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Liberty Lake market to offer wine

The Liberty Lake Farmers Market will be one of 10 markets in Washington participating in a pilot program that allows beer and wine tasting at farmers markets.

The farmers markets in the pilot received approval from the Washington Legislature for beer and wine tasting from in-state businesses. The pilot runs through Nov. 1. The Washington State Liquor Control Board is overseeing the test program and will prepare a report for the Legislature before the end of the year.

“This pilot is another avenue for Washington’s breweries and wineries to educate customers about their products,” Sharon Foster, chairwoman of the liquor control board, said in a news release. “Because farmers markets take place in a community setting, there are safeguards in place to ensure tastings are conducted with public safety in mind.”

The Liberty Lake Farmers Market starts on Saturday and Liberty Lake Wine Cellars will be at the market each week with samples of its wines. The Liberty Lake Farmers Market is held Saturdays in the parking lot of the Liberty Building, 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane.

Shelly Smith, who owns the winery with her husband, Doug Smith, said they sold wines at the market when they were starting out, but it could be difficult to convince buyers to take a chance on them.

“It is definitely harder to sell wine, especially wines from a small winery which can cost a little bit more, without being able to offer a sample,” Shelly Smith said.

To participate, a winery, brewery or microbrewery had to receive a farmers market endorsement from the liquor control board by May 1. The endorsement allows the businesses to offer samples of 2 ounces or less at the market, as well as sell bottles. Smith said Liberty Lake Wine Cellars is the only area winery that will be participating, but they plan to be there every week, except one, in an effort to really test the pilot program.

Only one brewery, microbrewery or winery can offer samples on a market day. The pilot locations must host at least six days of tastings during the market season. The other test markets are: West Seattle Farmers Market, Magnolia Farmers Market, Vancouver Farmers Market, Everett Farmers Market, Vashon Farmers Market, Proctor Farmers Market, Pasco Farmers Market, Pike Place Market and Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market.

Downriver Grill closed for remodel

The Downriver Grill is getting a face-lift and then some.

The restaurant, which has been in business for nine years, is closed until May 28 for the remodel. The restaurant is at 3315 W. Northwest Blvd.

Pictures of the progress and updates are planned for the restaurant’s Facebook page.

We’re always looking for fresh food news. Write to: The Fresh Sheet, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Call (509) 459-5446, fax to (509) 459-5098 or send an email to