Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Monday, December 19, 2005

More Holiday Gifts - Wine Judges Dinner I - Redux

I am reposting my recommedations from The Seattle Wine Society's Wine Judging as this is a great holiday shopping list.

It was not "My Dinner with Andre", nor was it "Babette's Feast", not even "Sideways", but it was interesting. Tasting the almost 200 wines that were submitted to the Seattle Wine Society's wine competition was a rare opportunity. Five judges spent the better part of two days tasting Northwest Wines from old standbys such as Hogue, Columbia Winery and Barnard Griffin and newbies such as Saint Laurent, Foolish Oak, and Alexandria Nicole. Approximately 60% of the wines won a medal. Go to: for a complete list.

Golds were given to 2003 Zerba Cellars Walla Walla Cabernet, 2002 Cuvee du Soleil from Cave B Estate Winery, Amavi Cellars 2004 Semillon, and 2002 Columbia Crest Syrah Reserve, among others. Some other day we'll talk about the difficulties with wine judging. For now, two facts about wine competitions - 1) a medal usually just means that the wine was not bad ("pas mal", as they say in French), and 2) tasting wine blind (not knowing what winery it's from) can be an eye-opener! Suffice it to say, that we didn't always agree with the judges, but, then that's what this event was all about - a chance to compare your palate with the "experts." [By the way, in the interest of full disclosure, I am on the board of the Seattle Wine Society.] What did we like? See part II.


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