Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Going once... going twice...

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As of today, a few of Manitoba's liquor laws will change, although many won't directly affect consumers. You can read about it here, or read the amendments themselves here.Indeed, Manitobans may not be directly affected by many of the regulation changes, and some of the changes are more technical/administrative. There are some new security measures, higher fines for breaking the law, and so forth.There are a few specifics I'm interested in, especially amendment 39(2.2), which states that "A family member of a deceased person or the executor of a deceased person's estate may obtain a special permit that authorizes the holder to sell or auction liquor owned by the deceased person."Another amendment that will directly impact Manitoba imbibers is that the maximum amount of alcohol one person can buy at a time has been changed to 750ml of beer, 500ml of wine, or 85.2ml of spirits or fortified wine (port, sherry, etc.). Essentially, this means one individual can now buy two drinks at once.The impact this might have on pubs could be interesting - Manitobans have long been buying scaled-down pints of beer (about 500ml, or 16 ounces), and could now be offered an Imperial pint (586ml, or 20 fluid ounces). In fact, the Lo Pub (330 Kennedy Street, in the Hosteling International building) is celebrating the change in legislation with an "Imperial Dance March" tonight (if you're on Facebook, check out the details here (warning: some commentors have used profanity on the "wall" of this page).Overall, I think the changes that have been made to the Liquor Control Act are positive. I'm going to spend the weekend looking over the fine details, perhaps over a big pint - nothing goes better with a long weekend and some legalese than a fine lager. I'll report back if anything else of interest pops up. If you go out over the weekend and find things are a bit different because of these amendments, I'd love to hear about it.***Long weekend alert! Manitoba's Liquor Marts will be closed on Monday, August 4 for the long weekend. One exception: the Gimli Liquor Mart will be open from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM to serve those pesky Icelanders celebrating Islendingadagurinn (I DARE you to try Brennivin. It won't put hair on your chest, but it might peel it right off). Winnipeggers can still pick up brewskis at beer vendors, or some vino at private wine stores, as most will be open on Monday (although possibly operating on a holiday schedule). Call in advance if you're not sure.***Coming soon: my book review, a wine blog roll call, and more. Go Bombers!

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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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