72nd Annual Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America Convention Returns to Orlando April 12-15

WSWA Iron Mixologist Competition

Jason Asher from Arizona at WSWA Iron Mixologist Competition


Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America’s convention returns to Orlando next month, April 12-15. The 72nd Annual Convention includes an exhibition from both new and familiar brands, hospitality suites, educational sessions, mixology competitions and the Taste of the Industry, a showcase of exciting new products and trends.

Also be on the look out for the keynote speakers this year on Monday, April 13 at 8:30 a.m. Speakers include Mike Krzyzewski—better known as “Coach K”—head of the legendary Duke University Blue Devils basketball squad, and Robert O’Neill, former U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six member



New products looking for distribution

New products looking for distribution


The main convention comprises of the showcase of new products looking for distributors. I’ve seen everything from Vodkila, Selvarey rum, Blue Chair Bay rum, OM and more get picked up.

It’s also where I first encountered wine straws, special wine barrels, ready to drink beverages and other companion products.


Boticario Mezcal


I’ve tasted lovely spirits that I hope will make it to market, particularly my local Los Angeles market. This year, I will be judging spirits for Tasting Panel Magazine. It’ll be a change from judging mixology competitions.


Ludlow Jelly Shots

Ludlows Jelly Shots


There products I know will do well like Ludlows Jelly Shots which debuted at WSWA last year in Las Vegas. Going to WSWA is a chance to meet with distributors as well as connecting with others in the spirits and wine industry.

I’m excited to see Edrington Group (The Macallan, Highland Park Scotch, Brugal rum, etc), Anchor Distilling (Hophead vodka, Old Potrero whiskey, etc), Heaven Hill Distilleries (Rittenhouse rye, Elijiah Craig bourbon, etc) and many more this year at WSWA.

Zane Lamprhey and Dan Dunn

Zane Lamprey and Dan Dunn at WSWA in 2013


Hospitality suites are a great way to meet media and interested distributors away from the busy show floor.

Or check out the Opening Night Reception on Monday at 6-8 PM as well as Taste of the Industry on Tuesday from 6:30-8:30 PM. The parties gives you a chance to connect with the brands you may have missed during the day.

mixology competitors

mixology competitors

As mentioned, I’ll be one of the judges for Wine, Spirits and Beer Tasting Competition with Tasting Panel Magazine. It’s an all-day affair on Monday. But the two you don’t want to miss are Call for Cocktails on Tuesday, April 14 at 10 a.m. and the Wholesaler Iron Mixology Competition later that day at 1:30 p.m. They’re fun to watch to see who wins! Expect to see brands like Boodles Gin, Goslings, Licor 43 and Blue Chair Bay Rum in the mix at Call for Cocktails. Corporate mixologists including last year’s Hoptails competition winner Troy Clarke from Boston will represent distributors including United Liquors,  Wirtz, Southern Wine & Spirits, Glazers and Republic National Distributing Company will shake it up at the Iron Mixology Competition.


2014 Coverage


2013 Coverage



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