16th Annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition Announced Judging to take place March 17-20, 2016 at Hotel Nikko

(January 19, 2016; San Francisco, Calif.)—San Francisco World Spirits Competition® Over 1,500 prestigious spirits labels from around the globe are expected to compete at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Directed by Anthony Dias Blue and sponsored by The Tasting Panel, judging will take place March 17-20 at San Francisco’s Hotel Nikko. The competition will accept entries now through February 19th at www.sfspiritscomp.com.

Founder and Executive Director Anthony Dias Blue will lead 40 celebrated spirits experts at this year’s competition. Blue also executive director of the San Francisco International Wine Competition (est. 1980). Blue is a James Beard award-winning food, wine and lifestyle authority and a Who’s Who in Food & Beverage. He is formerly the wine and spirits editor of Bon Appétit and currently an owner and editor-in-chief of The Tasting Panel, The SOMM Journal and The Clever Root. The Tasting Panel is the highest-circulating beverage trade publication in the country.

Modern mixology pioneer and author Tony Abou-Ganim will return as director of judging. Abou-Ganim’s book, “The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails,” is an in-depth look into modern day cocktails from their early beginnings to the present.

Judges for the competition hail from across the United States and contain noteworthy personalities and critics from within the spirits industry, including David Wondrich and Dale DeGroff.

Cocktail historian and James Beard award-winning author David Wondrich brings years of instrumental research to the judge’s panel. A master sommelier and certified spirits specialist, Wondrich is the author of several books, including “Esquire Drinks,” “Killer Cocktails,” “Imbibe,”and “Punch.” Wondrich has served as the drinks correspondent for Esquire since 1999.

Master mixologist Dale DeGroff, aka “King Cocktail,” has been credited with reinventing the bartending profession and setting off a cocktail revival that continues to flourish. Winner of two James Beard Awards for Wine & Spirits Professional and Who’s Who in Food & Beverage, DeGroff is the author of “The Essential Cocktail” and “The Craft of the Cocktail” (Random House). His enormous influence in the bar world has spanned three decades. In 2004, DeGroff founded The Museum of the American Cocktail based in New Orleans, LA, and continues as its president.

For a full list of judges, please visit http://sfspiritscomp.com/about/judges.

About San Francisco World Spirits Competition ®
Founded in 2000, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition is America’s most respected and influential international spirits event. Medals will be awarded by the spirits judges. Products are evaluated in a blind, consensual procedure ensuring the SFWSC maintains its reputation for the highest level of integrity. Winning participants receive the awards of double gold, gold, silver or bronze, marking their product as one of the highest quality in the world. www.sfspiritscomp.com