Longtime Washington wine judge, enthusiast dies

By on May 17, 2014
Dave Seaver, longtime washington wine judge and enthusiast.

Dave Seaver, a longtime Northwest wine judge and enthusiast, died early Friday morning. He was 66.

RICHLAND, Wash. – David Seaver, a longtime wine judge, enthusiast and collector, died early Friday morning. He was 66.

Seaver, who was an accomplished wine judge, had been in ill health for several months and apparently died in his sleep at his home in Richland.

He grew up in Nebraska and attended Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, where he received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Seaver then went to the University of Michigan, where he earned a Ph.D in mathematical psychology before going to the University of Southern California for his post-doc work.

He moved to Washington state and worked at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland as a scientist specializing in decision analysis and risk management.

Dave Seaver, Great Northwest Wine.

Dave Seaver, shown here judging the Idaho Wine Competition, was a retired scientist.

After retiring, Seaver pursued a lifelong love of wine. He joined Wine Press Northwest magazine’s tasting panel a decade ago and later judged at such competitions as the Greatest of the Grape in Southern Oregon, the North Central Washington Wine Awards in Wenatchee, Wash., the Idaho Wine Competition, the Capital Food & Wine Competition, the Great Northwest Wine Competition, the Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition, Wine Press Northwest’s annual Platinum Judging and Savor Northwest.

For the past 18 months, he was an active member of Great Northwest Wine’s tasting panel.

One of his best friends, Coke Roth, was a neighbor for 24 years. Roth, an attorney and one of the most respected wine judges in the United States, met him in 1990, when Seaver moved into the condominium next door.

“The first day I met him set the stage for a fun relationship,” Roth told Great Northwest Wine. “I was out on my deck, and he was out on his deck.”

They decided to share a meal together that evening, and Seaver brought over a vertical of Chateau Lynch-Bages.

“I knew I had the right neighbor,” Roth said with a chuckle. “He was a big wine enthusiast. He was quite knowledgeable.”

Through the years, Seaver became a close friend to Roth and his family.

“He was a big part of our lives,” he said. “We enjoyed a lot of good food, cigars, bourbon and wine together. I’m going to miss him a lot.”

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 .


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