Coeur d'Alene Wine & Food Fest approaches; plus, help a Spokane family open a traditional Argentinian empanada restaurant

Coeur d'Alene Wine & Food Fest approaches; plus, help a Spokane family open a traditional Argentinian empanada restaurant
CdA Resort photo
The second Coeur d'Alene Food & Wine Festival presents a dazzling array of delicious events.

Artists, authors and foodies unite for the Coeur d'Alene Food and Wine Festival, happening April 11-14 at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. The second-year festival celebrating all things food and wine this year features a special showcase of art by some familiar names: Ben Joyce, Melissa Cole and Jesse Pierpoint. They'll be highlighted during the Artist Den & Idaho Wine Tasting event on Saturday, April 13, from 1-6 pm; tickets are $10 to the public, or free to festival passholders. Literature, meanwhile, joins the schedule lineup in the form of a "sip and signing" with New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber on Sunday, April 14, at 10 am; tickets are $40.

Other highlights of the three-day event are two Friday evening cruises on the lake pairing wine tastings and light appetizers with beautiful water views. Guests can also purchase tickets to a couple of Saturday wine-tasting classes with experts or the winemakers themselves. Wine-pairing luncheons and dinners — a few of which are already sold out — fill the schedule Saturday afternoon and evening. That day also concludes with downtown Coeur d'Alene's annual Wine Walk, for which $20 admission gets attendees six wine tastings.

Tasting packages offering access to most Food & Wine Festival events (guests choose one lunch service and class on Saturday) are $409 per person. Find a complete schedule, tickets and other details at


Low-income senior citizens can apply to receive a $40 voucher to purchase fresh fruits and veggies at designated farmers markets in Spokane County this upcoming season. The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program is coordinated by Catholic Charities Spokane Food for All and Aging and Long-Term Care of Eastern Washington, and was created to improve the nutrition of low-income seniors, age 60 or above. To be eligible, applicants must be able to show their income is below 185 percent of the federal poverty level, and apply before May 31. A total of $71,000 in vouchers are to be distributed this year via a lottery system. For more information on this program and to apply, visit or, or call 459-6163.


A local family has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help make their dream come true, to serve fresh, hot, traditional Argentinian empanadas from their home country to residents of the Inland Northwest. The Alvarez family plans to open Tarascon Empanadas by early summer in a space shared with Mr. Wok restaurant (9222 N. Newport Hwy.) in North Spokane. Empanadas are savory pastries filled with minced beef, chicken, ham and cheese, veggies or other ingredients. The Alvarezes say this will be the first restaurant in the greater Spokane area to serve traditional empanadas, which vary in flavor and ingredients across regions of Argentina. The crowdfunding campaign for a total of $3,000 will help them purchase a few needed pieces of equipment for the kitchen where they'll be making several varieties of scratch-made empanadas using local ingredients. Pledges to Tarascon (Argentinian slang for "big bite") can be made on Kickstarter through April 30. Find it under "Argentinian Empanadas in Spokane," or this short link: More about the family and the restaurant is at ♦