2016 Washington Wine Awards Methodology and Tasting Panel

By Seattle magazine staff

July 21, 2016

This article originally appeared in the August 2016 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Nominations for this year’s Washington State Wine Awards in the Winery and Winemaker, Red Wine, White Wine, Sparkling Wine and Rosé categories were solicited via survey from a panel of Washington wine and food professionals. The top vote-getters were selected as winners. The more than 100 wines receiving the most votes in the varietal categories qualified as finalists for a blind tasting conducted by a panel of 11 industry professionals on March 7, 2016, and were scored using a 20-point system, and awarded points for their appeal in sight, smell and taste. The wine with the most points won. Sparkling wine winners were selected from an open-submission tasting on April 11, 2016, using the same methodology, with a panel of four wine judges. Winners in each varietal category were eligible to win Wine of the Year, and Wine of the Year winners in red and white wines were selected via a show of hands. Information in the tasting notes was taken from the tasters’ descriptions of the wines.

Readers’ Choice award winners for Best Washington State Wine Touring Experience and Best Tasting Room in Washington State received the most votes from our nominating panel and in an open readers’ survey posted on seattlemag.com.

Best Restaurant for Experiencing Washington State Wine and the Retail Wine Steward of the Year were selected through a survey sent out by Washington State Wine (formerly the Washington State Wine Commission). A judging panel, composed of industry leaders, evaluated the top restaurants based upon preset criteria, while the Retail Wine Steward of the Year was chosen purely on consumer nominations. The Walter Clore Washington Wine Ambassador Award was chosen by an internal Washington State Wine committee.

Tasting panelists and steering committee members who are winemakers were excluded from voting in categories in which their wines were entered

Seattle magazine’s Washington Wine Awards program is produced by Yashar Shayan.

Survey panelists:

Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen, RN74

Lane Hoss, Anthony’s

Erica Orr, Orr Wines

Rebecca Murphy, Dallas Morning News and TexSom International Wine Awards

Doug Charles, Compass Wines

Cara De Lavallade, Willows Lodge

Shelly Fitzgerald, Columbia Winery

Erica Catubig, The Carlile Room

Jason Marvin, Pike & Western Wine Merchant

Noel Doty, Wolfgang Puck’s Cut restaurant at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel

Tim Donahue, College Cellars of Walla Walla

Tommy Thompson, Tulalip Resort Casino

Adam Chumas, Tom Douglas Restaurants

Cortney Lease, Martine’s Wines

Nelson Daquip, Canlis

April 11, 2016 sparkling-wine tasters:

Jeffrey Dorgan, SkyCity Restaurant at the Space Needle

Lane Hoss, Anthony’s

Mark Takagi, Metropolitan Markets

Erica Catubig, The Carlile Room

Nominating panelists:

Yashar Shayan, Impulse Wine

Paul Zitarelli, Full Pull Wines

Chris Horn, Heavy Restaurant Group

Mark Takagi, Metropolitan Market

Back to the 11th Annual Washington Wine Award Winners

Turning Hate Into Healing

Rob Smith

Foraging For Food

David Gladish

Seattle’s First Woman of Whiskey

Stefanie Ellis