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Return to the Valley of the Imbibers

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Would you believe that in the last two weeks, I've had about less than a glass of wine? The only wine I've had was the suspect Canadian Chardonnay (see previous post), and I've since had one other bottle of Heineken, which tasted a lot better than my first one.Tonight, however, I return to the land of the wine drinkers. Quite frankly, I cannot wait. I've found that the last few days have been filled with daydreams of popping corks, sniffing and swirling (all in relation to wine, of course - lest you get the wrong idea).The Winnipeg Wine Festival kicks off this weekend, with the first of the ancillary events Sunday night at 529 Wellington. Unfortunately, the event is sold out.In its place, I suggest you go check out Ms. Marnie Old, an ex-Winnipegger living in Philadelphia and making a name for herself in the wine world as the go-to girl for help with wine lists, wine events, and everything else wine-related. Heck, she's the Director of Wine Studies at New York City's French Culinary Institute (great website, by the way). That's HUGE.Anyhow, she's hosting a dinner at Bistro Seven and a Quarter (725 Osborne Street South) based on the book she co-wrote with brewmaster Sam Calagione called He Said Beer, She Said Wine. Three courses will be tasted alongside both beer and wine. Tickets are $85 plus taxes and gratuity. To reserve a place, call the Bistro at 777-2525.On Wednesday, Marnie will be at McNally Robinson Polo Park at 7:30 for a talk, signing and tasting.***I'll be blogging pretty much every night this coming week in an attempt to cover as many Wine Festival-related activities as possible. Then, at the end of the week, I'll probably check myself into rehab. Good times!

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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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