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If there's Chardonnay in your neighbourhood...

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...who you gonna call? DAN AYKROYD!

Canadian actor-singer-etc. Dan Aykroyd will be hitting town on the 23rd and 24th of this month, and will be popping in to a few Liquor Marts to sign some bottles of the Lakeview Cellars wines that bear his name.

Manitoba's Liquor Marts just brought in the Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz-Cabernet in addition to the Cabernet-Merlot and Chardonnay that were already here. They're quite nice Niagara Peninsula wines for the price.

Aykroyd will be at the Madison Square Liquor Mart Monday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., then at the Grant Park Liquor Mart the same day from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.

That night, he'll attend a Hunger for Hope charity event at Stereo nightclub that benefits Winnipeg Harvest. There's got to be someone out there that can convince Elwood Blues to jump on stage ... no?

The next day, he'll be at the cityplace Liquor Mart, signing bottles for the downtown office crew from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Apparently Aykroyd can sit there and sign hundreds and hundreds of bottles if the demand is there. His impending visit got me thinking yet again about wine and celebrities - how so many of them put out their own wines or buy their own wineries.

When I was a kid, it was Ghostbusters lunch boxes and Wayne Gretzky cereal (Pro Stars - loved 'em), so I guess it makes sense that these same superstars continue marketing themselves to the same demographic that now drinks wine.

I was driving around on Sunday and happened to catch CBC Radio's The Inside Track - their guest was Canadian speedskater Jeremy Wotherspoon. I think it goes without saying that speedskaters don't bring in the same kind of coin that pro hockey players or actors do.

What initially caught my attention was that the host asked about his favourite hobbies, to which he replied fly fishing and wine. Then as a follow-up question, fill-in host Teddy Katz asked what Wotherspoon would like to do once he quit speedskating, to which he replied that he'd like to go to school to learn how to make wine (you can check out a podcast of the interview here).

The difference between putting your name on a bottle of wine and actually making it couldn't be more distinct. I'm not saying that superstars buying their own wineries or throwing their picture or name on a label is a bad thing - as long as people keep in mind that these aren't the people picking and crushing the grapes, etc. There are so many people behind a bottle of wine who never get acknowledgment.

Wotherspoon likely won't ever get his image or name on the front of a bottle of wine, but I bet he'll glean far more satisfaction with the product in the bottle.    

Having said that, I'll definitely be trying to get a few bottles signed by my second-favourite Ghostbuster.

PS. This past Wednesday was Wine Blogging Wednesday, so I thought I'd throw together a little video blog to go along with this month's theme - North vs. South. Check it out here.

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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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