Updated January 2024

An Introduction to Vintage Assessments by Gilberto Bojaca

Tasting and sharing information has always been a passion for Toronto-born economist, professor, journalist and ex-fishmonger Michael Vaughan. As a lifetime consumer wine advocate, he developed this not-for-profit website to share his personal reviews on wines and spirits for new LCBO VINTAGES releases.

He first published Vintage Assessments pro bono in 1990 for the Sommelier Guild of Canada at George Brown College. Prior to the pandemic, he personally tasted every Vintages release at weekly tastings in the LCBO's head office Toronto lab.

His website currently provides readers with over 71,000 detailed linked LCBO VINTAGES releases dating back to 2001. It is Canada's only public, paywall-free source covering every LCBO Vintages release with details on all wines presented along special linked summaries.

For consistency, all tasting notes are based on the ISO certified wine tasting glass. In the past as recently as 2018 up to 8,000+ bottles would be personally assessed annually. His unpaid-for & unsolicited reviews are advertorial-free and are shared with fellow wine lovers on this website. In addition to Vintages, his reviews would include special selections from tastings abroad, importers and local producers plus winery-only selections & when possible consignment wines.

An internationally-accredited wine judge & a founding director of the Society of Wine Educators at University of California, Michael is one of Canada’s leading wine critics going back decades. Most recently 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, South Africa's VERITAS & ABSA Top Ten Pinotage, Argentina's Vinos Los Andes, etc. His most recent judgings were the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon and Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.

You can find 400+ 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. In February 2023, he supported the Scarborough Health Network Foundation via donations to Fête Chinoise. He donates his time and wines to various wine events, including Dymon Wine Cellar.

As the LCBO no longer permits certified wine writers to attend the upcoming Vintages release previews, only a limited number of biweekly releases can be reviewed - hopefully the best. The website now exclusively offers linked pdfs of all Vintages Release Catalogues plus linked VINTAGES RELEASE summaries, linked current LIMITED-TIME/AEROPLAN POINTS SUMMARIES (also with case numbers and agent ids), plus new wine & spirits discoveries from judgings & special events from around the world. Contact him at mbv@uniserve.com