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Bubble trouble?

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Well, Grape Nut readers, it's been a while since I checked in on my corner the Freep website. My family and I have been absolutely hammered by illnesses, including (but not limited to) stomach flu, strep throat, a sinus infection, general colds/flu, etc. It's been brutal and truth be told, I've been putting back more cough syrup and tea this holiday season than I have wine. But as we emerge from the disease-infested cloud, I thought I'd check in to the blogosphere quickly...

* A couple of weeks back I filed a piece about the proposed legislation to allow for Canadian wineries to ship inter-provincially. While Manitoba's Independent Specialty Wine Stores declined comment (it's a relatively new proposition), I did find this piece on La Boutique Del Vino's revamped website about the proposed legislation. Interestingly, it's decidedly positive about the proposed changes, and may be a hint as to how Manitoba's private wine shops feel about the legislation.

* If you haven't picked up your wine, liquor, beer or bubbly for New Year's Eve yet, I can give you one solid piece of advice - hit the stores early tomorrow. Line-ups will get worse as the day goes on, so make sure you pick up your drinks earlier in your shopping day rather than later. 

Not sure what to get in terms of New Year's Eve bubbly? Well, I highlighted a few choices in last weekend's column. You can also check out some general info on bubbly from Wine Access here, peruse the bubbly winners from the Canadian Wine Awards here, the International Value Wine Awards ($25 or less) here, check out picks from The Wine Diva (aka Daenna Van Mulligen) here and here, or read some thoughts on Champagne from Anthony Gismondi here.

Wine-wise, 2011 is shaping up to be a very busy year for me - lots of tastings, seminars and judging, maybe a bit of travel, and a venture of my own I'm hoping to put in motion in the days to come. If you're on Twitter, feel free to keep tabs there, and as always feel free to drop me a line with any questions/etc. you have about wine. Now if you'll excuse me, the family is out and I hear a glass of port asking to help ease me back into the world of wine drinking...

Happy New Year!

PS. Hey, what are you drinking to help ring in the New Year? Leave a comment and let me know. I actually have no idea what I'll be popping (or if I'm even going to be in any shape to get festive tomorrow), so I guess I'll have to root around in the basement for something festive...

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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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