For the past 10 years Michael Godel has been tasting and assessing wine as a journalist, a critic and partner at WineAlign.com. He is often called “Godello,” a nickname that just happens to double as a terrific white Spanish grape. Godel has spent the better part of his writing career travelling planet wine in search of varietal truth and in that time has crafted more than 18,000 lengthy tasting notes, most of them positive, all of them thorough. He processes his thoughts, musings, stream of consciousness and experiences on wine, travel, music and pop culture at his eponymous website godello.ca.
Chef Michael hung up his well-used, 25 year-old whites when he closed up shop in December 2013 after a rewarding 25-year culinary run in Toronto restaurants and with the catering business he owned called All Our Favourite Foods. In March of 2011 he teamed up with Chef David Neinstein at Toronto’s Barque Smokehouse and March 2021 marks his tenth anniversary as Wine Director of the Toronto restaurant.
Investigative wine travels in the last seven years have included destinations like British Columbia, Nova Scotia, California, New York, Argentina, South Africa, Germany, France, Portugal and Spain, but Italy has commanded much of Godel’s attention. Fortune has smiled to the tune of 18 trips in five years with half of them to Tuscany and Chianti Classico. In February 2018 the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico made Godel one of their first five recipients of an Ad Honorem title, “Ambasciatore.” Now as Canadian ambassador he educates on behalf of the Tuscan territory’s Gallo Nero and their noble Sangiovese. Five excursions in Montalcino have also led to educating on behalf of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino. From 2016-2019 these Sangiovese investigations took the form of in person seminars and masterclasses for sommeliers, trade and media, but also restaurant staff education. In 2020 and 2021 the pivot has led to lecturing more than a dozen online webinar sessions. Godel has also served as an educator for the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario (ICCO), Vins de Bourgogne and Wines of Portugal, including for the wines of Vinho Verde.
Serving as a judge for the annual WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada since 2013 has been the greatest honour and Godello has always been proud to taste, assess and award medals alongside colleague David Lawrason at Canada’s Great Kitchen Party and with Tony Aspler’s Ontario Wine Awards. Michael lives in Toronto with his wife of 26 years and three children.