Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Blue state rejects red/rural tastings

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Between a day job, wine stuff and a toddler who just learned how to say "no", I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water, so apologies for not blogging more frequently. Here are some newsworthy nuggets from the world of wine (and, yet again, beer)...
  • Assiniboine Community College's second International Beer and Food Festival, slated for Thursday October 9, will be hosted by the Brandon college's Hotel and Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts students at the Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts. According to MICA faculty member/event organizer Kyle Zalluski, tickets went on sale yesterday morning at 9 AM, and were sold out in half an hour. Kudos!
  • Sticking with non-Winnipeg beverage events, rural Manitobans should be on the lookout for wine tastings in their communities. Roblin, Neepawa, Carman, Sauphin, Swan River, Brandon and Russell residents should pop into their local Liquor Marts to pick up tickets for the events, which begin Friday, October 3 in Russell.
  • Moving south of the border, one beverage that isn't so popular in San Francisco is the Palin Syrah. No, the wine isn't made by Alaska Governor/Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, but it doesn't seem to matter - it appears the Left(y) Coast city has gone cold on this Chilean red. It figures - California's a blue state, not a red one. Check out the piece on The Guardian's Oliver Burkeman's blog here. Also disturbing is the passing resemblance Burkeman has to yours truly. [On a side note, I think it's time for me to get a new picture taken - I haven't had earrings in nearly three years.]

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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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