Szabo first became involved in the industry through an interest in food. As a man who enjoys eating well, he decided to learn more about cooking; His curiosity eventually led him to France, where he spent a summer in a kitchen perfecting his culinary prowess. After his exposure to great wine, back in Canada he found that the wines he was seeking were often not available. This led him to become a distributor in order to gain access to the quality wines he had become accustomed to -- and thus began his road to becoming a Master Sommelier, which he completed in 2004. From there, he branched out into the world of teaching, writing, judging, and consulting, ultimately becoming a Renaissance man of the wine world.
Szabo has since become instrumental in advancing the knowledge of those in the trade through his work with many organizations such as the Wine Council of Ontario, the Italian Trade Commission, and Wines of Chile. He is also a regular instructor for both the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) and the Court of Master Sommeliers. His First In Line Report is a staple for wine enthusiasts everywhere, as are the many magazines he either edits or contributes to (i.e. Wine Access, City Bites, Wine and Spirits Magazine).
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While carrying on his crusade for better wine, Szabo is also launching new software he developed for restaurant management, and given his undeniable charisma, it is no surprise that he is also branching out into radio and television. He recently shot a pilot for a show which focuses on his career. The concept behind the show is to allow the viewer to live vicariously through someone with a dream job. He hopes to remove the mysticism behind wine without dumbing it down, and reinforce the idea that, at the end of the day, all wine is simply fermented grape juice. Given the integrity, commitment and pride with which John Szabo approaches everything, this show is certain to have his distinctive imprint on it. And that makes it a sure bet that the show will be both entertaining and informative.
Naomi Laurie is a wine writer and sommelier living in Toronto.