Sláinte Wines was founded in November 2004 as a full-service wine brokerage to partner with both prominent and boutique vintners, winemakers and distillers to help promote and source them for the duty-free industry. Sláinte Wines is committed to excellence in helping Cruise Lines, Airlines, and Duty-Free Shops to enhance their wine and spirits programs through extensive education and maximizing the guest experience.
Slainte Wines was founded by Chris and Zina O’Connor in 2004. We are an international wine and spirits brokerage, dedicated to providing the best quality wines from around the world while creating value added services to the Cruise Line, Airline, Resort and Duty-Free industries worldwide.
Driven by a desire to bringing a best in class brokerage to the industry, we have curated an unparalleled selection of wines and spirits from renowned producers across the globe. The name "Sláinte" encapsulated Chris's Irish heritage and our sincere wishes for good health and cheer.
Now, after almost twenty years and with the help of an experienced team, Slainte Wines has grown into one of the largest and most trusted and respected wine and spirits brokerages in the duty-free industry.
Meet The Team
Founder & Owner
Slainte Wines is the culmination of a dream and more than three decades of experience in the beverage industry for Chris. His path was set over two decades ago when he served as a sommelier (really a glorified bartender and beverage deliverer) in the Hamptons, New York. After moving to South Florida, he managed multiple locations of a popular bar and restaurant concept.
That experience led to a position with E&J Gallo Winery where he deepened his knowledge, sales skills, and passion for the wine industry. Seven years at Gallo established Chris as a notable cruise line sales expert, leading to an invitation to join Robert Mondavi as the duty-free accounts manager. His seven years with Robert Mondavi Winery included unprecedented back-to-back Salesmen of the Year awards, innovative sales promotions, and a growing reputation for the highest standard of customer service and satisfaction.
In 2004, Chris founded Slainte Wines. Since then, the company has grown to be regarded as one of the premier wine and spirits brokerages for the duty-free and cruise line industries with a premium portfolio from all over the world. Chris is the proud father of a Clemson University bound son and an exuberant charcoal Labrador. He is also our resident hockey and coffee enthusiast.
Jason De La Nuez
Executive Director of Business Development
Jason started his career at Carnival Cruise Lines in 2009 working as an onboard guest services associate. Jason sought to enhance his knowledge of the hospitality and beverage industry and held various roles with the St Regis Hotel Brand. Jason then joined Southern Glazier’s in 2012 where he worked in both on and off premise positions exclusively representing Diageo & Moët Hennessy. In 2016, Jason joined Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) Travel Retail division as their Sales Development Manager for cruise lines where he managed the commercial strategy and partnership expansion.
Jason recently joined the Slainte Wines team and will continue working on commercial strategy and building key partnerships for both the cruise lines and travel retail markets.
A graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality Management, Jason is a dedicated and proud alumni supporter serving as a regular guest speaker & lecturer for both the FIU hospitality students and the FIU Wine Guild. Jason holds multiple certifications from WSET & The Court of Master Sommeliers. Along with being a wine enthusiast, Jason is also an avid fan of cigars and whiskey.
Thelma joined the Slainte family in 2015 as the company’s Controller. After graduating from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York City with a Bachelor in Business Administration, Thelma has acquired over 25 years of senior level accounting, management, budgeting and forecasting experience in various industries, such as advertising, retail, insurance, communications and vending.
Thelma has been a resident of South Florida for the past 26 years. She is the proud mother of a son and daughter. She is fluent in Spanish and often has the opportunity to use it on the job.
With a deep connection to animals and nature, Thelma has happily shared her home with dogs throughout the years. She has been known to welcome visiting ducks and ducklings, rabbits, and cats. Some refer to her front lawn as a Disney movie. Thelma delights in hosting dinner parties with close friends and enjoys laughs along with good food and wine.
Erin has been in the hospitality industry since high school, working in both restaurants and the Hilton and Marriott hotel brands. After graduating from Florida State University's Dedman School of Hospitality, she worked with Hyatt Hotels in the group sales department. In 2007, Erin joined Republic National Distributing Company managing on premise and fine wine retail accounts on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina before moving to Miami to join Slainte Wines in 2010.
Over the years, Erin has helped Slainte Wines grow and manage our portfolio of wines to fill demand from a large breadth of regions and price points.
Erin is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators and holds certifications with the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Sake Education Council.
As a big fan of traveling and exploring new places, Erin especially loves when food and wine are involved!
Director of Logistics
Rebecca is our logistics guru with over 35 years of experience in customer service. Throughout her career, she has excelled in various industries, cultivating a deep understanding of delivering exceptional customer experiences. Her managerial expertise lies in fostering positive relationships, effective communication, and strategic problem-solving.
Originally hailing from the vibrant state of Florida, she currently resides in the scenic landscapes of Central New York with her loving family and cherished dingos. Here, she embraces the serenity of nature, indulges in her passions for thimble collecting and movies, and enjoys camping and fishing.
It is with gratitude and enthusiasm that she embarks on new challenges while cherishing the blessings that enriches her life. Apart from her professional pursuits, she finds immense joy in being a devoted mother of two.