Wherein we ask local wine notables to make our weeknight drinking decisions for us.

A Seattle native, sommelier Jeffrey Dorgan not only understands the Northwest’s palate, he helps determine wine taste every day atop the Space Needle. Once a server at Sky City, he left to pursue his passion for wine and returned this past spring as the wine director at the revolving restaurant. He’s been named best sommelier by the Washington State Wine Commission, and he thinks you should lighten up this week when you pry the cork.

Take it away, Jeffrey…

I love drinking a lighter style red wine in the summer, especially a food-friendly varietal like a pinot noir. Which is why I choose a 2011 Boedecker Cellars Pinot Noir. It comes from what was supposed to be not so great a vintage (Wine Spectator gave it 86-89 points), where there was a huge crop and a very cool summer. Many winemakers were worried that the grapes would never ripen, and the threat of September rain caused many to pick early. Only a few showers materialized and a warm fall with sunny skies blessed those who were patient to wait for the fine color, great depth, low alcohol content, and complete flavors.

The result is silky with fine tannins, filled with raspberry and plum aromas, with a juicy finish—and it’s perfect with practically any summer fare. Remember to watch the temperature; I recommend chilling it slightly, especially if you are serving it at an outdoor barbeque.

The Price: $21-24

Find It: Sixth Avenue Wine Cellar (in Pacific Place), Bin 41, Savour


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