Judges select favorites at Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition

By on October 18, 2016
Great Northwest Wine Competition at the Columbia Gorge Hotel.

Glasses of wine are lined up to be tasted by the judges at the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition. The judging took place at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Ore. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

HOOD RIVER, Ore. – Not every wine wins a gold medal at wine competitions. In fact, fewer than 20 percent do.

And wine judges do not always agree on everything. We asked our judges at the fourth annual Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition to list some of their favorite wines, what we call “Judges Selections.”

While some of the wines listed here did win gold medals, many did not. However, our judges kept track of wines they thought were gold medals (or very close) and will make buying decisions based on their own evaluations.

At “The Invite,” staged earlier this month at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Ore., our 21 judges worked in teams to taste through nearly 600 wines to determine the best. They tasted all wines blind, meaning they didn’t know the producers or the prices of the wines until after the competition was over.

Great Northwest Invitational Judges Selections

Naomi Boutz

Naomi Boutz is general manager and wine director of The Cellar at 317 Sherman in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Naomi Boutz is general manager and wine director of The Cellar at 317 Sherman in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Amberleigh Brownson

Amberleigh Brownson is founding wine buyer/co-owner of EAT Restaurant and Bar in Bellingham, Wash. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Amberleigh Brownson is founding wine buyer/co-owner of EAT Restaurant and Bar in Bellingham, Wash. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Doug Charles

Jeff Cox

Jeff Cox is wine buyer for PCC Natural Markets in the Puget Sound. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Jeff Cox is wine buyer for PCC Natural Markets in the Puget Sound. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Ellen Landis

Ellen Landis is a sommelier, wine journalist and renowned international wine judge. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Ellen Landis is a sommelier, wine journalist and renowned international wine judge. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Amy Mullally

 

Amy Mullally is the domestic wine buyer for The Wine Country in Long Beach, Calif.

Amy Mullally is the domestic wine buyer for The Wine Country in Long Beach, Calif.

Tim O’Brien

Tim O’Brien is corporate director of beverage at Salty’s Restaurants in Seattle. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Tim O’Brien is corporate director of beverage at Salty’s Restaurants in Seattle. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Katelyn Peil

Katelyn Peil is beverage director for the Seattle-based Heavy Restaurant Group. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Katelyn Peil is beverage director for the Seattle-based Heavy Restaurant Group. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

April Reddout

  • April Reddout is the wine program manager of the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser, Wash. (Photo by Pixelsoft Films/courtesy of the Clore Center)

April Reddout is the wine program manager of the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser, Wash. (Photo by Pixelsoft Films/courtesy of the Clore Center)

Yashar Shayan

Yashar Shayan is the owner of Impulse Wine, a Seattle-based online wine retailer. He is a certified sommelier who has worked in several Washington restaurants, wine shops and wineries. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Yashar Shayan is the owner of Impulse Wine, a Seattle-based online wine retailer. He is a certified sommelier who has worked in several Washington restaurants, wine shops and wineries. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Steven Sinkler

Steve Sinkler is owner of The Wine Shack in Cannon Beach, Ore. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Steve Sinkler is owner of The Wine Shack in Cannon Beach, Ore. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Dave Smith

Dave Smith is wine buyer for Everything Wine in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Dave Smith is wine buyer for Everything Wine in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Audrey Surrao

Audrey Surrao is co-owner/wine buyer of RauDZ Regional Table in Kelowna, British Columbia. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Audrey Surrao is co-owner/wine buyer of RauDZ Regional Table in Kelowna, British Columbia. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Mark Takagi

Mark Takagi is specialty sales director of the Seattle-based Metropolitan Market group. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Mark Takagi is specialty sales director of the Seattle-based Metropolitan Market group. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Randa Wolf

Randa Wolf, wine director, Columbia Gorge Hotel, Hood River, Ore. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Randa Wolf, wine director, Columbia Gorge Hotel, Hood River, Ore. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Jean Yates

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. (Photo by Andy Perdue/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. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Paul Zitarelli

Paul Zitarelli is owner for Full Pull Wines in Seattle, wine writer for Seattle magazine, an international wine judge and received his Level 4 diploma through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. He was selected as Retailer of the Year at the 2015 Washington State Wine Awards. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Paul Zitarelli is owner for Full Pull Wines in Seattle, wine writer for Seattle magazine, an international wine judge and received his Level 4 diploma through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. He was selected as Retailer of the Year at the 2015 Washington State Wine Awards. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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