“I love being able to tell the stories of the people behind great Canadian wines and craft beers.”
Smart Serve certified
Accredited Sommelier, Algonquin College – Ottawa
University of Ottawa – Ottawa
Queen’s University -– Kingston
Winner of the 2014 VQA Promoter Award
Co-Founder of The Great Canadian Wine Challenge
Host: #ONWineChat (Wed @ 10pm EST)
Blog Author: UncorkOntario
Q. In your opinion, what is it that makes wine or craft beer special?
Shawn McCormick: It’s about connection—to people, to places, to moments in your life. You might have a glass of wine or pint of beer, then years later you taste it again and it takes you right back to where you were and who you were with that first time. It can evoke powerful sense memories.
Q. What made you decide to become a sommelier?
SM: I first became interested in the Canadian wine industry after taking some vineyard tours. I then started following industry experts on Twitter and noticed that they were using a very different language than I did. I was curious and wanted to learn more—about the winemaking process and the technical language surrounding it.
Q. How did you become involved with Savvy Company?
SM: I was a regular at Savvy events so I already knew Debbie and several of the sommeliers in the Savvy Team. My interest in craft beers was piqued during my time in the sommelier program at Algonquin College, where the course work now includes beer and whisky classes. When Debbie asked me to be part of the Savvy Team, it was a natural fit. In my writing, I’m always looking to get across the feeling you get when you visit a brewery or winery: the specificity, the personality. To me, visiting the place where the beer or wine is made—and getting to know the people who make it—is the ultimate experience.
Q. What’s the oddest yet most delicious wine and food pairing you’ve encountered?
SM: Well, oddest for sure—but good—was attending my first ever Robbie Burns Day in 2014. You might not guess, but haggis pairs very well with Ontario Syrah.
Shawn’s Wine & Beer Tips
Follow different writers in the wine & and beer world to find palates you agree with.
Favourites are fun, but keep trying new things.
A great way to connect with a wine or beer is to connect with the person who made it.
Be Savvy On Twitter
Follow me @UncorkOntario