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National Restaurant Association - IWSB attracts 'high quality decision-makers'

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IWSB attracts 'high quality decision-makers'

Restaurant owners, bar managers and mixologists checked out food/alcohol pairings, mixology demonstrations and beverage innovations at the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event.

The two-day event opened Sunday as part of the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.

"We're getting some really high quality decision makers," said James Martin, founder of Copa di Vino, an Oregon winery and company that packages wine in recyclable plastic cups with peel-off lids.

The company, one of the recipients of the NRA Show's Food & Beverage Product Innovations Awards, attracted potential buyers from companies that represent thousands of restaurant locations, professional sports venues and airports, Martin said.

Decision-makers and influencers from large and small organizations came to the event looking for ideas.

Ceaser Cicala, a chef and bartender from Chicago, came because of his passion for liquor.

"I'm constantly keeping up with what's new," he said. "That's important for me."

Keith Kehlbeck, executive director of DiRoNa, was looking for fine wines. 

"I'm always on the look out for recommendations for our award recipients," he says. "[At IWSB], you get a chance to see things you're not aware of and pass along exceptional experiences," he said.

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