Master 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, and has been called “Canada’s best-known sommelier” in Meininger’s Wine Business International.  John is a partner and principal critic for, and freelances internationally, jobs for which he has travelled to every important wine region around the world, many multiple times. His latest book, Volcanic Wines, Salt, Grit and Power (Jacquie Small, 2016, UK), won wide critical acclaim, but he already has several exciting new projects in the works.

John Szabo - MarQuee Magazine - Contributor

Towards A New Definition of Fine Wine

“Fine” wine, usually defined by a combination of factors such as long history and pedigree, longevity, scarcity, high price, and a widely held view of exceptional quality and authentic regionality, is in need of a new definition. Or at least the addition of an increasingly important dimension: sustainability. I’m talking sustainability in the broadest sense: […]

The Great Vineyards Of Spain

The sleeping giant has finally awoken. With nearly a million hectares of grapevine, Spain has the world’s largest acreage devoted to wine production (France has just over 800,000, and Italy a mere 692,000 ha). Yet for much of the 20th century, the country languished behind the rest of Europe as the fine wine revolution took […]

Volcanic Wines

You’ve heard of organic wine, and maybe even of biodynamic wine or ‘natural’ wine. But volcanic wine? With the wine industry evermore preoccupied with uniqueness, there’s a new, but very ancient fascination: wines grown on or near volcanoes. Although volcanic soils account for only about one percent of the world’s land surface, grapes occupy a […]

Rediscovering Chianti Classic

The late, great gastronome Waverly Root in his seminal 1971 work The Food of Italy, writes: “The one Italian wine every foreigner knows is Tuscan, Chianti. The pear-shaped, straw-covered bottle is familiar all over the world.” Indeed, it’s not hard to picture the scene in numerous trattorias around the world, a flagon of acidic, rough-hewn […]