Those who enjoy wine will be happy to know there is only one way to improve their knowledge about it and that’s to drink more.“Taste, taste, taste, that’s the way you learn,” says David Goodpaster, a certified wine specialist based in Lewiston with Odom Corp.
Goodpaster is one of the experts behind the scenes at WineFest, an annual benefit for the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center Auxiliary and Foundation. To become a designated specialist he took a rigorous six-month course in wines and wine laws around the world. He’s worked in the industry for nearly 29 years, first in Kalispell, Mont., and then in Moscow, Pullman, Lewiston and Clarkston.
WineFest, taking place March 13-15, features a wide array of fine wines. Besides raising money for the foundation it aims to educate attendees about vino.
“Many people think they don’t like wine,” says Goodpaster, whose advice to those people is to make it part of the meal.
“Wine is more a food item then a beverage. Make it a food item and the complexity comes out.”
Wine should be matched with food of similar weight and complexity, he says.
Hence the common rule of pairing white wines with seafood and white meats, and reds with red meats and pastas. Wine-pairing suggestions abound online, he says.
“Once you start learning how to match wine with food it becomes part of the meal, sort of like milk and Oreos or chocolate and peanut butter,” Goodpaster says.
Goodpaster will compare wines from different vineyards in the Columbia Valley AVA at Thursday’s sold out Swirl and Savor dinner at the Red Lion Hotel in Lewiston. He’ll be pouring and answering questions at Friday’s Five Tastes of Wine. The event concludes Saturday with the Wine Tour and Auction featuring wines from 14 regional and local wineries.
WineFest 2014, a benefit for the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center Auxiliary and Foundation, is Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 13-15, at the Warrior Room at the Red Lion Hotel in Lewiston.
Thursday — Swirl and Savor, from 6-8 p.m., is sold out.
Friday — The 43rd annual Five Tastes of Wine, from 7-11 p.m., includes five tastes of wine, fruits, cheeses and a complimentary wine glass. A silent auction features items by local artisans and wine-themed packages and gift baskets. Dancing with deejay Lee McVey starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25.
Saturday — The Wine Tour, Auction and Dancing, from 5:30 to 11 p.m., will feature 14 regional and local wineries pouring and talking about their wines. There will be gourmet cuisine, the second annual Balloon Drop, and dancing to live music by Luke Nuxoll and Friends of Lewiston. Tickets are $60.
Tickets are available online at www.sjrmc.org. This year’s proceeds are dedicated to the development of the St. Joseph Breast Imaging Center.