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Buying booze this weekend, etc.

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The long weekend is almost upon us, so I thought I'd do an in-depth roundup of Liquor Mart/private wine store/etc. hours of operation:

Friday, April 2:

  • All Liquor Marts: Closed
  • Banville & Jones: Noon-6:00 p.m.
  • Calabria Market and Wine Store: Closed
  • De Luca Fine Wines: Noon-6:00 p.m.
  • Fenton's Wine Merchant: 9:00 a.m. 9:00 p.m.
  • G.J. Andrews Food and Wine Shoppe: Closed
  • Kenaston Wine Market: Closed
  • La Boutique del Vino: Closed
  • The Winehouse: Noon-6:00 p.m.
  • Rural liquor vendors: Closed
  • Hotel retail beer vendors: Closed
  • Licensed dining rooms: Can serve liquor with a meal between noon 2 a.m.

Saturday, April 3:

Regular business hours for pretty much everybody

Sunday, April 4:

  • All Liquor Marts: Closed
  • Banville & Jones: Noon-6:00 p.m.
  • Calabria Market and Wine Store: Closed
  • De Luca Fine Wines: Noon 5:00 p.m.
  • Fenton's Wine Merchant: 9:00 a.m. 9:00 p.m.
  • G.J. Andrews Food and Wine Shoppe: Closed
  • Kenaston Wine Market: Noon-6:00 p.m.
  • La Boutique del Vino: Closed
  • The Winehouse: Noon-6:00 p.m.
  • Rural liquor vendors: Closed
  • Licensed dining rooms, sports facilities, private clubs etc.: Can serve liquor during regular Sunday hours.

Monday, April 5:

Regular business hours for pretty much everybody.

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If you still need wine that's Kosher for Passover, your best bet is to visit Kenaston Wine Market. Now, full disclosure: before I wrote for the Winnipeg Free Press I worked there. Having said that, there's no question that their selection of Kosher wines that they carry is unparalleled in Manitoba. They have Kosher for Passover wine from nine different countries made from a variety of grapes in a variety of styles, and that run the gamut in terms of price. Most importantly, their selection outnumbers anyone else's in the city many times over.

***

Trade organization Wines of South Africa have put together a competition for sommeliers working in restaurants or hotels around the world. The Sommelier World Cup features competitions in a dozen countries around the world. Canada's in on the action, with the Western Canadian semi-finals taking place on May 20 in Vancouver.

Winners of the Eastern and Western Canada semi-finals receive an all-expenses paid trip to South Africa in October that will feature winery and vineyard tours as well as world-class cuisine. Spaces are limited, so if you're in the biz and want to compete, visit the event's website.

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Congrats to local Brewmaster Dave Rudge and his crew over at Half Pints  for their inclusion in the book 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die.  Their Humulus Ludicrous was included among the essential brews. It's a fine brew indeed.

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The Winnipeg Wine Festival continues to creep ever closer, and as it does I get more details of events and such surrounding the fest. For example, check out the description of one of the silent auctions lots at this year's Gala Dinner:

A signed three-litre bottle of the just-released 2005 Peter Lehmann Mentor Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon, one of only 36 produced. The Winnipeg Wine Festival is the first time this vintage has been offered in this format anywhere in the world. Mentor regularly claims top marks from international critics and juries; it is Peter Lehmann Wines' particular dedication to Peter and the best Cabernet the winery makes each year. The 2005 vintage was a spectacular success in the Barossa, recognized by both Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator as producing wines of great depth, flavour and richness.

Anyone want to pitch in, buy this bad boy and have a Mentor party? Come on... proceeds go to Special Olympics Manitoba it's a good cause! The 2004 Mentor (presumably from regular-sized bottles) is also being poured with the Gala Dinner's main course.

***

I'm in the middle of compiling what I hope will be a definitive list of Winnipeg-based winos and foodies to check out on Twitter, which I hope to have in this space in the next week. If you know of any that should be included on the list, leave a message here, send me an email uncorked@mts.net, or follow me on Twitter  and @ me.

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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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