The Good Doctor

Over the last several years we have been fortunate to work with many winemakers, winery owners, importers, and distributors on our monthly events like winemaker dinners and wine tastings. We have hosted some of the biggest names in the wine business and some of those just emerging to prominence and have found most everyone to be gracious, knowledgeable and entertaining. In all that time we have never done a return engagement with a winery, until now.

Dr. Wade Wolfe is truly a unique owner/winemaker. We hosted him early in the history of the shop before we even partnered with local restaurants to host winemaker dinners. It was one of our most talked about events. Dr. Wolfe holds two PhDs in enology and geology from the University California Davis, the institution that wine industry folks refer to as “Winery U.” Thurston Wolfe winery opened in 1987, giving Wade and his wife Becky 25 vintages under their belt from their seat in Prosser- a great lineage of history and experience in an always evolving and challenging industry.

The knowledge base garnered from his educational background and vintage experience, along with his overall presentation, makes him a compelling speaker delivering vast amounts of knowledge not only on his wines but also on the industry, as well as the art and the science behind wine production. In short, he is very entertaining.

When it comes to his wines, we have always found them to be some of the most compelling values coming out of Washington State. Many are priced under $20. The quality and diversity is simply extraordinary for a winery the size of Thurston Wolfe. The first wine we ever tried and fell in love with from TW was the PGV, a lovely and unique white blend of Pinot Gris and Viognier that is fermented dry, but shows lovely fruit.

Wade is also one of the few winemakers in the state to make a 100 percent varietal Lemberger. It is a wine that we grow fonder of every time we try it. TW is also one of the few wineries in the state to cultivate and produce varietal Zinfandel. Zin is an underrepresented crop in the state, receiving little of the attention it does in its native California. The remainder of his portfolio is just as impressive.

Wade will be here for two events. There will be a winemaker dinner on Friday, March 22. We are holding the event with our great restaurant partner Scratch at 5th and Sherman. The dinner is sold out a testament to both Wade’s appeal and the always great food that chef/owner Jason Rex puts out for these events and the wonderful job his staff does with service.

The second event will be here at the shop on Saturday, March 23 at 4 p.m. We will taste five more Thurston Wolfe wines with Wade speaking about his wines and providing more interesting stories of the industry in Washington State. The tasting is free but we ask that you let us know if you are attending.

Dr. Wolfe has earned his place at the highest echelons of the Washington wine business for all of these reasons, but it goes further. Whether it be the North Idaho Wine Rodeo, or any charitable events we hold here in Kootenai County, like many winemakers Wade never says no to donating, entering wines in the rodeo and contributing any way he can. Whenever we contact winery owners and winemakers we know regarding visits from our customers they always roll out the red carpet, and Wade and Becky are among the friendliest delivering a great tasting experience.

For all of these reasons Wade has earned the title “the good doctor.” We encourage you to join us for the tasting, if you would like to be placed on a waiting list for the winemaker dinner you can call us as well.

If there is a topic you would like to read about or questions on wine you can email[1] or make suggestions by contacting the Healthy Community section at the Cd’A Press.

George Balling is co-owner with his wife Mary Lancaster of the dinner party a wine and table top decor shop in Coeur d’Alene by Costco. George is also the managing judge of The North Idaho Wine Rodeo, and is the wine editor for Coeur d’Alene magazine[2]. You can learn more about the dinner party at[3]. You can get all of these articles as well as other great wine tips by friending us on Facebook[4]#!/dinnerpartyshop.


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12 thoughts on “The Good Doctor

  1. What Are A Couple Of Good, Not Too Pretentious Wines? I don’t know anything about wine, but we are entertaining someone who does and want to serve a good red and white wine that will show that we care, but not come across as pretentious? There’s no meal, just wine and light snacks like cheese, bread, etc. Any suggestions?

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  2. How Much Alcohol Should We Buy, Supplying A 21st Birthday Party? Hey there everyone – helping a friend organise her approaching 21st, and a little confused how much alcohol we should buy (nothing worse than running out, but we don’t want to go overboard on the $’s!). So, we are thinking of making a big container/bin of punch, having some light and heavy beers, red and white wine, and some bubbly. We are Aussie’s, so talking in terms of slabs (24 beers). Not sure of the final invite list, but could you help me out in how much you would buy for say, 100 people? They will be mixed in age and lifestyle, some older family and family friends, and plenty of school, uni, and college friends (who can all drink alot!). Please help? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!!!! thanks again!

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  3. Make it easy on yourself and stick to 2 (maybe 3) categories… either wine and beer, or beer and hard liquor, or punch and beer. having too many combinations not only complicates the organizers of the party, but you’re more likely to have a greater instances of people mixing too many varieties which = yak.

    if you’re going to be entertaining older guests, i’d stay away from the jungle juice/punch and keep it strictly cocktails and beer (and maybe wine). if its an all out back yard frat style party, then bring the jungle juice and a few kegs, don’t forget the ice and the tap, and do a few keg stands for me.

    also, consider your budget as booze ain’t cheep. if its going to be a nite of mindless boozing and your guest aren’t picky, stick to the generic brands and get as much as you can afford. alcohol doesn’t go bad, and you’ll probably drink it b4 it gets even close to expiring.

    if your guest don’t want to drink wine in boxes and down 40’s of malt liquor, get Heinekens and Coronas (w/ some light beer for the ladies), and hit Costco for the XL sized bottles of decent hard liquors. make sure you also stock some good mixers (coke, sprite, cranberry juice, rockstar, tonic, lime wedges) and plenty of ice. one way to keep it simple and make it fun is to offer two or three premixed cocktails, like 3 variations of vodka drinks (apple martini, rockstar n’ vodka, cranberry n’ vodka) and serve them all nite.

    as for quantity, i say calculate about 4-6 drinks per person and do the math. a keg of decent beer will run you less than $100, and you’ll get more out of that than 4 cases (or slabs) of beer for the same $$. make sure you get it early and let it sit for a few hours on ice or else you’ll be pouring foam all nite.

    hope this helps!

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  4. At An Informal Party, Do You Serve Your Best Bottle Of Wine First Or Last? You have only a few bottles: several medium quality and one very fine vintage bottle. At a small party with friends, do you serve the finest wine first or last.

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  5. Hi uytreddgg! i love entertaining, and a fine bottle with friends is fantastic! u should start with the nice bottle. howevr, if ur serving dinner that calls for the nice bottle, consider serving cocktails first, and saving the nice bottle for dinner.

    another idea is to do a wine tasting if u have a few bottles – slip the bottles into numbered brown bags and see if ur guests can guess which is the nice one!

    have fun!

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  6. What Type Of Wine Would You Serve With Lobster? I will be entertaining the Bishop in the next two weeks and want to make a good impression on him. Mrs Sharples, my housekeeper has tipped me off that he enjoys lobster but I can’t remember which type is best with fish. Is it red wine or white wine?
    Thanking you, Father Frank.

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  7. Can Anyone Recommend Any Good Medium Sweet White Wines From Asda? I do have difficulty getting about and I live over the road from ASDA Market. I entertain quite often for my wife’s friends. The medium sweet wines are favoured and I would like to know of a one from ASDA so I can treat them.. Thank you for your help.

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  8. What Is An Epic Rule That I Could Have In My Game Of Drinking Jenga? We’re making out drinking Jenga and we’re trying to think of something to write on it that is both incredibly entertaining and makes you drink. Suggestions, don’t bother with the lame ones we’ve all heard a million times before.

    Also, know any creative drinks with kessler whiskey? I’m bored with OFs and Sweets

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  9. This is a stretch of a question for beer, wine, and spirits.
    You lose, you drink-epic.
    Do not advance your position or your teams position-then you drink.

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