Bolingbrook, Illinois, July 12, 2010: Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois, a division of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., today announced sponsorship of the third annual Chicago Gourmet, A Celebration of Food and Wine.

The festival is planned for September 25-26, 2010, and will be held in collaboration with the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) and chaired by The Honorable Richard M. Daley, Mayor of Chicago. “Chicago Gourmet plans two days of exciting culinary and sensory diversity, all held within the breathtaking Millennium Park,” said Sheila O’Grady, President of the Illinois Restaurant Association. She noted that Chicago Gourmet will feature the highest quality wines and spirits along with some of the city, state and region’s best chefs, cookbook authors and sommeliers—as well as many local and national culinary experts. Chicago Gourmet organizers and sponsors expect thousands of in- and out-of-state discerning consumers to attend the two-day event on Lake Michigan.

Will Conniff, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois & Kentucky said, “Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois is extremely honored to be collaborating with the Illinois Restaurant Association and Mayor Daley for the 2010 edition of Chicago Gourmet. In particular, our ongoing relationship with the Illinois Restaurant Association and Gourmet Chicago is a clear reflection of our commitment to the importance of the restaurant and hospitality business in Chicago and throughout the great State of Illinois.” Conniff added, “During this event, we are also proud to be participating in a number of exciting charitable auctions, the proceeds from which will support the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF). Their mission is to build Illinois' hospitality workforce through career exploration and development programs, scholarships and image enhancement.”

Mary F. Barranco, National Director of Education, Southern Wine & Spirits of America said, “We are thrilled that as part of the overall program at Chicago Gourmet our Master Sommelier, Serafin Alvarado, and our Master Mixologist, Bridget Albert, will be participating in a number of the many educational events for interested consumers. Chicago Gourmet will include seminars addressing the finer points of appreciating wine and spirits, the latest trends in the food and beverage industry, great wine and food pairing ideas, and the hottest new cocktail recipes.”

Conniff concluded, "On behalf of Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois, I would like to thank Chicago Gourmet, the Illinois Restaurant Association and the Mayor’s Office in Chicago. We all look forward to a great fall event in Millennium Park.”

For more information about Chicago Gourmet and to purchase tickets, please log onto:

About Southern Wine & Spirits of America: Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor with operations in 30 states. The multi-state distributor currently operates in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, 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. Southern has recently announced the formation of a joint venture in Minnesota with J.J. Taylor Distributing Company and in Maryland and the District of Columbia with F.P. Winner Wine & Spirits. 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 contact:

Posted on Wednesday, July 14, 2010 (Archive on Wednesday, July 14, 2010)
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