Miami, FL - November 22, 2010 – Mel Dick, President Wine Division and Senior Vice President of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern) announced today that Southern has partnered with The Guild of Sommeliers to develop “Top New Somm – America’s Top New Sommeliers”. This benchmark competition will allow sommeliers under the age of 30 to test their skills and knowledge against their peers. The Guild of Sommeliers has named the Top New Somm trophy the “Southern Wine & Spirits Championship Trophy”. “We are honored and thrilled to be a part of Top New Somm and to support young sommeliers interested in our great industry” said Mel Dick.

“Having Southern Wine and Spirits join us as a partner to establish this benchmark competition for young sommeliers is testament to their commitment to assisting young sommeliers” said Fred Dame, MS, President of the Guild of Sommeliers. Dame added that “the Top New Somm Trophy will honor the entrepreneurial young men who founded Southern Wine & Spirits and built it into the company it is today. Their dedication and hard work is truly inspirational, and we are proud to honor their example with the Top New Somm Southern Wine & Spirits Championship Trophy.”

Top New Somm will parallel TOP | SOMM – The US Sommelier Championship with contestants in both competitions participating in initial online preliminary matches followed by Area Competitions and the National Championships. The top 20 to 30 scoring Top New Somm contenders will compete against each other at the Area level with the winner from each Area moving on to the National Championships to vie for the Top New Somm title and Southern Wine & Spirits Trophy.

Awards for those who excel in the Top New Somm competition are generous. The five sommeliers winning the Top New Somm Area Competitions will each receive $1,000 cash scholarship, a trip to Florida to participate in the Southern Wine & Spirits South Beach Wine & Food Festival and the opportunity to compete for the Top New Somm title at the National Championships. The winner of the Top New Somm National Championship will be awarded the Southern Wine & Spirits Championship Trophy and a $1,000 cash scholarship.

About Southern Wine & Spirits of America:
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor with operations in 33 markets. The multi-state distributor currently operates in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia—as well as the additional seven states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Utah through the Southern-Odom/Spirits West partnership. In addition, Southern has a presence in Maryland and the District of Columbia through a joint venture with F.P. Winner Wine & Spirits as well as a joint venture operation in Minnesota with J.J. Taylor Distributing Company. Southern also holds operating licenses and permits in Nebraska and Texas. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 11,000 team members. For more information, see:

Posted on Monday, November 22, 2010 (Archive on Monday, November 29, 2010)
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