Wine is only a small part of the WSWA convention, though, as some of the forlorn-looking foreign wine producers learned. Spirits are what people there care most about, and particularly new products, which are driving most of the growth of the industry.
Producers pay thousands of dollars to attend, rent hospitality suites at the Ritz-Carlton -- that's not cheap -- and hire hot young women to walk the halls in as little fabric as possible, promoting their brands. It's hard not to be impressed by the endless parade of babes; I wondered often where they find them all, and if the Orlando area, in marketing mouse ears, is missing its true selling point(s).
|Vodquila was actually a 19-year-old girl's class project.|
If a booth was peddling aged Calvados or wines made from Portuguese native grape varieties, the spokesman was most likely an older man in a checked suit. But if the product was called something like Booze Cupz, you could count on two women in swimsuits and high heels handing out sample cups. (Lots of weird product photos after the jump.)
Sex appeal works, including on me. I wasn't planning on trying a product called Short Mountain Authentic Tennessee Moonshine, but I couldn't help it: she smiled at me, then looked so disappointed when I said I wouldn't. I had to turn that smile back on. And actually, the moonshine was very smooth, although I wonder if it would have been as delicious if the pourer looked more like Mags Bennett from "Justified."
|Balls vodka. I don't taste booze named after testes|
|Now you can drink pruno without doing time! "It tastes like Tang," I said of the orange flavor. "Do you want to taste the grape?" she asked. "Not while I'm free," I said.|
|Tastes more like pipe tobacco than kissing a smoker. I once dated a smoker and was ready for nostalgia. That didn't work out either.|
|Marijuana may taste better than tobacco, but hemp-flavored vodka does not taste better than tobacco-flavored vodka. It tastes like an old straw floormat in a hippie crashpad. Don't ask me how I know what that tastes like.|
|Didn't try it. Neither meaning sounds tasty. And ...|
|I wonder if she knew what her photo would be used for|
|I tried this and said, "If I were living in a doorway, it might help me get to sleep." DJ Paul smiled at me. I didn't know he claims to have been arrested a bunch of times. But I stand by my review.|
|The Chevy Nova ("doesn't go" in Spanish) of wine. At last, a wine named after Volatile Acidity!|