Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Download a soft copy of this list here. If you have additional questions, please contact me.

What regions are reviewed at Northwest Wine Report?

Northwest Wine Report is dedicated to the wines and wineries of the Pacific Northwest, including Washington (WA), Oregon (OR), Idaho (ID), and British Columbia (BC). Samples received from other regions may or may not be reviewed or written about at the sole discretion of the editor.

What wines are reviewed?

The wines should be current releases and available for sale now or in the future. This includes wines that are current releases but were sold out upon or prior to release.

Who reviews the wines?

All wines are reviewed by Sean P. Sullivan.

How are they rated?

All wines are rated using the 100-point system. All wines are tasted blind in varietal sets. Information about how wines are reviewed and rated can be found here and here.

What do the special designations mean?

Northwest Wine Report uses three special designations. They are as follows: Critic’s Choice: A wine that either represents a significant value or has some special aspect that makes it noteworthy. Cellar Stocker: A wine that is expected to significantly benefit from additional time in bottle and/or have extended aging potential. Value Pick: A wine $20 or less that provides significant quality and value compared to its peers.

Is there any fee for submitting wines?

No. There is no submission fee.

Is there any screening process for submitted wines?

No. All wines submitted are tasted and reviewed by Sean P. Sullivan.

Who can submit wines?

Any winery making wines using fruit from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia may submit wines. Wineries in other areas that are interested in submitting should contact me to inquire about submissions.

When should wines be submitted?

Wines across all categories are tasted and reviewed continuously throughout the year. Wineries are welcome to submit whatever wines they want whenever they want once they feel the wines are ready for review. From a reviewer’s perspective, ideally wines are submitted shortly before or right as they become available to consumers rather than when they are sold out. This can maximize the impact of reviews.

When shipping wines, please be mindful of temperatures in both the shipping and receiving location.

Where should wines be sent?

All wines are received by a professional wine storage facility located in Seattle, Washington. Contact me for the address to send the wines.

What information should I include when submitting wines?

All submissions must include a Submission Form. These forms may be sent physically in the box of submitted wines or electronically (see email address on submission form). Wineries are also encouraged to include technical sheets if they are available. Please do not include other winery collateral.

How many bottles of each wine should be sent?

Please send two bottles of each wine regardless of closure type. If there is any question about the integrity of the first bottle of wine or the score for that bottle seems notably inconsistent with previous vintages, the second bottle will be put into a separate blind flight.

Due to time constraints, wineries will not be asked to send a second bottle if there was an issue with the first and only one bottle was sent.

Are library wines reviewed?

Generally speaking, no. Reviews are only for wines that are current releases that are available for sale now or in the near future or were recently for sale that I have not reviewed here or elsewhere previously.

So, if a wine has been held back for a certain amount of time prior to release and is now available for the first time, I will review that wine. If a wine was released five years ago but is not currently available for sale, I will not review it. Similarly, if I reviewed a wine five years ago and it is still currently for sale, I will not review it again here if I have already reviewed it at Wine Enthusiast.

Is there any restriction on what wines can be sent, such as production size or having distribution?

No. All wines from wineries that use fruit from the Pacific Northwest – Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia – can submit wines, regardless of the production size or distribution of the wine. Note that this includes wineries from outside the Pacific Northwest that use fruit from the region.

Do I need to contact someone before I send wines?

I ask that you contact me in advance of sending the wines. However, this is solely to ensure that the weather is suitable for both shipping and receiving wines.

When will reviews be published?

Scores are typically published approximately four to six weeks after submission. Please do not inquire regarding the status of scores until six weeks has passed.

Are all scores published?

Yes. Scores for all wines submitted for reviews are published. The only exceptions are a) if the score for the wine was deemed to be less than 80 points, which is considered not of commercial quality, or b) if the first bottle had a technical issue (cork taint, oxygen exposure, etc.) and only one bottle was sent. Both cases are rare. All other scores are published.

Are scores ever withdrawn after publication?

No. Once scores are published, they cannot be withdrawn at the winery’s request. In rare circumstances, a wine might be retasted at the request of a winery if there is a belief that the initial sample might have been damaged during shipment. If the wine scores higher when being retasted, that score will subsequently replace the original score. A notation will say as such. Note that such circumstances are extremely uncommon.

Will I be notified when my wines are reviewed?

Yes. You will receive an email notification after ratings and reviews of your wines have been published. This email will be sent to the address on the Submission Form. If this information is not filled out, you will not receive notification. NB: Notifications started after reviews were paywalled June 15, 2023.

What are appropriate ways to cite reviews from Northwest Wine Report? 

When wineries, distributors, and retailers are citing scores and reviews, they may attribute them to Sean P. Sullivan Northwest Wine Report, Northwest Wine Report, or Sean P. Sullivan. Media should refer to the site as either Northwest Wine Report or Sean P. Sullivan Northwest Wine Report.

Do I need to have a subscription to Northwest Wine Report to receive and use ratings and reviews for my winery’s wines?

No. Wineries do not need to subscribe to Northwest Wine Report to receive or use ratings and reviews. You will be notified via email when reviews of your wines have been published. To receive a copy of the reviews, whether you subscribe or not, wineries may either respond to the notification email or contact [email protected]. Please allow two weeks for reviews to be sent via email after they have been requested.

Can wines be sent in without being scored?

Part of my goal with this site is to assist consumers with making wine selections. Rating wines can help with those decisions.

That said, I understand that some people do not wish to have their wines rated for various reasons. I am still very much interested in tasting those wines to have an understanding of what the producer is doing.

If you wish to send in wines but not have them formally reviewed, please contact me for additional details.

If I have already sent in a wine for you to review at Wine Enthusiast, can I send it here again?

No. I will not be re-reviewing any wines that I have already reviewed at Wine Enthusiast. I was a contributing editor at the magazine from 2013 to 2022.

I have a winery in British Columbia, but the wines are not currently imported into the US. Can I still submit them?

Yes. Wineries can submit wines that are not currently imported into the US. However, I do not have an importer license, so the process for how to do that would need to be worked out on the winery’s end. Please also note on the submission form that the wine is not currently available in the US.

I use fruit from the Pacific Northwest but because my winery is located elsewhere, the appellation is labeled America. Can I still submit the wine?

Yes. As long as the fruit comes from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia, or any combination thereof, you can submit the wine. Please specify where the fruit came from on the submission form.

Does Northwest Wine Report accept advertisements?

No. Northwest Wine Report does not accept any advertisements.

Last modified April 11, 2024