Anacortes merchant wins top honor at Washington State Wine Awards

By on January 15, 2013

SEATTLE — Anacortes wine merchant Doug Charles, Seattle sommelier Thomas Price and Wenatchee restaurant Visconti’s Restorante Italiano received top honors Monday night at the Washington State Wine Awards in Seattle.

Doug Charles, Compass Wines, anacortes wash.

Doug Charles, owner of Compass Wines in Anacortes, Wash., received the Walter Clore Honorarium on Jan. 14, 2013 in Seattle during the 11th Washington State Wine Awards.

Charles was awarded the Walter Clore Honorarium, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated dedication to the advancement of the Washington wine industry.

More than 75 percent of the inventory at Compass Wines is made in Washington, and he lines up with some of the state’s top vintners to create the wines for his ded.reckoning label.

Visconti’s of Wenatchee chosen as state’s top wine restaurant

Visconti’s of Wenatchee, co-owned by Daniel Carr, was named Restaurant of the Year, and Thomas Price of Metropolitan Grill in Seattle received the Sommelier of the Year award as part of the ceremonies at McCaw Hall.

Carr has introduced Washington wines to his customers for more than a decade. He won the Winemaker’s Choice Award in 2009 for his work at Visconti’s of Leavenworth. In 2002, Carr and partner Candy Mecham received the Restaurant Appreciation Award from the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.

“These exemplary businesses and individuals help us spread the word that Washington state has a reputation for premium wines with superior quality across a range of varietals and distinctive character exhibiting a unique balance of the Old World and New World,” Steve Warner, president of the Washington State Wine Commission, said in news release.

Other category winners included Urbane in Seattle for Best Event Featuring Washington Wine, Copperleaf Restaurant at the Cedarbrook Lodge in SeaTac (Independent Restaurant of the Year), Mackay Restaurant Group, operator of El Gaucho restaurants (Best Restaurant Group), Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau (Tourism Champion), Anne Peavey, of Seattle’s Convention and Visitor Bureau (Tourism Concierge of the Year), Hotel Vintage Park in Seattle (top hotel), Metropolitan Market (Seattle, Kirkland) for Retailer of the Year, Eastern Washington-based Yoke’s Fresh Markets (retailer group), Wine World and Spirits (independent retailer), Doug King of Metropolitan Market (retail steward), Young’s Market Company (top distributor) and Kris Patten of Young’s Market Company as top distributor salesperson.

This marked the 11th year for the Washington Wine Commission’s awards program, but the first time since being rebranded. Winners were selected from more than 100 nominations and were chosen based on their menus, educational programs, marketing efforts and service.

Shayn Bjornholm, a master sommelier who won the inaugural top sommelier award in 2003 while at Canlis, served as the master of ceremonies. The event included a pouring of wines from 60 state wineries.

Grand Awards
Anthony’s at Columbia Point (Richland)
Anthony’s at Pier 66 (Seattle)
AQUA by El Gaucho (Seattle)
Barking Frog at Willows Lodge (Woodinville)
Bistro San Martin (Arlington)
Canlis Restaurant (Seattle)
Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar at The Westin Bellevue
Daniel’s Broiler Prime Steaks and Chops of Bellevue
El Gaucho Bellevue
El Gaucho Seattle
RN74 (Seattle)
SkyCity at the Space Needle
Sun Mountain Lodge (Winthrop)
Swing Wine Bar (Olympia)
The Marc at the Marcus Whitman (Walla Walla)
The Metropolitan Grill (Seattle)
The Triple Door (Seattle)
Tulalip Bay at the Tulalip Resort and Casino
Valley Cafe (Ellensburg)
Visconti’s of Leavenworth
Washington Athletic Club (Seattle)
Waterstreet Cafe and Bar (Olympia)
Wild Ginger (Seattle location)
Compass Wines (Anacortes)
Full Pull Wines (Seattle)
Willows Lodge (Woodinville)
Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center (Walla Walla)
Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau (Kennewick)
Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau

Awards of Distinction
Acqua Via (Olympia)
Adriatic Grill Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar (Tacoma)
Assaggio Ristorante (Seattle)
Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill & Bar at Tulalip Casino
Blueacre Seafood (Seattle)
Breadline Cafe (Omak)
Cafe Flora (Seattle)
Chandler’s Crabhouse (Seattle)
Churchill’s Steakhouse (Spokane)
FAR-EATS (Seattle)
Ivar’s Acres of Clams (Seattle)
Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing Restaurant
LOCAL 360 (Seattle)
Masselow’s Restaurant at Northern Quest Resort and Casino (Spokane)
Matt’s in the Market (Seattle)
Monsoon Seattle
Palisade Waterfront Restaurant (Seattle)
Pike Brewing Company (Seattle)
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar (four locations – Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville)
Ristorante Italianissimo (Woodinville)
Rover’s Restaurant (Seattle)
Salty’s at Redondo Beach (Seattle)
Salty’s on Alki Beach (Seattle)
Spazzo Italian Grill & Wine Bar (Redmond)
Steelhead Diner (Seattle)
The Fireside Restaurant at the Resort at Port Ludlow
The Lincoln Center (Spokane)
The Station Pizzeria (Woodinville)
Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge (Seattle)
Tuscany Downtown (Prosser)
Volterra (Seattle location)
Washington State Convention Center (Seattle)
Wild Ginger at the Bravern (Bellevue)
Sullivan’s Steakhouse (Seattle)
Urbane (Seattle)

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the President and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for a decade. He is a frequent wine judge at international wine competitions throughout North America and orchestrates 10 Northwest competitions each year.


  1. […] Millan’s help, Wine World was named Best Independent Retailer earlier this year at the Washington State Wine Awards. He joined Wine World in May 2012, leaving Esquin Wine Merchants after working at the SODO wine […]

  2. […] Decorated retailer Doug Charles of Compass Wines in Anacortes, Wash., partnered with Woodinville winemaker Morgan Lee on this Meritage-style project that’s focused on Klipsun Cab with contributions of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from nearby Kiona. The four-barrel program of 30 months in 85 percent new French oak leaps out with aromas of toast, milk chocolate and vanilla leading into black cherry, poached plums and herbs. Sandy tannins arrive up front, backed by red currant, Montmorency cherry acidity and a finish of chocolate-covered pomegranate. […]

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