By this point we all know that Idaho makes fabulous wines, right? Well sometimes, it’s good to not only know it, but also prove it. That’s why for 10 years Idaho wineries have participated in an independent judging competition cleverly called “The Idaho Wine Competition.”
The Competition, which is designed and coordinated through Great Northwest Wine and sponsored by the Southwest Idaho Tourism Alliance (SWITA), opens up for Idaho wine submissions and brings in six judges from across the country. These eight judges range in expertise from directors of winemaking at viticulture institutions, enologists, wine writers, wine buyers and sommeliers. Or, simply put: people who know their stuff when it comes to wine.
Those eight judges then sipped their way through the 150 wines submitted by 36 wineries on August 20—the most submissions the Competition has ever had.
150 wines to sample. Jealous? Yeah, we were jealous too.
Judges evaluate wines without being able to know who made them, where they’re from, or any other fun facts that could potentially sway their decision. They have no idea if the wines have other awards, if the winemaker has a great reputation, or even if the bottles have a pretty label. All they focus on are factors like: the wine’s appearance, smell, taste, texture and overall quality.
But even with those tough criteria, 25 wines walked away with gold medals.
So if you’re not sure about your taste in wine yet, just know that the list of the following were favorites among a few folks in the know.
Idaho Wine Competition 2019 Winners
Best of Show / Best Sweet Wine / Double Gold Medal
Koenig Vineyards 2018 Riesling Ice Wine, Snake River Valley $25.00
Best Red Wine / Double Gold Medal
Sawtooth Winery 2017 Classic Fly Series Petit Verdot, Snake River Valley $35.00
Best White Wine / Double Gold Medal
Hat Ranch Winery 2018 Dry Moscato, Snake River Valley $18.00
Best Sparkling Wine/ Double Gold Medal
3100 Cellars 2016 Runoff Rosé Sparkling Wine, Snake River Valley $36.00
Best Rosé/ Double Gold Medal
Par Terre Winery 2018 Rosé of Cabernet Franc, Snake River Valley $16.00
Double Gold Medal
Sawtooth Winery 2016 Trout Trilogy Grenache, Snake River Valley $35.00
Translations 2018 Rosé Wine, Columbia Valley $20.00
Best of Class / Gold Medal
Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2016 Louis Delsol Cabernet Sauvignon, Lewis-Clark Valley $32.00
Cinder Wines 2018 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley $23.00
Sawtooth Winery 2018 Classic Fly Series Dry Riesling , Snake River Valley $18.00
Koenig Vineyards 2016 Three Vineyard Cuvée Syrah, Snake River Valley $25.00
Vizcaya Winery 2014 Tempranillo, Snake River Valley $29.00
Hat Ranch Winery 2016 Hat Trick Red, Snake River Valley $27.00
Cinder Wines 2017 Tempranillo, Snake River Valley $30.00
Cinder Wines 2017 Syrah, Snake River Valley $30.00
Cinder Wines 2018 Dry Viognier, Snake River Valley $23.00
Coiled Wines 2017 Rizza Sparkling Wine, Idaho $28.00
Coiled Wines 2017 Black Mamba, Snake River Valley $32.00
Colter's Creek Winery 2017 Estate Syrah, Lewis-Clark Valley $20.00
Colter's Creek Winery 2017 Estate Reserve Syrah, Lewis-Clark Valley $25.00
Fujishin Family Cellars 2018 Gewurztraminer, Snake River Valley $16.95
Hells Canyon Winery 2017 Heritage Series Cabernet Franc, Snake River Valley $30.00
Huston Vineyards 2018 Chicken Dinner Rosé, Washington $19.00
Sawtooth Winery 2017 Classic Fly Series Pinot Noir, Oregon
Vale Wine Co. 2018 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley $21.00