Courtesy photo
An assortment of wines and cheeses were enjoyed at the sixth annual Wine and Cheese Tasting event on Feb. 16 at the Overland Hotel & Saloon.

The Overland Hotel & Saloon’s sixth annual Valentine Wine and Cheese event on Feb. 16 offered a huge selection of palate-pleasing treats.

Formally dressed, friendly staff welcomed guests into the warm atmosphere of the banquet room. “This is my main event to plan,” said organizer Mary King. “I put a lot of love into bringing it all together and people really enjoy the diverse selection.”

The beautiful bounty of bites and beverages, staged in elaborate display, were evidence of King’s efforts. The elegant sampling stations invited guests to explore at will, or people could visit the event bar for further options.

Barbara Rohde and friends appreciated the varied offerings. “We enjoy wine and cheeses,” said Rohde, “and after a wonderful time last year, we decided to come back again.”

Folks relaxed in a cabaret-style room with dim lighting and smooth background music. Rising from comfortable, intimate seating, people mingled while investigating the flavors of numerous appealing arrangements. Locals really enjoyed the event, which also entertained visitors from out of the area since the Overland is geared towards travelers.

“Providing beautiful, comfortable rooms is our main business,” said Candice Mortenson, who owns the Overland with her husband Ron. While rooms are the foundation of Overland operations, it is the roof that required immediate attention when the owners purchased the property. “When we bought this place 23 years ago, the first thing we had to do was put a roof on because it leaked like a sieve.”

Restoration has been ongoing, working around the established framework of concrete walls that are up to 18 inches thick. Caring for elements like the hand-carved bar, brought over from England in 1863, is important to Mortenson and this family business.