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Cork, swirl, sniff, sip, spit, repeat.
Our panelists became tasting machines, turning the typically zen activity of enjoying the aromas and flavors of wine into an organized, scientific method to ensure our list would feature only the best.
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Ray of Sunshine
Wildwood sommelier and International Sommelier Guild instructor Savanna Ray tapped into her years of experience blind tasting for the International Pinot Noir Celebration at our marathon sip-fest.
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No guide dogs here.
Our fully blind tasting pitted wineries large and small against each other in varietal catagories, offering our panelists sips of wines across price ranges, growing regions, and vintages.
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Let's Be Frank
Riffle NW wine director Dana Frank brought her peerless palate, sense of humor, and love of little-known varietals to the long days of bagged bottle after bagged bottle.
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The Room
Our panelists set up shop in the tasting room of Portland Wine Storage in the Central Eastside Industrial District, where this year's submissions took over three full-sized lockers and an overflow storage room.
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One Sharp Speer
Red Slate Wine's David Speer is notorious for his love of bubbles (on display at his Champagne bar Ambonnay) but he stuck through 578 bottles of still wine like a champ.
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The Joker
Genoa's GM and sommelier Michael Garofola may have been the class clown of the tasting, but he was all business when it came to tasting notes and point scores.
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The Method
Each wine was bagged and numbered before the panelists arrived, and each taster received a color-coded Sharpie for the duration of the week's tasting to keep track of their opinions and scores on sticky notes for each wine.
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The Gauntlet
A massive tasting like this requires an excellent palate in addition to making sure your taste buds aren't numbed after a few dozen wines. Our panelists used Spielman's bagels and sparkling water in prodigious amounts.
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