Taste of the Town virtual series connects chefs, winemakers with customers as Phase 2 rolls out

As food and drink establishments gradually phase back to in-person operations in the coming weeks, Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) is hosting a virtual series showcasing how these local businesses are adapting to public health guidelines, with some fun and entertainment thrown into the mix.

The Taste of the Town series streams almost daily through next Friday, June 5, offering virtual wine tastings, cooking demos, happy hour and live music. Find the full lineup below, and more information on Greater Spokane’s website, greaterspokane.org.

This evening, for example, is a barrel room tasting with Arbor Crest Wine Cellars at 4 pm. Then at 5:30, Taste of the Town heads over to Nectar Catering & Events for a cooking session with chef Steven Swanson and owner Josh Wade as they showcase the new nectarFRESH meal kit service.

Greater Spokane event and program manager Robyn Haynes says the series partly aims to temporarily replace its summertime Tastings on the Terrace networking happy hour at the Spokane Convention Center, which is on hold due to the pandemic. But Taste of the Town also goes beyond that.

"It shows people they can still virtually connect with their favorite restaurants and wineries, but also helps build consumer confidence as we move into Phase 2, allowing people to see what these restaurants are doing to remain safe if you do want to go in person,” Haynes explains.

click to enlarge Borracho kicked off Taste of the Town this week for Taco Tuesday.
Borracho kicked off Taste of the Town this week for Taco Tuesday.
This past Tuesday was the series’ kickoff at Borracho Tacos and Tequileria in downtown Spokane, where staff showed off the restaurant’s new taco and margarita kits, which can be ordered for carryout or enjoyed in person now that it’s open at 50 percent capacity. Then on Wednesday, Barrister Winery hosted its first-ever virtual event, with a spring wine release tasting and music by the Sara Brown Band.

All of the upcoming events are free, and viewers can tune in on Zoom (registration required) or Facebook Live; past videos are also archived on Greater Spokane’s Facebook page. For viewers who want to enhance the at-home experience, some events also include suggested products that can be purchased for pickup, like wine or meal kits.

“We’re all at different points in our journey, feeling like staying home is safest or going out to support businesses is the best thing,” Haynes says.

“So this series is respectful of those different views, and wherever you are on the spectrum, companies have an option for you to support them, whether in person or virtual. That is the key message — to support our businesses.”

Upcoming Taste of the Town events:

Thursday, May 28
Barrel Room Tasting with Arbor Crest Wine Cellars, 4-4:30 pm
Cooking at Home with nectarFRESH, 5:30-6:30 pm

Friday, May 29
Terra Blanca Virtual Tasting, 2 pm and 5 pm
Mixology 101 with Warrior Liquor, 5-6 pm
MAC Presents: ArtFest 2020 Online, May 29-31

Sunday, May 31
Wine and Cheese Party with Wanderlust Delicato, 4-4:30 pm

Monday, June 1
An Italian Family Night with Luigi’s, 4:30-5 pm

Wednesday, June 3
Terra Blanca Virtual Tasting, 2 pm and 5 pm
AppeTEASER with South Hill Grill, 4:30-5 pm
Happy Hour with South Hill Grill, 5-6 pm

Friday, June 5
Terra Blanca Virtual Tasting, 2 pm and 5 pm

Ongoing, nonvirtual events in the series include a celebration of Blissful Whisk bakery’s one-year anniversary, meal kit cooking with nectarFRESH and wine and cheese kits from Latah Creek Wine Cellars.

Prime Rib Family Meal Packs @ Max at Mirabeau

Through Feb. 28
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About The Author

Chey Scott

Chey Scott is the Inlander's food and listings editor. She compiles the weekly events calendar for the print and online editions of the Inlander, manages and edits the food section, and also writes about local arts and culture. Chey (pronounced Shay) is a lifelong Spokanite and a graduate of Washington State University...