Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Extra! Extra! Drink all about it!

When they're not writing about sports or making us laugh, Gary Lawless and Doug Speirs, respectively, are known to enjoy a glass of wine or two

  • Print

Last week we got a sneak peek at what a couple of Winnipeg Free Press editors enjoy when it comes to wine. As the resident wine geek here at the Freep, it pleases me greatly to have seen my colleagues "get it," so to speak, when it comes to wine and food.

Among Winnipeg Free Press writers, it would seem, there's a similar appreciation of wine and food. Columnists Gary Lawless and Doug Speirs each had such thoughtful responses and genuinely interesting wine picks to provide that, like last week, the column practically wrote itself.

With the NHL collective bargaining agreement negotiations in full swing at the time of this article, Gary didn't have much time to wax poetic about wine -- understandable. But where he was brief, humour columnist Doug Speirs had no shortage of things to say about wine and otherwise. Twitter: @bensigurdson



Doug Speirs




Recent sip:

The Cloof Cellar Blend (Darling, South Africa -- $18.99, Liquor Marts and beyond). This wine is exactly like me -- it's extremely quirky and there's nothing subtle about it at all. In fact, the Cloof website says if this wine was a movie, it would be "the Quentin Tarantino remake of Sideways." Which sounds about right to me.

To say this red blend is concentrated is like saying the Titanic sank after taking on "a certain amount of water." Composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage and Shiraz, it is mostly press wine -- the last drops pressed from the skin after fermentation. It's a fruit-forward, jammy wine with great mouth feel, a strong aroma of berries and vanilla, with wonderful blackberry and chocolate flavours. It's not a snooty wine, but it drinks like something that should sell for twice the price. It's very reliable. Again, just like me.


Go-to bottle:

14 Hands 2010 Hot to Trot Red (Columbia Valley, Washington -- $15.25, Liquor Marts and beyond). This punches well above its weight class. This is not a wine that wallops you over the head; it's a wine that sneaks up on you and says: "Yeah, go ahead, have another glass; you deserve it." You could easily bring this blend to a snooty wine affair and pretend it cost you an arm and a leg. It's an elegant, velvety wine with subtle fruit flavours and nice vanilla and fruit notes in the aroma. Like Budweiser, it has great "drinkability."


Most memorable wine-and-food experience:

Off the top of my head, I cannot forget the evening we attended a wine and cheese party at a friend's home and, when someone asked me what time it was, without thinking, I simply flipped my wrist and upended the bottle of wine I was holding, which happened to be open and spilled all over the floor. Being a classy guy, I sopped it up with my feet. "This wine goes very nicely with tube socks," I muttered, then walked away with as much dignity as I could.


Wine tip:

Wine is like almost anything else in the world... it's meant to enjoy and you enjoy it twice as much when you learn more about the fermented grapes you are sucking back. That's why, without fail, I never miss reading my friend Ben's column. Drinking wine for a living? He has the best frigging job in the world. (Hey, I won't deny that last part. -- Ben)


Gary Lawless




Recent sip:

Albert Ponnelle Bourgogne 2009 Reserve de la Chèvre Noire Pinot Noir (Burgundy, France -- around $32, Kenaston Wine Market).

Go-to bottle:

If I had to name a staple I'd go with the 2009 Chateau le Monteil d'Arsac (Haut-Médoc, France -- around $29, private wine stores). It's got great structure with deep and powerful flavour -- earthy and complex.


Most memorable wine-and-food experience:

Babbo in New York City (co-owned by celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, each of whom have their own line of wines -- Ben). It was that true celebration of wine and food. The sommelier paired the wine perfectly and it was just that mixture of a great night in New York, a buzzing restaurant and spectacular food and drink. My wife looked beautiful and it was one of those nights that will be in my life's movie.


Wine tip:

Wine at our house is as much a part of the meal as the food.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 17, 2012 E4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Vigil held in support of homeless homicide victims

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local-(Standup photo)- A wood duck swims through the water with fall refections in Kildonan Park Thursday afternoon.
  • A Canada Goose cools off in a water pond Monday afternoon at Brookside Cemetary- See Bryksa’s Goose a day Challenge– Day 27-June 25, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google