Home Industry News Releases Northwest Wine Report Moves to Subscription-Based Model

Northwest Wine Report Moves to Subscription-Based Model


Reviews and a searchable database of reviews will now be paywalled

SEATTLE, WA, June 14, 2023 – Today Northwest Wine Report, an independent, on-line publication dedicated to the wines and wineries of the Pacific Northwest, announced that the site will be moving to a partial subscription model. Going forward, accessing wine reviews or the site’s searchable review database will require a subscription.

“It’s a big change that’s been a long time coming,” says founder and editor Sean Sullivan. “I’m excited to finally take the leap.”

Northwest Wine Report will offer three subscription levels: Consumer, Commercial, and Enterprise. Consumer subscriptions are for individuals who will not be sharing reviews and other information for commercial purposes. Commercial subscriptions are for wine industry professionals, including wineries, distributors, and retailers who will be sharing content from the site to promote wines. Enterprise subscriptions are for wine industry companies that need a larger number of licenses than a regular Commercial subscription allows. Full descriptions of each of the subscription levels are available at www.northwestwinereport.com/subscribe.

Importantly, wineries submitting wines for review to the site will not have to subscribe to receive their ratings and reviews or to republish their scores. “I do not believe in pay-to-play for wine reviews,” Sullivan says. “My hope is that wineries will want to subscribe and support the site, but I have no intention of forcing them to do so.”

Unlike most wine review sites, subscriptions will be available on both an annual or a monthly basis. “I tried to give people as many options as I could that might work best for them,” Sullivan says.

Northwest Wine Report’s review database also contains a unique feature, where people can search for reviews based on the home region of the winery. For example, if someone wants to look for top-scoring or recently reviewed wines from Woodinville or Northern Willamette Valley, they can easily do so on the site.

“One of the questions I’m frequently asked by people getting ready to visit wine country is about exciting new wines and wineries in particular areas,” Sullivan says. “This will give people an easy way to find them.”

Northwest Wine Report is one of the only independent review sites where all reviews come from a single reviewer who is blind tasting using the 100-point system. Sullivan has long advocated for greater consistency in the way critics and competitions review wines as well as for more transparency around the overall process.

“I’ve done it both ways over the years, not tasting blind originally and then tasting blind for the last 10-plus years,” Sullivan says. “I’ve seen the biases first-hand from tasting non-blind, and I’ve become a strong advocate for both blind tasting and for tasting every wine in a consistent format.”

Beyond wine reviews and the searchable database, all other articles and information on Northwest Wine Report will remain freely available.

“It’s very important to me to keep as much of the content freely available as possible,” Sullivan says. “I want more people to be reading about Northwest wines and wineries, not fewer. My hope is that the site will receive enough subscription support to keep in that way.”

Sullivan founded Washington Wine Report in 2004. The site was rebranded as Northwest Wine Report in 2022, expanding the focus to explicitly include Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia. The site is a four-time finalist and two time winner of ‘Best Single Subject Wine Blog’ from the Wine Blog Awards. Sullivan has received a TOAST! award from the Auction of Washington Wines, recognizing his work as a wine industry champion.

Sullivan has written over 400 magazine articles, 2,000 articles on his own site, and reviewed more than 16,000 Northwest wines. He was a contributing editor at Wine Enthusiast covering the Pacific Northwest from 2013 to 2022.


Sean P. Sullivan’s Northwest Wine Report is an independent publication dedicated to the wines and wineries of the Pacific Northwest, bringing Northwest wine to you and bringing you to Northwest wine. The site provides expert-level news and feature article coverage of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia. Northwest Wine Report is the only independent site offering blind-tasted wine reviews, all from a single palate with over 20 years of experience with the region. The site was established by Sullivan in 2004 as Washington Wine Report. It was rebranded Northwest Wine Report in 2022.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.