Less than a year ago, the Idaho Wine Commission debuted Sippin' in the City, a wine-tasting and food-noshing event designed to showcase Idaho vino. In November 2011, Boise Weekly reported the sold-out event was packed with people.
On Nov. 8, the second iteration of Sippin' in the City sold out once more, though organizers capped attendance at 225 people instead of 250. Visitors piled into the Linen Building to circulate between 15 stations manned by winery staff.
Candace Bell poured a 2010 viognier, a white wine grape popular in France, from Fujishin Family Cellars of Idaho's Sunnyslope region.
"This one has a little bit for everybody," said Bell. "Not everybody likes dry wine; it's off-dry, so it's a little sweeter."
Bell said she sometimes adds slices of oranges, apples or pears to turn the white wine into Sangria. A DJ from Vinyl Preservation Society then cued up John Coltrane's jazzy "Blue Train."
Brian Hurzeler, pouring wine from Parma Ridge vineyards based in Parma, said the viognier is a particularly noteworthy grape.
"What's unique is the dual nature of the viognier," said Hurzeler. "It's not a sweet wine, it's not a dry wine, but appeals to people who like both. It's sweet up front and finishes with a dry, minerally end. A lot of people think white wines are flat, but this is complex. It's a gateway white; it's spring in a bottle."
While wine may have been the draw, plenty of visitors snagged snacks provided by Open Table Catering and Zeppole. Polenta bowls cradled piles of hot steak, and macaroni and cheese bites were assembled in edible cups made of cheese.
View a slideshow of the event: Second Annual Sippin' in the City, Thursday, Nov. 8.