Ask The Sommelier

Zoltan Szabo has been working in the hospitality trade for over two decades and three continents. From operating his own small business in native Transylvania to working for leading restaurateurs, he has covered the business' most positions, from dishwasher to busboy and waiter, Sommelier, wine director and general manager, to nowadays consultant, educator, wine judge and journalist.

Zoltan placed 3rd in Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers' Best in Ontario Sommelier competition, emerged victorious in Ontario Wine Awards' Best in Ontario Sommelier in the past, and most recently, he won the grand champion title in The Wine Tasting Challenge, world largest tasting affair with more than 300 competitors.

Szabo judges wine in Canada and internationally, being involved with the Ontario Wine Awards, assessing wines in Portugal, Hungary, Romania and for the prestigious World Wine Awards of Decanter Magazine in London UK, not mentioning many other events and organizations.

Professionally, Zoltan has created and oversees many award-winning wine programs for some of the finest restaurants in Toronto and abroad, garnering him accolades from the local media and the Wine Spectator.

He is Director of Vinous Affairs for CityBites Magazine, and contributes tasting notes, articles to a variety of prominent publications and organizations, such as Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News and Good Food Revolution. Aside, he freelances by appointment and occasional basis for other Canadian and international media forums.


  • Trade & consumer seminars & tastings
  • Restaurant beverage program design and management
  • Staff training
  • Freelance writing
  • Corporate, client appreciation and private wine tastings
  • Consumer Wine courses