ADI Announces Partnership with Top Spirits Retailer Total Wine & More to Benefit Top Judging Award Recipients

ADI Announces Partnership with Top Spirits Retailer Total Wine & More to Benefit Top Judging Award Recipients

For Immediate Release 11-4-19

Media Contact: Eric Zandona, Director of Judging / Director of Spirits Information

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HAYWARD, CA—Today the American Distilling Institute announces a new partnership with US national spirits retailer Total Wine & More designed to benefit top award recipients at ADI’s annual spirits competition with potential sales and distribution opportunities.

Starting with ADI’s 2020 Judging of Craft Spirits competition, all recipients of the “Best of Class” award will be given the chance to schedule a half-hour in-person meeting with Total Wine & More senior sales executives to discuss goals and possible placement opportunities. Meetings will be held at the annual Craft Spirits Conference & Vendor Expo, or can be scheduled for a later date at the Total Wine & More headquarters in North Bethesda, Maryland.

“We are very excited to partner with Total Wine & More,” said ADI’s judging director Eric Zandona. “For more than a decade, the mission of our blind tasting has been to provide entrants with high-quality feedback from distilled spirits experts and to help promote those who are making some of the very best spirits in the world. With this partnership we can now provide our Best of Class winners a serious opportunity to strengthen and grow the reach of their fantastic spirits.”

Eligible awardees will receive a questionnaire in advance of the conference to better facilitate the meetings, which will be tailored to benefit businesses of any scale, whether just getting started or ready for national distribution.

Founded in 1991, and with nearly 200 stores across the US, Total Wine & More has been named Retailer of the Year numerous times by multiple national publications. Total Wine & More has a proven track record of working with craft brands and introducing them to new markets, and was among the first national retail chains supporting craft beer brands in the 1990s.

“We are excited to launch this partnership with ADI,” said Eli Aguilera, Senior Vice President of Merchandising at Total Wine & More. “Total Wine & More is proud to support hundreds of craft spirit entrepreneurs on their journey to growth their brands. We look forward to meeting the judging winners and helping them grow.”

ADI’s Judging of Craft Spirits is the largest and most respected competition dedicated to artisan spirits. Each year over 1,000 spirits brands from around the world submit their products to the event, where more than 40 spirits industry experts convene in California to participate in blind tastings. Judges are grouped into panels by category of expertise and spend three days tasting through the entries. 

ADI Judging was the first spirits competition to provide written feedback from the judges to the spirits producers, giving invaluable insight that can help producers fine-tune their spirits.

Awards are given based on consensus of the tasting panels, and include Bronze, Silver, Gold, Double Gold, Best of Category, and Best of Class. Award winners are notified by email, and recipients can receive their medals by mail or pick them up in person at the annual Craft Spirits Conference & Vendor Expo.

ADI’s 2020 Craft Spirits Conference & Vendor Expo will be held in New Orleans, LA, April 4–6.

The 2020 ADI Judging of Craft Spirits final entry deadline is January 10, 2020. Guidelines and instructions can be found at