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Mission Accomplished

Young man with a beard and glasses smiling in a grey collared shirt with his arms crossed.

Peter attended the recent New Zealand Pinot Noir masterclass led by John Szabo. We invited him to share why our masterclasses are an important part of his learning journey:

Why do you sign up for masterclasses?

The masterclass represented a great opportunity for me to do some one-off education about a specific region and style I was not very familiar with. My goal was to do a deeper dive on New Zealand Pinot than I ever had before, and come away having learned a lot. Mission accomplished! The masterclass is also a great way for me to continue my education while between major programs.

How do they help you in your personal or career goals?

Personally, this will help me not only be able to navigate one section of a wine menu better, but to bring some enthusiasm whenever the topic comes up.

Do you have any advice to other students?

This is a great opportunity to taste some absolutely first class wines not typically available in our market. It’s a great opportunity, and a great way to have first class education and make or renew meaningful connections with fellow IWEG students.

Focus on the Grand Crus of the Napa Valley with John Szabo

Imagine of a sign that says ‘welcome to the world famous wine growing region Napa Valley and the wine is bottled poetry’.

With the support of Napa Valley Vintners, join Master Sommelier and IWEG visiting instructor John Szabo for an afternoon of tasting and exploration focusing on the Grand Crus of the Napa Valley. The The masterclass will take place on Monday, May 1st, 2023 at 2pm – 4pm. Sign up now!

Man in blue suit and blue dress shirt sitting at a table with his arms crosses gently. A bottle of wine and two glasses are beside him.

Master Sommelier John Szabo was the first Canadian to add the “MS” after his name in 2004. He holds the international Wine & Spirits Education Trust Diploma with honours, as well as the Canadian Sommelier Guild diploma. He’s principal critic for, Canada’s premiere wine resource, and co-host and producer of the podcast Wine Thieves with a global following in the trade. He writes a monthly wine advisory for Canaccord Genuity, a global financial services management company headquartered in Canada, as well as a column for Grapevine Magazine, and contributes to many international trade and consumer publications. He’s currently co-writing on a book on wine chemistry.

On the consulting side, John builds wine programs across Canada, and is currently sourcing wines for Accor/Fairmont/Sofitel Hotels in Québec. He is a regular guest speaker at events worldwide and has delivered masterclasses for virtually every major wine trade associations and has taught countless wine courses over the years, among others, for the CMS and IWEG. He has travelled to virtually every wine producing country on earth in pursuit of fine wine and to keep on top of this fascinating industry, including two visits to New Zealand. In his spare time, he tends to his new vineyard in Prince Edward County.

Become a French Wine Scholar

Image of logo with the words French Wine Scholar (FWS). In the background in a laptop with the image single and double guyot pruning system, the French Wine Scholar manual and a smartphone with Champagne flashcards.

The French Wine Scholar is an in-depth specialist certification focused on the diverse wines and wine regions of France. It is designed by the Wine Scholar Guild to provide current, accurate information on all of the wine regions of France and validate proficiency in the wines and wine regions of France.

This 20-hour course provides detailed coverage of French AOC wines, as well as an introduction to French history, geography, viticulture and winemaking.

You will:

  • Develop specialist knowledge of the AOC wines of Alsace, Champagne, Jura, Savoie, Burgundy, Loire, Bordeaux, Rhône, Languedoc, Roussillon, Southwest France, Provence and Corsica
  • Appreciate the cultural context of French wine
  • Consider the vineyard and winery factors that contribute to wine styles
  • Taste a range of French wines

The course is taught by authorized Wine Scholar Guild instructors Nancy Reynolds DipWSETCaitlin Ferguson DipWSET and Danielle Chandler.

French Wine Scholar 
Date: Thursdays, March 23rd – May 18th at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Register Now!

The 2021 Vintage in France

A return to ‘normal’? A moment to celebrate classical freshness and moderate alcohol levels? Welcome back to zesty, mouth-watering wines? That, at any rate, would be the campaigning line for publicists keen to put a shine on the qualities of France’s 2021 harvest. Treat the argument warily.

Andrew Jefford shares his insight about the 2021 vintage in France. Andrew is an award-winning author and columnist of Decanter and World of Fine Wine, Co-Chair of Decanter World Wine Awards; Vice-Chair of Decanter Asia Wine Awards as well as the Wine Scholar Guild Academic Advisor. Read on.

Drinkclusion Mentorship: Mentee Applications Now Open

Drinks Ontario’s Drinkclusion’s Mentorship Program is to promote diversity and inclusion in the beverage alcohol industry by offering mentorship opportunities and support to individuals from underrepresented backgrounds who are entering, or already established in, the beverage alcohol industry. 

Mentee applications are currently open! This is a great opportunity to connect with a mentor who can offer you insight and advice as you navigate the next stage of your career. 

Mentee applications are now open. The deadline date to apply is February 15th, 2023.

The mentorship program will run from March 1st to August 31st, 2023.
Click here for the mentee application.
Meet the Drinkclusion mentors.


  • People who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ2SIA+, and/or have an invisible or visible disability
  • Early to mid-level career in beverage alcohol
  • Based in Ontario
  • 21 years and older as of January 1, 2023