2013 Washington Wine Awards Methodology and Tasting Panelists

By Seattle Magazine Staff July 9, 2013

This article originally appeared in the August 2013 issue of Seattle magazine.

Nominations for this year’s Washington Wine Awards were solicited from a panel of Washington wine and food professionals. More than 100 wines receiving the most votes in the varietal categories qualified for a blind tasting, which took place on March 4, 2013. The tasting was conducted by a panel of 20 industry professionals, and the wines were scored using a 10-point system. The wine with the most points won. Winners for Wine of the Year (a red and a white) were wines nominated in that category that received the highest scores at the tasting. Information in the tasting notes was taken from the tasters’ descriptions of the wines. Tasting panelists who are winemakers were excluded from voting in categories in which their wines were finalists.

The focus of this year’s awards is on the characteristics in wines produced in our state’s AVAs (winegrowing regions). We chose the main varietals from some of our state’s key AVAs. We didn’t choose all 13 AVAs because of the volume of wines that would have to be tasted; we will focus on other AVAs and varietals in future issues. Note that a wine can be grown in an AVA, without the winery actually being there; many winemakers source their grapes from all over the state. Mourvèdre winners were selected at a blind tasting conducted on March 18, 2013 from an open submission of wines. Special thanks from our staff to Anne Nisbet, who produced our Washington Wine Awards for several years, but recently moved out of state.




(participated in our March 4, 2013 tasting; names in bold were also on the nominating panel)

Bob Betz, Betz Family Winery
Shannon Borg, Seattle magazine, wine columnist
Jeffrey Dorgan, SkyCity at the Needle Restaurant
Tommy Garland, QFC
Chris Horn, Heavy Restaurant Group
Lane Hoss, Anthony’s Restaurants
Leslie Kelly, Seattle magazine, regular contributor and blogger
Kurt Krause, DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine
David LeClaire, Wine World & Spirits
Jason Marvin, Pike & Western Wine Shop
Amy Mumma, Institute of Wine, Beverages and Gastronomy, Central Washington University
Chris Nishiwaki, Sip Northwest Magazine
Tim O’Brien, Salty’s Waterfront Seafood Grills
Jamie Peha, TableTalk: Radio That Tastes Good
Thomas Price, The Metropolitan Grill
Clive Pursehouse, The Northwest Wine Anthem
Rand Sealey, Review of Washington Wines
Yashar Shayan, ImpulseWine.com
Dawn Smith, Stoneburner
Kristen Young, Bastille
Paul Zitarelli, Full Pull Wines

(Participated via survey only)
Jen Doak, Brimmer & Heeltap blog
Allison Helfen, The Wine Alley
Duane Pemberton, WineFoot
Erin Thomas, Seattleite blog
William Pollard, Wild 4 Washington Wine blog
Mark Takagi, Metropolitan Market
Shona Milne, Woodinville Wine Update blog
Taryn Miller, Sips & The City blog



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