Just over a month ago, The Dinner Party started on what is the most monumental undertaking of our 12 years in business here in Coeur d’Alene. Not only for us, but more importantly, for our customers and wine consumers here in North Idaho. We started the process of moving and expanding our shop to twice its original size. We are now in the new shop and have been open for business for about a month. Virtually all of the “work” is completed, with the biggest exception being our outside signs, which are now on the way.
We encourage all of you to come and see the new store. The options are greatly expanded, the reviews so far have been wonderful, and we are thrilled with our new spot! You now have the chance to buy a glass of wine while you shop all the great new wine selections and the expanded gift selection. $5 gets you a 3 ounce pour on any of the three selections that change weekly. It is a great opportunity to taste through some wine that you will want to bring home.
We have always focused on the wine collection not having the most choices, but having just the right bottle that you are looking for at that time. We have expanded the selection by over 60 new choices. We now have free standing racks — one each for France, Italy and the rest of Europe. This new system has modular end caps that can easily be moved between the three to accommodate growing and shrinking selections for each of these geographic areas as we find new bottles that we feel will add to your wine experience.
The ‘Domestic’ and ‘New World’ selections line the long wall of the shop all in wood racks. Our round rack, which has always housed our value selections (under $16/bottle), has been expanded by 18 selections for a total of nearly 50 choices of well-priced and always delicious wines. With the expansion of our ‘European’ category, our library selection of hard to find collector bottles has been able to grow too.
In gifts, we have expanded our already made ‘Gifts to Go’ category with a great lineup of themed, already assembled gift baskets. Our ‘Consumable’ category has expanded with the addition of Spokandy chocolates. They are now a permanent part of the collection. We have also added imported pastas and olive oil from Italy.
We have added to our stemware selection, as well as our linens and the always popular lineup of beverage napkins. We have a lot more funny ones to choose from, the most popular category. The choices have also grown for all of our fun Idaho and Coeur d’Alene themed gift items. I could go on, but your best bet is to come by and see all that is new.
What hasn’t changed is our focus on every customer and wine consumer and ensuring you have the best bottle of wine or the perfect hostess gift available, regardless of your budget. We still offer complimentary gift wrapping and free delivery to your gift recipient. We still track every bottle you purchase, so that when you come back to reload on your favorites, we have a record of just what that was. We still take time to work with you on pairing wine to the food you may be featuring at your dinner party, or one you will be attending. Our first question has always been and will continue to be, “What do you like to drink?” followed by “What do you want to spend?” Special orders are still welcome and never a problem. Whether you are looking to get just one bottle or a full case of a wine that we don’t stock, we are happy to order it.
Like any project of this size and scope, there were missteps along the way. Some flooring issues came up and other construction challenges pushed us back about 36 hours on our time to be up and running. In the end though, our building owner and his team at Kiemle and Hagood (especially building manager Cheryl Klein and commercial real estate pro, Chad Burd) really pulled together to clear the road blocks and get us in our new space, as close to on time as was possible.
So, one month later we’re in! We couldn’t be more pleased and we think you all will be too, when you see all the new options and experience our new offerings in both wine and gifts. Our new address is 3510 N. Government Way. Our hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. If you are headed our way and running late, just give us a call at (208) 765-5653 and we will be happy to wait for you.
We look forward to seeing you here at the new shop!
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George Balling is co-owner with his wife, Mary Lancaster, of the dinner party, a wine and gift shop in Coeur d’Alene by Costco. The dinner party has won the award for best wine shop in North Idaho twice, including for 2018. George is also published in several other publications around the country. After working in wineries in California and judging many wine competitions, he moved to Coeur d’Alene with Mary more than 10 years ago to open the shop. You can also follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/#!/dinnerpartyshop.