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Wine, a Woman, and Song(s)

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First off, a flat-out recommendation, although not a wine: I just picked up the new Kathleen Edwards record, Asking for Flowers, and it's fantastic. It's the Ottawa singer-songwriter's third full-length, and (in this humble listener's opinion) her most well-rounded, accomplished release to date. Both times I've seen her I was bowled over by her powerful voice, charisma, and razor-sharp band.

So why mention it here? Well, besides it being a great record, there’s one song called "I Make the Dough, You Get the Glory" that references wine. The lyrics are as follows:

You're cool and cred like FogertyI'm Elvis Presley in the seventiesYou're Châteauneuf, I'm Yellow LabelYou're the buffet I'm just the tableI'm a Dodge Sparkle, you're a LamborghiniYou're the Great One, I'm Marty McSorleyYou're the Concorde, I'm economyI make the dough, but you get the glory

Did you catch the wine reference? In this self-deprecating chorus, she likens herself to Yellow Label (I'm presuming Wolf Blass), and to the subject of her crooning as Châteauneuf (aka Châteauneuf-du-Pape). The former runs around $16 and is sometimes given a bad rep for being a little too generic, while the latter is from a small area of the Rhône Valley, and is typically a big, complex red. See where she’s going here?

Some sleuthing on my part revealed that Edwards took some time off from music a couple of years ago, some of which was spent working for Tawse Winery in the Niagara Peninsula. It doesn’t appear that Tawse is available in Manitoba - looks like a little more sleuthing is required on my part.

Anyhow, I've been meaning to try and make a collection of songs that mention wine, so if you have any suggestions, let me know. Only one rule – no "Red Red Wine" or Alanis Morrissette's "Ironic". One of my favourites is The Decemberists' "The Legionnaire's Lament", which features the following:

Curses to this mirage!A bottle of ancient ShirazA smattering of distant applauseIs ringing in my poor earsOn the old left bankMy baby in a charabancRiding up the width and lengthOf the Champs-Elysée

Help me out, readers!

PS. I'm hoping to head down to the Brier Patch tonight, and thought it would be fun to do a little wine tasting while I'm there (I think they only have one white and one red available). Report to follow.

If you want to find me I'll be, uh, the only guy in the Patch not drinking beer.

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About Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson

When he wasn't bashing on a drum kit in local punk rock bands, Ben spent the mid '90s hucking cases of wine around to pay for two English degrees. Now he's the Winnipeg Free Press wine columnist and blogger.

The extent of Ben's wine experience in the mid-90s was memories of accidentally leaving a bottle of White Zinfandel in the freezer overnight, and the ensuing mess he was left with. Between 1996 and 2005 Ben absorbed all he could about wine while working at wine shops to pay for school. Meanwhile, he was churning out papers for his BA and MA in English (from the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, respectively).

Ben became the Winnipeg Free Press' weekly wine columnist in 2005, and two years later joined Wine Access magazine as a contributor, a member of their national tasting panel and a judge at the Canadian Wine Awards and International Value Wine Awards until the magazine closed up shop in 2013.

In 2013 Ben joined the Winnipeg Free Press as a copy/web editor.

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