Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Home winemaking (sorta), etc.

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A couple of quick hits as the weekend approaches...

Like wine? Like video games? Well, good news, folks. Wine Tycoon just started shipping this week, and from the screen shots here it looks pretty darn cool. You set up in one of ten French wine regions, build your winery, and manage the grape growing, harvest, crushing, etc. It won't ever get to Guitar Hero/Rock Band status, but for dweebs like me it's a pretty darn cool idea.

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Head down to The Forks Market this weekend for the 18th Annual International Wine Festival of Manitoba. The fest runs tomorrow from 5:00-9:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00-6:30 p.m.. Admission is free, with sampling tickets costing fifty cents each (some samples will likely be two or three tickets). In addition to wines, there will be some cognac and Grand Marnier sippers can sample. Net proceeds go to Winnipeg Harvest, and Fenton's Wine Merchants (who are presenting the festival) will have a remote store on-site.

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I'm heading to Calgary on Monday to taste through twenty vintages of Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz, one of their icon reds. It should be an incredible tasting and an invaluable learning experience. I've actually tasted through 25 vintages of Peter Lehmann's entry-level Barossa Valley Shiraz, and it was a great event. I'll try and update my Twitter account while I'm there if I have a chance.

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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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