Updated June 2023

An Introduction to Vintage Assessments by Gilberto Bojaca

Tasting and sharing information has always been a passion for Toronto-born Michael Bryan Vaughan. As a lifetime consumer wine advocate, he initially developed this not-for-profit website to share his personal reviews for new LCBO VINTAGES releases.

Up until the pandemic, he personally tasted every Vintages release at weekly tastings in the LCBO's head office Toronto lab. He first published Vintage Assessments pro bono in 1990 for the Sommelier Guild of Canada at George Brown College. Now 33 years later he is doing it on line via this website still for every biweekly Vintages release.

His website currently provides readers with over 69,000 detailed linked reviews dating back to 2001. It is Canada's only public, paywall-free source covering every Vintages release with details on all wines presented along special linked summaries with agent id & # of LCBO cases purchased.

For consistency, all tasting notes are based on the ISO certified wine tasting glass. In the pre-pandemic past up to 8,000+ bottles would be assessed annually. His unpaid-for & unsolicited reviews are advertorial-free and are meant to be shared with fellow wine lovers. In addition to Vintages, his reviews include special selections from importers and producers plus Ontario winery-only selections & consignment wines.

An internationally-accredited wine judge & a founding director of the Society of Wine Educators at University of California Davis, Michael is one of Canada’s leading wine critics. For 9 years he was the award-winning weekly columnist at the National Post. Before that the national wine columnist at the Globe & Mail and Financial Times of Canada along with Toronto Life Magazine.

He has traveled extensively judging at many international competitions - including the California State Fair, Vinexpo Bordeaux, VinItaly, VERITAS & ABSA Top Ten Pinotage in South Africa, Argentina's Vinos Los Andes, etc. His most recent judgings were the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon and Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.

You can find some 500 of his weekly features from the National Post archived on this website. A former economics professor at Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University) he holds a UofT PhD in international trade theory. He is currently involved with various fund-raising activities. In 2021 he donated 2,500 bottles of curated & controlled temperature stored Canadian wines from his personal collection to Brock University's CCOVI Canadian Wine Library. Last February, he contributed to the Scarborough Health Network Foundation via donations to Fête Chinoise. You can contact him at mbv@uniserve.com