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Michael Botner is a sommelier, wine columnist and freelance writer for both national and Okanagan Valley publications. Formerly from Ottawa, Ontario, he now makes his home in West Kelowna, BC. Although Michael originally trained as a chartered accountant, his new passion is Accounting for Taste, a company dedicated to demystifying wine.

Michael developed the Sommelier Program at Algonquin College in Ontario and is a co-founder and Governor Emeritus of the National Capital Sommelier Guild. He was named Wine Person of the Year by the Guild in 1996. For over 25 years, Michael has organized and chaired Cellars of the World, the International Wine Competition for the International Wine Fair in Kelowna and the Ottawa Wine and Food Show.

His experience includes providing wine courses and seminars for foreign service recruits, providing advisory and training services for the hospitality industry, appearing as a radio and television guest expert, and a stint as food and travel writer, wine columnist and restaurant critic for the Ottawa Sun. Currently the wine columnist for Okanagan Life magazine, Michael also contributes to a number of other publications. Invitation to Wine Country, Michael’s personal guide to wine touring in the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen regions of British Columbia, is slated for release in March 2013.

Wine Related Activities


Governor and Co‑founder National Capital Sommelier Guild
Chair (1986-2006) Cellars of the World – Ottawa’s International Wine Competition
Jury Member Cellars of the World
Montreal’s Sélection Mondiales
Banco d’Assagio dei Vini d’Italia
Air Ontario Awards
Member Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada
Society of Wine Educators
Opimian Society
International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association
Award 1996 Wine Person of the Year, National Capital Sommelier Guild
Writer Kelowna City Living columnist (circ. 30,000)
Okanagan Life magazine columnist (circ. 25,000)
Contributor Vines magazine
Vendor magazine
Edmonton Life magazine contributor
Wines and Vines magazine
The Kelowna Daily Courier
Wine Columnist Ottawa magazine
Food Writer, Wine Columnist, Restaurant Critic The Ottawa Sun
Wine Educator Developed the accredited Sommelier Program at Algonquin College in Ottawa
Instructor Wine Courses for Foreign Service recruits, 2000 to 2003
Distinctive Dinners with
Wines of the World
Bayne-Morrison House 1998 to 2003
Seminars/Courses Accounting for Taste 1996 to 2003
Basic Wines and Spirits, Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School, Ottawa Branch, 1998
Sommelier Program 1991 to 1994
Niagara Wine Tours 1991 to 1993
Speaker The Learning Connection
1989 to 1991
Commentator CKOV 630 Radio
Moderator Niagara Wine & Food Classic 2002
Medtronics of Canada
CFS Leitrim
Dupont Pharma
The New RO Noontime/Breakfast Programs
The Willow Group
Capital DMC
Byk Canada
Wine Consultant Ottawa Wine and Food Show
Le Café/National Arts Centre(advisory/training services)
Sheraton Ottawa Hotel & Towers
Bravo Bravo
Trattoria Zingaro
Britannia Yacht Club
Ottawa Bagel Shop & Deli
Trattoria Italia