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Can't miss wine events

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Lots going on wine-wise around town in the next little while - so much, in  fact, that I can barely keep up:

  • Next Friday and Saturday marks the debut of Wine Stage Manitoba, a two-night wine fest presented by the Independent Specialty Wine Stores of Manitoba. $49.99 gets you in the door, a souvenir glass, and a chance to sample nearly 200 wines between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m..

    Proceeds benefit Manitoba Theatre Centre (where said fest is taking place), and tickets are available by dropping by or calling MTC at 942-6537, dropping in to any of the six participating private wine stores, or by visiting MTC's ticket page on their website.
  • Former Winnipegger Marnie Old will be back in town at the end of September as well. Old is a Philadelphia-based sommelier and wine educator whose first book, He Said Beer, She Said Wine (co-authored with Sam Calagione), is a fun journey through pairing food with two of my favourite beverages.

    Marnie has a new book out entitled Wine Secrets: Advice from Sommeliers, Winemakers and Connoisseurs, and she'll be doing a reading and signing at McNally Robinson in Grant Park on Tuesday, September 29. More details on Marnie's event can be found on the McNally Robinson website.
  • Fall is a good time for winemakers from the southern hemisphere to travel  - after all, it's spring south of the equator, so they don't have to worry about harvest yet. It's no surprise, then, that a couple of Aussie chaps are swinging through town at the end of September.

    Logan Wines winemaker/proprietor Peter Logan is coming in from New South Wales for a dinner on Wednesday, September 30 at the always-fantastic Mise... restaurant (842 Corydon Avenue). Logan's wines (specifically the Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Shiraz/Viognier) have been paired with some special dishes for the event. Reception at 6:30, dinner at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $75 (plus taxes and gratuity) and are available by calling Mise... at 284-7916.
  • That very same night (September 30), Stuart Blackwell of Barossa Valley winery St. Hallett's will be in town, albeit in a decidedly more Australian setting - namely, Billabong Australian Bar & Bistro (D-121 Osborne Street). Five courses plus hors d'oeuvres and a half-dozen wines will set you back $89 (plus taxes and gratuity, I think) and are available at Billabong by calling 452-1019. Stand up reception starts at 6:00 p.m. The menu looks good...

Know of a wine event coming up that you'd like to let people know about? Send me an email and I'll try and include it in future blog updates.

Have a great weekend and enjoy some nice crisp white wines in the dying days of summer!

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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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