Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

If it's Tuesday, I must be drinking Canadian wine

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Well, I managed to have a relatively early night for a Wine Festival week, as my only commitment tonight was the Wines of Canada VQA tasting at Tavern United. When you're trying to taste as many wines as possible, two hours is a pretty narrow window of opportunity, so it didn't help that I burned half an hour (and WAY too much money) filling up my car and getting a car wash.Anyhow, it was a sold out event, and while I managed to get through a good number of whites, I only did so-so on the reds. I've never tried so many Gewurztraminers at one time - it's a relatively spicy and tropical fruit-driven white grape varietal that both the Niagara Peninsula and Okanagan Valley producers do well.Number of wines sampled tonight = 31Number of wines sampled this week = 47.Number of consecutive Gewurztraminers tried = 6.Tomorrow is the [yellow tail] Outback BBQ at the Inn at the Forks and the Wines From Spain: Grape Stomp at Blaze Bistro. I was one of the "local personalities" who stomped at the latter event last year, but (thankfully?) I was overlooked this year (although rumour has it Doug Speirs will be a-stompin'...). Don't get me wrong - it's a great event. It's just that I wiped out post-stomping pretty good and wrenched my back last year. The crowd's collective, pity-driven "Ohhh..." when it happened was enough to send me skulking away to clean myself up.I'll certainly be more careful and discreet this year...

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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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