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Northwest Cellars Blog

Award-winning wines and custom wine labels. Wine. Now it gets personal.

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Posted on in Educational

By Robert Hoyt

The Pacific Northwest has long been hailed a very special destination for wine lovers. With such a vast geography and difference in terrain, the pacific northwest is a wine world unto itself. So how does one go about accessing all this great wine? How do we hear about it? How do we get there? Luckily, there are a number of excellent resources for every level of wine enthusiast. To save you research time, we’ve put together this list of the top Northwest Wine blogs. Each publication offers a slightly different look into this world of wine, but each one is an invaluable resource for navigating through this grape-leaden landscape.

Great Northwest Wine
Are you fascinated with the world of wine? Perhaps you’re here to learn about the wines of the Pacific Northwest. Then you’re in the right place with the Great Northwest Wine Blog. Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman have been writing about the wines of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho for more than 16 years, and it is their passion. Each day, they write stories about wine to help you get the inside scoop on what’s happening in our region of the world. They also review the latest wines from the Pacific Northwest.

Wine Press Northwest
As a partner of the Tri-City Herald, Wine Press Northwest has existed as publication for 17+years. Being backed by the infrastructure of a larger publication allows Wine Press Northwest to cover a lot of bases when it comes to Washington wines, although they prefer to stay near the Mid-Columbia area of Washington State. With contributions from a variety of columnists, this eclectic wine publication is a great place to start if you know little to nothing of Northwest Wines.

Washington Wine Report
Awarded the ‘Best Single Subject Blog’ by the Wine Blog Awards for both 2013 and 2014, the Washington Wine Report is perhaps the most inclusive wine blog in the Pacific Northwest. Founder and Editor Sean P. Sullivan is an ardent devotee of pacific northwest wines and this devotion shows in the sheer volume of his publications, not to mention his precise and to-the-point descriptions of specific wines and destinations.

Operating since 2009, Vinotology is a wine and food blog authored by self-proclaimed Vinotologist Ben Simons. Although he is quirky and whimsical in his posts, Simons brings a lot of disparate knowledge to the table to create an entirely accessible resource for all things wine, from the bottle to the business. The blog is currently running a feature called the ‘Getting to Know You Tour’, wherein Simons dishes about his various visits to well-known Washington wineries.

Drink Nectar
Drink Nectar was started back in 2009 by Josh Wade as solely a pacific northwest wine blog. Since then Drink Nectar has slowly amassed a number of readers until it was cemented as one of the most widely read wine blogs in the entire country. Utilizing the momentum of, in 2011 Josh was able to open the Drink Nectar tasting room in Downtown Spokane. Shared by five wineries, the tasting room and the accompanying blog make up a fabulous resource for northwest wine aficionados.

Wine Peeps
The Wine Peeps blog was started as a family operation consisting of two couples: Kori and Colby Voorhees, and Kori’s parents John and LaGayle Sosnowy. The majority of the written contributions come from Kori and her father, John, while Colby helps to maintain the blog and LaGyale lends her culinary expertise. Independently run by this charming family, who began this venture by hosting wine tastings back in 2002, Wine Peeps is an ideal resource for those looking to save a little money on some of Washington’s best wines. Wine Peeps has also ranked as high as #6 in the world’s Top 100 Wine Blog rankings.

Northwest Wine Anthem
Northwest Wine Anthem has been covering wines from all over the Pacific Northwest since 2011. Covering an expansive geographical area, this wine blog covers established wineries in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia. With just under ten contributors, Northwest Wine Anthem gives one a playful, whimsical look into the sort of viticultural offerings the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Essential Northwest Wines
Essential Northwest Wines was created by Cole Danhower to be just that, a space wherein one can find and read about the best, most excellent, wines that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. And Danhower is no slouch to the task. His blog features contributions from top wine enthusiasts, his writing is precise and delicate with much care for detail, and excellent visuals, photos and video, seemingly provided by Danhower himself. If you need a clear-cut snapshot of the upper-crust of Washington wines, this blog is the place to look.

Posted on in Awards

Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition

The Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition-held annually guessed it, Great Northwest Wine (an online advertiser and reviewer of some of our region’s best wines)-is a competition unlike any other. For one, wines are not submitted, they are nominated by the competition’s judges, so to be included is an honor in and of itself. There is no other wine competition in USA that works on a nomination based system. In the most recent competition, which took place October 8th and 9th, the judges were selected from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho.

The judges for the 2014 Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition are, from left: Cole Danehower, Ken Robertson, Ellen Landis, Tim O’Brien, Dave Holstrom, Yashar Shayan, Dave Smith, Chris Horn, Tony Kischner, Lane Hoss, Jeff Fournier, Jeff Moore, Mark Takagi, Matt Tessler, Barb Robertson and Ilene Dudunake. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)


All wines in this competition are tasted blind; the judges do not know the producer or price of the wine, although they are granted the style or variety. The 16 separate judges work in groups of four, tasting and analyzing each wine. For a wine to win a Gold rating, it needs to be judged as Gold by three out of four of the judges. If all four Judges award the wine a Gold rating, it receives a Unanimous Double Gold.


This year, Robert Smasne, the winemaker here at Northwest Cellars, took home four Golds! Two for his own Smasne Cellars, and two for wines he’s crafted for Northwest Cellars- the 2011 Art den Hoed Vineyard Petite Sirah from Yakima Valley and the 2011 Madrigal from Columbia Valley. Our 2011 Verhey Vineyard Malbec from Yakima Valley was also awarded a Silver rating! We’re honored to have our wines included and judged by some of the region’s most prestigious palates. We’re already anxiously awaiting next year’s competition. Please take the time to check out Great Northwest Wine for a lot of awesome information about the Pac-NW wine scene.


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