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Recommending Wines

Professionally, I work for the LCBO and now have a better understanding of the products that we have available for consumers, as well as an appreciation for the products themselves. Personally, I am more confident in purchasing and recommending wines to family and friends!

Molly is an LCBO employee who recently completed the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines. Here’s her story:

Why did you pursue your studies?

By background, I am a Chartered Professional Accountant and during the pandemic discovered my interest in the beverage alcohol industry, and more specifically the wine industry. I decided to pursue WSET Level 2 Award in Wines to expand on my knowledge and understanding of the wine production processes, grape varietals and to become more confident in purchasing, tasting and pairing wines with food.

How do you plan to use your new wine knowledge? 

Professionally, I work for the LCBO and now have a better understanding of the products that we have available for consumers, as well as an appreciation for the products themselves. Personally, I am more confident in purchasing and recommending wines to family and friends!

Do you have any study tips for other students?

By participating in the tastings in class, you will be able to effectively calibrate your palate. It may seem overwhelming or intimidating at first, but it is a lot of fun. Also, studying for something that you are passionate about makes “studying” so much easier!

3 More WSET Diploma Grads!

Congratulations to three additional new WSET Level 4 Diploma graduates:

Julius Chapple
Christian Perreault Hamel
Kristen Pickett

Graduates are invited to attend the annual WSET Awards & Graduation Ceremony in London. Well done!

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

Taste and Explore with John Szabo

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.

Join John for tasting and exploring in 2023 at the following masterclass:

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

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!

Sláinte Mhath! Celebrate Robbie Burns Day

It’s the 261st birthday of Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns! Robbie Burns Day, or Burns Night, is an institution of Scottish life. It is celebrated yearly around the poet’s birthday, celebrating his life and contribution to Scottish culture (you may have heard of Auld Lang Syne, his most famous work). Celebrate Burns Day this year with some classic Scottish food and Scotch whisky pairings.

Learn more about Scotch in 2023: 

WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits is an intermediate-level course is for those entering a profession in the industry as well as for enthusiasts who wish to broaden their knowledge in a structured way. You’ll learn about the fundamental production methods, principal raw materials and how they are used to make key spirit styles. You’ll also explore the key practices and principles of serving spirits and the use of spirits in cocktails.


WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits

Date: Mondays, February 6th – March 27th at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Register now!

This in-class course will be taught by industry leaders Alex Boyd and Chris Robertson


WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits

Date: Monday, March 20th – Sunday, April 23rd
Register Now!

Laptop with black notebook, a glass of whiskey and a red tartan in the background

The online Certificate in Scotch Whisky from the Edinburgh Whisky Academy comprises of six online modules of interactive exercises, videos and pop quizzes to enhance your knowledge and appreciation of all things aqua vitae.

Discover more about the history and business of Scotch before covering the entire production process, from raw materials to distillation, maturation and bottling. You’ll come away knowing so much more about the golden liquor in your glass.

This beginner to intermediate course is for professionals looking to break into the industry or who are new to the industry, as well as to enthusiasts looking to improve their knowledge.

The flexible, self-paced format allows you to learn in your own time and, with quizzes at the end of each module, you can measure all the knowledge you’re distilling as you go.

Certificate in Scotch Whisky
Enrollment is open at any time 
Register Now!

New Zealand Wine Week 2023

Vineyard landscape in New Zealand

New Zealand Wine Week kicks off on January 30th until February 7th! Join us throughout the week for bitesize “wine adjacent” webinars covering research at the forefront of New Zealand wine, the wine regions and the country’s commitment to climate change. In these sessions, local producers and international trade will have conversations about sustainability, site, and Sauvignon. Take a look at the sessions and register!With the support of New Zealand Wine Growers, you can also join Master Sommelier and IWEG visiting instructor John Szabo for an evening of tasting and exploration of New Zealand Pinot Noir on February 2nd. Sign up now!