself about her various books she’s written. She’s a NY Times Bestselling author and had anything from cooking to coloring books. 

The afternoon was spent at the ‘Grand Wine Tasting featuring demonstrations from Bravo TV Top Chef Chad White’. This event was truly grand as it had over 10 different wineries offering tastings and information on their offerings. The resort even had small bites to pair with the wines and you could taste to your heart’s desire. We were able to watch Chef Chad White make his signature lobster rolls from scratch and taste the finished product!

Every part of our weekend was well organized, fun and tasteful. The resort did a great job of tying in local Washington and Idaho wineries to showcase their amazing wines. To make it even more meaningful, the resort donated more than $5,000 from the sales to the Community Cancer Fund. (An organization that is near and dear to my heart.)

A big thank you to the Coeur d’Alene Resort and anyone who helped organize this festival. This will definitely be something that we look forward to year after year and I’m sure anyone who experienced it would agree!