WSWA Crowns ‘Best in Show’ in Signature Wine and Spirits Tasting Competition

Jan 30, 2024
11 Wines and 24 Spirits Best in Show at WSWA’s Access Live


The 2024 Best in Show Wine and Spirits Tasting Competition is a highlight of Access LIVE, sponsored by Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), which brings together all three tiers of the industry for constructive dialogue, product education and business relationships. This year’s contest pitted nearly 400 products in blind, head-to-head tastings to pick the finest, most flavorful drinks in 35 diverse categories.


How the Contest Works


The contest began on Sunday, January 28, when judges evaluated all entries to award silver, gold, and double gold designations. Products were judged completely blind — liquid only, no brands or packaging — with each product identified to evaluators by a three-character code. Entries winning double gold in the first round advanced to the second round on Monday during which the full panel tasted all 168 products to pick the “Best of Show” winners. All told, 11 wines and 24 spirits were selected by the panel for the highest distinction.


Bragging Rights


The contest is held prior to the beginning of Access Live to give the medalists an opportunity to tout their wins during on the show floor. WSWA hosted a testing reception at Access HQ to celebrate the winners and give show attendees a chance to sample the “Best in Show” products. Winning products were also featured in the Best in Show showcase in the main convention center concourse.


Judging and Sponsorship


The contest leverages the palates and expertise of some of the foremost wine and spirits dignitaries in the industry. They include sommeliers, buyers, distributors, beverage directors and members of the wine and spirits media. Based on their wealth of knowledge, extensive experience and high regard within the field, members of this group are firmly synched up with the tastes and dynamics of the alcohol marketplace. The Wine and Spirits Tasting Competition was sponsored by The Tasting Panel Magazine and The Somm Journal, two of the most respected and widely circulated publications in the beverage industry. Both in print and online, these publications reach thousands of industry stakeholders each month. Competition results will be published in The Tasting Panel’s May/June 2024 issue.


Double-Gold Winners


Congratulations to the “Best in Show” winners of the 2024 Wine and Spirits Tasting Competition:


Best in Show — Wines

  • Cabernet Sauvignon: Don Tony Perez, Corp., Don Tony Perez 2019 Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Curicó Valley, Chile
  • Champagne Brut: Boisset Collection, JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset 2016 No. 44 Gala Premier Cru, Champagne, France
  • Dry Sake: Wine Of Japan Import, Inc., Shikaio NV Junmai Dai-Ginjyo, Aichi, Japan
  • Garnacha: Bodegas Aragonesas, Aragonia 2019 Selección Especial Garnacha, Campo de Borja, Spain
  • Greek Red: Stellar Importing Company LLC, Aidarini Winery 2020 Xinomavro, PGI Slopes of Paiko, Greece
  • Italian Red Blend: R.S. Lipman Company, Saturday Night 2019 Red Wine Blend, Veneto, Italy
  • Pinot Grigio: Wine Victoria, Tar & Roses 2023 Pinot Grigio, Victoria, Australia
  • Prosecco: Sucellus, AMBO NV Prosecco DOC Brut, Italy
  • Rosé: Amédée, Amédée 2023 Il Était Une Fois Dans le Luberon AOP Rosé, AOP Luberon, France
  • Shiraz: Wine Victoria, Mount Langi Ghiran 2021 Cliff Edge Shiraz, Grampians, Australia
  • Spanish Red Blend: Grandes Vinos, Monasterio de las Viñas 2019 Reserva Garnacha, Tempranillo, Cariñena & Cabernet Sauvignon, DO Cariñena, Spain

Best in Show — Spirits

  • Bourbon - Aged with Finish: Aiko Brands, World Whiskey Society Classic Collection Wheated Edition Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged 10 Years Finished in Oloroso Sherry Casks, USA
  • Bourbon - Straight: Aiko Brands, Doc Holliday Single Barrel Edition Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged 6 Years, USA
  • Cognac - Flavored: Sucellus, NYAK Cinnamon Fiyah Cinnamon Flavored French Brandy, France
  • Espresso Martini: NightOwl Martini, NightOwl Tequila Espresso Martini, USA
  • Gin: R.S. Lipman Company, GinGarby First Love Gin, Italy
  • Hybrid Spirit: Red Eye Louie's, Inc., Red Eye Louie's Rumquila, USA
  • Liqueur: Hotaling & Co., Luxardo Triplum Triple Sec Orange Liqueur, Italy
  • Liqueur - Cream: Mexcor International, Agavales Mocha Tequila and Cream Liqueur, Mexico
  • Liqueur - Low-Calorie Cream: Creamy Creation, Creamy Creation Blueberry Pie Cream Liqueur, USA
  • Mezcal: Warbevco, Mala Mia Cuishe Mezcal Artesanal, Mexico
  • Nonalcoholic Spirit: Fr Greek Craft Liqueurs / Roots Divino, Roots Divino Non Alcoholic Aperitif Bianco, Greece
  • Ready-to-Drink Cocktail: Creamy Creation, Creamy Creation Piña Colada Liqueur, USA
  • Rum - Dark/Gold: Sucellus, Minoki Coral Filtered Rum, Japan
  • Rum - White: Bombarda Rum USA Corp, Bombarda Plunder Silver Rum, Jamaica/Trinidad/Barbados
  • Tequila - Añejo: Lucas Bols USA, Roble Fino by Tequila Partida Añejo, Mexico
  • Tequila - Añejo Cristalino: Rodeo De Las Aguas Tequila, Rodeo de las Aguas Tequila Cristalino Añejo, Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico
  • Tequila - Blanco/Silver: Mara Imports, Arte Azul Blanco Tequila, Mexico
  • Tequila - Extra Añejo Cristalino: Aiko Brands, Dinastia Real Master Premium Extra Añejo Cristalino Tequila, Mexico
  • Tequila - Extra-Aged Añejo Tequila: Apogee 21 Holdings, Inc, Andale Extra Añejo Tequila, Mexico
  • Tequila - Reposado: Mara Imports, Arte Azul Reposado Tequila, Mexico
  • Tequila - Silver/Blanco Rosa: Galaxy Marketing Associates, LLC, Ricava Blanco Rosa Tequila, Mexico
  • Vodka: Spyrt Worldwide, Ukrainian Spirit Zubrivka Vodka, Ukraine
  • Whiskey - Flavored: Mexcor International, Select Club Pecan Praline Whisky With Grain Neutral Spirits & Natural Flavor, Canada
  • Whiskey - Imported: Aiko Brands, Yamato Year of the Rabbit Special Edition Japanese Whisky, Japan