Dec 03, 2015

Biz Mix: SWE Conference 2015


The 39th annual conference of the Society of Wine Educators was held this past August 11-13 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Highlights included New Orleans-inspired food (of course), as well as 60 information-filled sessions led by a dynamic group of wine professionals. Then there were also the wonderful lunches, happy hours and gala dinner – all complemented with the best wines possible, naturally.

Here are just a few of the session highlights:


“Chinese Wine Today” – Did you know that China now has the second largest acreage of vineyards in the world? Have you ever discussed the wines of Shandong, Ningxia or Hebei? Have you ever tasted the wines of the Huailai Amethyst Winery? If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you were in attendance with Roger Bohmrich, MWD at his session.

Eric Hemer, MS, MW leading a discussion of the wines and regions of Northern Italy from Friuli to Piemonte.

One of the outstanding features of this year’s conference was an emphasis on wine’s emerging regions. One perfect example of this was the “Getting High in Arizona” session led by Gary Spadafore, CSS, CWE and Paula Woolsey, CSW.

Will Costello, MS told the audience how New Zealand is a “land like no other,” and shared his thoughts – and some wonderful wines – in his session entitled “New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: Breakthrough Approaches and Individual Expressions.”


“All About the Languedoc” led by Eric Entrikin, MS. Eric led the group on a discovery of the authenticity, diversity, quality and value of the wines from the Languedoc, ending with a tasting that included samples of Saint Chinian, Minervois, and Corbières.

Tilda Parente, CSW, MD led a session titled “Is There a Doctor in the House?” What a great opportunity for the attendees who got to hear directly from a physician and wine-lover, the latest research and truths on resveratrol, moderate drinking, hangovers (!), the French paradox and the Mediterranean diet!

All the session presentations are available on the SWE website,