WRITER + SOMMELIER
Master Sommelier John Szabo was the first Canadian to add the “MS” after his name in 2004. He’s seen the hospitality business from all sides including cooking and washing dishes, serving and sommellerie, importing, teaching, writing, and speaking, consulting and judging internationally. He was listed as “Canada’s best-known sommelier” in Meininger’s Wine Business International. Today, John continues to teach and consult, but his day job is as partner and principal critic for WineAlign.com, Canada’s largest wine publication. He writes occasionally for US-based Wine & Spirits Magazine, and has published or held columns in dozens of other magazines and newspapers. His books include Pairing Food and Wine For Dummies (Wiley, 2012), and Sommelier Management (Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers, Revised Edition 2013). But volcanoes are John’s current fatal attraction; his latest book, Volcanic Wines, Salt, Grit and Power (Jacquie Small, 2016, UK) hit shelves in October 2016.
To get closer to the land, he is a partner in the small J&J Eger vineyard in Hungary. And as a third degree black belt in Goju-Ryu Karate-do, his grapes are well protected, too.