Northwest wine experts make picks for summer sipping

By on July 7, 2015
Idaho wine country is a diverse growing region.

Looking for a great wine to enjoy this summer? There are thousands of them in the Pacific Northwest, so we asked 11 top Northwest wine experts to pick a few of their favorites. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Summer is upon us, so we asked 11 of our favorite Northwest wine experts to provide lists of some of their favorite summer sippers.

These leaders come from various backgrounds, including restaurants, retail shops, journalism, hotels and education. We’ve worked with many of them throughout the years on stories we’ve written or in wine competitions we have conducted.

Jean Yates

Jean Yates is an expert in Oregon wine and sales.

Jean Yates is one of Oregon’s leading experts in wine and how to sell it. (Photo by Bob Marple/special to Great Northwest Wine)

Jean Yates is a longtime Northwest wine merchant. She owned and operated Avalon wine shop in Corvallis, Ore., for 25 years, turning it into one of the region’s top online wine retailers. She now owns Oregon Wine Marketing and is considered one of the experts on Oregon Pinot Noir.

Big John Caudill

Big John Caudill is a Northwest wine expert.

Big John Caudill is a Washington wine country chef, wine marketer and judge. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Big John Caudill has been on the Northwest wine scene for decades. He grew up in Oregon’s Umpqua Valley and worked in a Seattle wine shop while earning a degree at South Seattle Community College’s culinary program. He then moved to the Yakima Valley, where he has worked as a chef and a wine sales and marketing manager. He is a regular wine judge in the Pacific Northwest.

Ken Robertson

Ken Robertson is a Northwest wine expert.

Ken Robertson is a longtime journalist, wine writer and wine judge in the Pacific Northwest. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Ken Robertson is a retired newspaperman who spent his career in his native Montana and Washington. He began writing about Northwest wine in the 1970s and has been a columnist for Wine Press Northwest magazine since its inception in 1998. He is a member of the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel and a frequent wine judge throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Ilene Dudunake

Ilene Dudunake is a Northwest wine expert.

Ilene Dudunake owns A New Vintage Wine Shop in Meridian, Idaho. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Ilene Dudunake owns A New Vintage Wine Shop in Meridian, Idaho, and is a leading expert on Idaho wines. She regularly judges wine competitions in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Jan McCartan

Jan McCartan is a Northwest wine expert.

Jan McCartan is the catering and beverage manager for the Hood River Inn. (Photo courtesy of Jan McCartan)

Jan McCartan is the catering and wine director at the Hood River Inn in Hood River, Ore. She grew up on the East Coast and moved to the Columbia Gorge, previously working at Timberline Lodge.

  • Anne Amie 2014 Cuvee A-Midnight Saignee Rosé of Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton
  • Phelps Creek 2012 Estate Pinot Noir, Columbia Gorge
  • Maryhill 2011 Syrah, Columbia Valley
  • Charles Smith 2014 Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley
  • Waters Winery 2014 Olsen Vineyard Rosé of Syrah, Yakima Valley
  • Purple Hands 2012 Stoller Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills
  • Viento 2012 Savvy Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Gorge
  • Saviah Cellars 2013 Star Meadow Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, Washington
  • Sleight of Hand Cellars 2013 The Magician Riesling, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley
  • Woodward Canyon Winery 2011 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
  • Dunham Cellars 2011 XXVII Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
  • Ponzi 2012 Aurora Chardonnay, Chehalem Mountain

Mark Takagi

Mark Tagaki is a wine buyer for Metropolitan Markets in the Seattle area. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Mark Tagaki is the specialty sales director for Metropolitan Markets in the Seattle area. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Mark Takagi is the specialty sales director of Seattle-based Metropolitan Market group and is a judge at the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition.

Ellen Landis

Ellen Landis is a Northwest wine expert.

Ellen Landis is an international wine judge who lives in Half Moon Bay, Calif. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Ellen Landis is one of the top wine judges in California. She and her husband, Ken, have operated Landis Shores, a luxury B&B in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Through her frequent judgings, she has become an admirer of Pacific Northwest wines, so now, she and Ken are looking to purchase a home in the Portland/Vancouver region.

Tim O’Brien

Tim O'Brien is a Northwest wine expert.

Tim O’Brien is the beverage director for Salty’s in the Seattle area. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Tim O’Brien is corporate director of beverage at Salty’s Restaurants in Seattle. He has judged the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition and other judgings throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Lane Hoss

Lane Hoss is a Northwest wine expert.

Lane Hoss is vice president of marketing for Anthony’s Restaurants. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Lane Hoss is vice president of marketing for Anthony’s Restaurants and makes many of the wine selections for the Northwest-based restaurant chain.

  • Thurston Wolfe 2014 Albarino, Yakima Valley
  • Cadaretta 2013 SBS, Columbia Valley
  • Woodward Canyon Winery 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Walla Walla Valley
  • Sparkman Cellars 2012 Lumiere Chardonnay, Columbia Valley
  • Eroica 2013 Riesling, Columbia Valley
  • Barnard Griffin 2014 Rosé of Sangiovese, Columbia Valley
  • Tranche Cellars 2014 Pink Papé, Yakima Valley
  • L’Ecole No. 41 2014 Grenache Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills
  • Owen Roe Sharecroppers 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
  • Betz Family Winery 2012 Besoleil, Columbia Valley

Don Elsing

Don Elsing is a Northwest wine expert.

Don Elsing is the wine director for the Sun Mountain Lodge. (Photo courtesy of Sun Mountain Lodge)

Don Elsing is the wine director at Sun Mountain Lodge near Winthrop, Wash. The lodge’s wine cellar contains one of the most extensive selections in the Pacific Northwest. He has judged the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition and the North Central Washington Wine Awards.

Steven Sinkler

Steve Sinkler is a Northwest wine expert.

Steve Sinkler owns The Wine Shack in Cannon Beach, Ore. (Photo courtesy of Steve Sinkler)

Steven Sinkler owns and operates The Wine Shack in Cannon Beach, Ore., which includes Puffin Brand wines.

About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Anti-spam measure * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.