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From Boise

Two new wine experiences

Published about 2 months ago • 7 min read

Hello friends! As you likely know, our local wine scene has been on the up and up. Today's story is about two new local wine spots that recently opened. They are different yet similar. One is all about trying something new and different, letting go of what you think you know about wine, and being open to what you might find. The other is all about education and giving you opportunities to learn about wine while trying new styles and exploring different regions. Both are run by incredible, smart, and kind women, and both spaces are absolutely gorgeous inside. I suggest you go try both ;)

Enjoy!

Parcero Wine Bar

Liana Duvall’s motivation for opening Parcero was simple: create a space that was dedicated to drinking wine.

The new wine bar at 3301 W Chinden Blvd in Garden City is sleek and stylish, yet unpretentious and alluring. You’d never guess that the transformed space was once a bank – until you see the vault that is now the wine club cellar.

“I love going out to drink wine and there isn’t really a place in Boise that is dedicated to just drinking wine,” said Liana.

Of course, there are plenty of places to go get a glass of wine in Boise. There’s tons of restaurants with great wine lists and bottle shops, like Hyde Park Fine Wines. But as Liana noted, places like Hyde Park (which she loves going to) cater more toward retail wine and tasting to bring a bottle home, and she ends up feeling bad taking up a table at a restaurant to just drink.

“There may be a reason why no one is doing it like this, with this many bottles by the glass, but I can't be everything to everyone,” said Liana. “I had to be very intentional with what I was trying to do and really clear out the noise when people were trying to get me to do other things. I decided if I can only do one thing and I can do it really well, I want it to be wine by the glass.”

Parcero’s menu features 22 red wines, 18 white wines, and 15 bubbles that can be enjoyed by the glass or bottle. They also have several curated wine flights that will change throughout the year, and over 200 bottles that can be opened and enjoyed in-house or taken home.

“I had lots of people tell me that I was crazy. They said it was too many wines and that I was gonna get burned, that I was gonna waste wine,” said Liana. “More people told me not to do it than they were excited about it. So really, it came down to trusting my gut. I was just like, I'm doing it.”

Liana’s goal was to curate a menu of wine that would be fun to drink. She sought out wine that you can’t find at local grocery stores and wine that isn’t on the menu at other wine bars. She spent months testing and curating her wine list, tasting all over the Treasure Valley and making trips to other states.

“I wanted to find wine that would hopefully open your horizons and open your mind,” said Liana. “And then I knew I needed to hire really incredible staff.”

Her staff of 9 is pretty incredible. In addition to being genuinely nice, experienced, and knowledgeable, Parcero’s staff is all about tasters. They want you to like what you order, and if you aren’t familiar with something on the menu, they want you to try a sample first.

In addition to wine, you’ll find a small selection of beer curated by Hops & Bottles, which is owned and operated by Liana’s partner, Mark Sieber. The small plates menu may be small but it's absolutely delicious, featuring locally sourced cheeses with bread baked by Black Moon (which is just down the street), tinned fish, pickled vegetables, and Basque croquettes from the Basque Market.

Working with local partners was very important to Liana. Friendship and camaraderie is at the core of Parcero. In Bogotá, Columbia, ‘Parcero’ is a warm and inclusive way to address friends.

“I'm Colombian, my mother was born and raised in Colombia. It's always been such a huge part of my life and my culture, and I really wanted to give a nod to that and to my mom,” said Liana. “So that's where the name came from. It basically means friends for the soul. And, you know, all my friends are also the biggest part of my life. So it felt really symbiotic.”

In addition to choosing a name that had meaning, Liana obsessed over the design details – and it shows. There’s tons of windows, which are shaded yet still let in plenty of light and offer views of the foothills. Dark green velvet sofas balance the black and gold wallpaper, which is actually etched onto wood panels that were hung on the walls. A gold-speckled marble fireplace is straight out of your living room dreams. Textured patterns collide with sleek, soft surfaces. It’s sexy and sophisticated, yet cozy and inviting.

“I wanted this place to be really welcoming. That air of arrogance that wine has – I wanted it to go away. I don't care what you look like or how you're dressed or what you know about wine,” said Liana. “I just want you to come in and have a good conversation over a good glass of wine. That's it.”

Work on Parcero’s outdoor patio has begun and will be open in the coming months – just in time for summer. Parcero also has a wine club with two different levels. The Vault Wine Club is $120/month, and includes 3 hand-selected bottles. The coolest part? Your bottles will be waiting for you in the vault (as in, the old bank vault) and ready to be enjoyed at Parcero. You also get 30% off to-go bottles and first access to upcoming events. The Encore Wine Club is $45/month and includes 2 bottles each month, plus 30% off to-go bottles and first access to upcoming events.

Parcero is open 7 days a week from 3-10pm. Go check it out at 3301 W Chinden Blvd in Garden City.

House of Wine

Kathryn “Kat” House McClaskey is the founder, wine educator, and glass polishing fanatic behind House of Wine. Kat’s vision for House of Wine was a place where people could explore and learn about wine under one roof.

“I've always wanted to have a place where we can connect people with wine, and have more of an opportunity for people to understand more about what they like and why," said Kat. "That's really what the shop is about – getting people to understand what they like and why, to try new things, or stick with some of their favorites, too.”

Kat has been in the wine industry for over 20 years. She has a Masters degree in Horticulture from Washington State University with special emphasis in Viticulture and Enology. She is a certified educator for the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and holds an Advanced Certificate. She’s the first certified Italian Wine Professional (IWP) in Idaho. And she holds an advanced Rioja DOCa certification. Kat has worked on vineyards, she was an assistant winemaker, and she's judged several wine competitions. She’s taught Viticulture and Wine Chemistry courses at the Northwest Wine Academy and has worked alongside winemakers and groups teaching numerous seminars enabling growers and producers to increase grape and wine quality.

And, believe it or not, she’s still learning. Kat is currently a Stage Three Student in the Master of Wine program, which is the most prestigious and challenging wine education program in the entire world.

In short: Kat really knows her stuff when it comes to wine. And she wants to share it with you.

House of Wine is in the heart of downtown Boise, at 1008 W Main Street in downtown Boise. They opened in late 2023, just before the holidays.

The bright, sunny shop has an entire wall of wine – about 400 bottles in total – and a small tasting room and education space that can hold about 16 people at a time. All the bottles in House of Wine are arranged progressively by the way the wine tastes, not by variety or region. You’ll find wines from Boise, the Northwest, and all across the world nestled on shelves together.

Tasting education is really the star of the show at House of Wine. There are always curated wine flights available, each with five wines: a sparkling wine, three curated wines, and one wine of your choice. The theme of available flights changes every three months. Generally flights fall into four categories: seasonal, global, west, and cellar selections. Sometimes flights will highlight a certain region, other times flights will focus on a specific style. You can walk-in or schedule a tasting in advance.

Tastings are guided by one of the six staff members at House of Wine, all of whom have extensive backgrounds in wine and a deep love for vino. House of Wine's staff will also gladly help you choose a bottle to take home and they offer consulting for events, weddings, anniversaries, celebrations, or creating and maintaining a wine cellar.

Education is a big part of House of Wine’s mission. Wine education classes are offered on a regular basis and cover various materials based upon the class and include guided tastings of a minimum of five different wines. All classes are taught by Kat. There’s Wine 101, Wine 201, Wine 301, and Wine 401 classes, or you can take all four, which is known as the Fundamentals of Wine Package.

In addition to fundamentals, House of Wine offers classes based on different wine styles. There’s a Rose class coming up next week on March 5 and a South Africa class on March 26.

House of Wine also has a wine club. The Foundation Club is $29/month or $299/year, and includes a pair of tickets to member’s only events, priority registration for classes, tastings, pairing dinners, and events, a dedicated wine concierge to assist with wine recommendations, wine trip planning, personal wine advice, exclusive access to limited wines, and 10% off flights, classes, wines, and products in the store.

Whether you go in for a tasting, to pick out a bottle or to attend a tasting class, House of Wine is one you need to check out. You can visit House of Wine Tuesday through Saturday from 11am-9pm and Sunday from 11am-6pm.

Thanks for reading! Happy wine drinking!

With love from Boise,

Marissa

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From Boise

by Marissa Lovell

A weekly newsletter & podcast about what's going on in Boise, Idaho. Every week we share stories about people, places, history, and happenings in Boise.

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