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Washington State Wine Awards celebrate restaurants, trade
SEATTLE — Longtime Seattle wine merchant Dan McCarthy received the Walter Clore Honorarium to highlight the 13th annual Washington State Wine Awards in Seattle.
Festivites on Jan. 27 at Benaroya Hall showcased restaurants, retailers, distributors and tourism officials who work to promote Washington wines. It included a tasting staged in the Samuel and Althea Stroum Grand Lobby by 60 of the state’s top vintners. A record 130 wine professionals, restaurants and trade personnel were nominated.
“The winners of the Washington State Wine Awards perform a vital role in shaping Washington state as both a favored destination and a favored home for those who enjoy premium wines with superior quality,” Steve Warner, executive director of the Washington State Wine Commission, said in a news release.
Past winners of the Walter Clore Honorarium include Bob Betz, MW, of Betz Family Winery; Doug Charles of Compass Wines in Anacortes; and Anthony’s Restaurants founder Budd Gould.
McCarthy has operated McCarthy & Schiering in Seattle since 1980. He and Jay T. Schiering now own two stores, and the national awards won by their business in its 35-year history include Food and Wine magazine’s 1998 Retailer of the Year as well as a 2004 spot on GQ magazine’s 50 best wine stores in America.
Full Pull Wines recognized for second straight year
“The previous two winners of this award were Metropolitan Market and Total Wine, so this is one where we were competing with the big boys,” Zitarelli told Great Northwest Wine.
Last year, Full Pull Wines took the Independent Retailer of the Year award back to its SoDo warehouse.
Zitarelli, a talented writer who also contributes a regular wine column to Seattle magazine, created Full Pull Wines in 2009. His keen palate keeps Pacific Northwest wines top of mind for his clients, who are spread out among more than 40 states.
“I’m so pleased that the commission continues to recognize retailers for our work supporting Washington wine,” Zitarelli said at the ceremony. “This is a tremendous honor for our team, our winery and distributor partners, and our list members.”
Zitarelli and the team from Aqua by El Gaucho received two of the evening’s top awards, which meant they each took home a custom goblet created by Art By Fire.
ImpulseWine.com grabs Independent Retailer of Year
Seattle-based ImpulseWine.com, launched by Yashar Shayan, received the award for Independent Retailer of the Year. Shayan is a University of Washington graduate who also judges frequently throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Chris Horn of the Heavy Restaurant Group — which operates Purple Cafe and Wine Bar in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland and Woodinville — was chosen as Sommelier of the Year.
Anthony’s Restaurants reels in series of honors
Lane Hoss, a past recipient of the Walter Clore Honorarium for her work as vice president of Anthony’s Restaurants, accepted the award for Restaurant Group of the Year. Gould’s company also received four Grand Awards for the wine programs at Anthony’s at Columbia Point (Richland), Anthony’s Pier 66 (Seattle), Anthony’s at the Old Mill (Bend, Ore.) and Anthony’s Hearthfire Grills. Anthony’s, which earned the Restaurant of the Year award in 2004, has grown to 29 locations.
Eastern Washington picked up two of awards as Walla Walla’s Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center received Hotel of the Year honors and Yakima Valley Tourism received recognition as the Tourism Champion of the Year.
2015 Washington State Wine Awards recipients
Walter Clore Honorarium: Dan McCarthy (McCarthy & Schiering)
Restaurant of the Year: Aqua by El Gaucho
Independent Restaurant of the Year: Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar @ The Westin Bellevue
Restaurant Group of the Year: Anthony’s Restaurants
Sommelier of the Year: Chris Horn (Purple Cafè & Wine Bar)
Best event featuring Washington wine: Washington Wine Extravaganza – Wine World & Spirits
Retailer of the Year: Full Pull Wines
Independent Retailer of the Year: ImpulseWine.com
Retailer Chain of the Year: Costco Wholesale
Retail Steward of the Year: Carly Little (QFC, Bellevue Village)
Hotel of the Year: Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center
Tourism Champion of the Year: Yakima Valley Tourism
Tourism Concierge of the Year: Dan Salvatora (Hotel Monaco)
Distributor of the Year: Young’s Market Company
Distributor Salesperson of the Year: Walid Akiki (Young’s Market Company)
2015 Grand Awards
Anthony’s at Columbia Point
Anthony’s Pier 66
Anthony’s at the Old Mill
Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill
Barking Frog at Willows Lodge
Big Fish Grill
Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill & Bar
Castle Event Catering
Copperleaf Reastauant at Cedarbrook Lodge
Daniel’s Broiler Prime Steaks and Chops
El Gaucho Bellevue
El Gaucho Seattle
El Gaucho Tacoma
Fountain Wine Bar
Inn at Ship Bay
Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing Restaurant
Pike Brewing Company
Russell’s Restaurant & Loft
SkyCity at the Needle
Spazzo Italian Grill & Wine Bar
Sun Mountain Lodge
Swing Wine Bar
The Marc Restaurant
Tulalip Bay Dining
Valley Cafe of Ellensburg
Vino At The Landing
Vino Volo Seatac
Visconti’s Italian Restaurant
Visconti’s of Leavenworth
WAC – Washington Athletic Club
Waterstreet Café + Bar
Grand Vin Wine Merchants
Town & Country Markets, Inc.
Total Wine & More
Corks and Canvas Events
Courtyard by Marriott Richland Columbia Point
Pike Place Market Foundation
Seattle Theatre Group – Paramount Theatre
Seattle Wine and Food Experience
Bon Vivant Wine Tours
Seattle Uncorked – Belltown Crush
Omni Hotels & Resorts
2015 Awards of Distinction
Adriatic Grill Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar
Dragonfish Asian Cafe
Duke’s Chowder House
Ivar’s Acres of Clams
North City Bistro and Wine Shop
Packers Oyster Bar at Semiahmoo
Palomino Rustico Bellevue
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar Bellevue
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar Kirkland
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar Seattle
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar Woodinville
Reds Wine Bar
Salty’s On Alki
The Barrel Thief
The Lincoln Center
The Rainier Club
The Triple Door
Washington State Convention Center
All Things Wine
The Wine Alley