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Wine on the rise

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As you may have already heard, Statistics Canada released sales figures of alcoholic beverages in Canada for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007. Wine continues to outpace beer and spirits in volume growth in almost every market, and while the sudsy stuff still dominates the market, beer better have a look over its shoulder - wine is on the rise.In 1997, wine accounted for 21 per cent of dollar shares in the Canadian market; ten years on, that number has increased to 28 per cent. In the 2007 fiscal year, Manitobans bought nearly $105 million worth of wine (compared to $244+ million of beer and $205+ million of spirits). This is fifth among provinces (behind, in descending order, Quebec, Ontario, BC and Alberta, and around $8 million more than Nova Scotia).Sales of the combined categories rose 5.9 per cent from the previous year, slightly higher than the national growth of 5.2 per cent. The full slate of information can be seen here. In total, Canadians spent an average of $667 per person (over the age of 15... an interesting age to choose) on alcohol.Just throwing the numbers out there for now, but I'll have more reflection on these new stats in the weeks to come, as well as news on some shake-ups at two of the world's largest beverage conglomerates.

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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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