Mike Roberts is the sommelier manager for CO-OP Wine Spirits and Beer. He is a 20+ year veteran in the restaurant industry with a broad range of experience from fast food, golf courses, pubs and bars, to some of Canada’s finest hotels and dining establishments. He is an International Sommelier Guild Certified Sommelier and holds a WSET Advanced Certificate.
With so much experience under his belt and so many experiences to recall, it’s tough for him to pinpoint just one. He’s drank Chianti from 1977, his birth year; opened a bottle of 1956 Rioja in cellar of Bodegas Riscal which he described as a “visceral experience”; and he’s also played magician and made an “incredible” bottle of 1996 Pavilion Rouge disappear within 15 minutes!
His go-to, day-to-day drinking preference leans towards Spanish wines. With a preference towards reds over whites, Mike steers his palate towards wines with good concentration, deep flavours and texture. His wines need to have a nice juicy feel to them with good acidity. His trapped on a deserted island wine - Côte-Rôtie Syrah from the Northern Rhône Valley in France.
Mike’s passion for all things wine shows through in his role as sommelier manager and his dedication to the CO-OP Private Locker program. He is first and foremost concerned with helping program members find products that THEY will enjoy, not just what he prefers to drink or thinks is good. He spends a great amount of time getting to know the locker members to understand what each individual enjoys about wine. He takes pride in helping members explore new wines and find products that fit their personal wine style.
His ultimate goal with the program is to have members come back to him and say “Thanks for the recommendation, I loved it!” He wants members to be adventurous with their wine drinking: “There is a giant world of wine out there that is begging for exploration. Get out of your rut and discover!”
In his own words: “Wine is so intriguing! It’s dynamic, it’s living and it’s ever changing. To discover wine is to discover history, civilization, culture, gastronomy and linguistics all in one! It’s a never ending learning experience. To discover wine is like jumping into a never ending novel that you just can’t put down.”