The Results Are In! Washington State Wine Awards Announced


A record 130 representatives from Washington's restaurant and wine industries were nominated for awards at the Washington State Wine Awards Jan. 26-27 in Seattle. 
“The winners of the Washington State Wine Awards perform a vital role in shaping Washington State as both a favored destination and a favored home for those who enjoy premium wines with superior quality, said Steve Warner, executive director of the Washington State Wine Commission, in a release after the event.
Seattle restaurant Aqua by El Gaucho won Restaurant of the Year, while long-time wine dealer Dan McCarthy won the Walter Clore Honorarium for his service to the state's wine industry.
Seattle wine shop Full Pull Wines won Retailer of the Year for the second straight year.
Full Pull's owner, Paul Zitarelli, expressed his gratitude for receiving the honor.
“I'm so pleased that the commission continues to recognize retailers for our work supporting Washington wine,” he said in a recent story by Great Northwest Wine. “This is a tremendous honor for our team, our winery and distributor partners, and our list members.”
Seattle's Purple Cafe & Wine Bar won an award, but not for their restaurant – sommelier Chris Horn received the event's Sommelier of the Year recognition.
Along with trade-focused events, the two-day awards event also featured a four-hour wine tasting in which 62 wineries poured more than 220 wines, The Columbian (Wash.) blogger Viki Eierdam said.
“It was a terrific opportunity to talk to winemakers and taste some terrific Washington wines,” she said.
Of the more than 200 wines at the tasting, Eierdam singled out two selections which she deemed best value and best overall, respectively.
For a Song winery presented the best value of the wines she tried, Eierdam said. The 2013 chardonnay and 2012 cabernet sauvignon she tasted captured her attention.
“I was delighted by the taste for the price as were the other folks gathered around the table,” she said.
Her favorite wine of the day was Force Majeure Vineyards' 2012 Estate Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.
She tried the wine, she said, upon the suggestion of a fellow wine writer. 
“If I could cast a vote, it'd go to this Woodinville winery,” she said. “The cab was just elegant, true to its varietal. The tannins and acidity were a cohesive dance.”
The wine was confident, not needing anything to be enjoyed but an empty glass, she said.
“A lot of Washington wineries are making loud reds or fruit bombs,” she wrote. “This cab was like the confident girl in the room with the simple black dress – she is what she is and you appreciate her uncomplicated perfection or mess with the fussy, high-maintenance types in need of constant stroking.”

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