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The $213 Chilean bubbly, etc.

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The typical holiday madness and a stomach flu have ravaged the household over the past week, leaving me in less-than-ideal shape for tasting much wine. Darn germy kids. Anyhow, here's a little something to swirl, sniff and swallow over the weekend...

  • I was on my way to pick up a bottle of bubbly Thursday night and hit some black ice. I ended up stopping courtesy of a street sign, which really cracked up my front bumper, if you catch my drift. As a result, the $13 bottle of Chilean sparkling wine turned into a $213 bottle, and the last thing I wanted to do after securing my bumper to my car with a cord was pop a bottle of bubbly. Sing it with me: should old car accidents be forgot...
  • Speaking of pricey bottles, has anyone picked up either of the two bottles of Black Bowmore Islay single malt whisky? At $3,850 plus tax per bottle, it seems like it would require a professional palate to help in the tasting. Just this once, I'd be willing to work pro bono...
  • A friend of mine pointed me to a site called Wisconsin Cheese Cupid. Produced by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, it's a slick site that helps you pair various drinks (red or white wine, beer, or spirits) with cheese. Choosing one of the wine options then lets you break it down by style or grape variety. If you're entertaining this holiday season, it might just come in handy.
  • The Manitoba Moose Yearling Foundation continues to benefit from Mantiobans' expanding palates. Case and point - the inaugural Flatlander's Spirit Festival (presented by Manitoba's Liquor Marts) will take place on Thursday, February 5 from 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. at the Delta Winnipeg. The event will feature over 100 different cocktails, with sample servings included in the price of admission and recipes for cocktails included in the booklet provided at the door. Tickets are $34.95 (plus tax, etc.) will be available through Liquor Marts as of January 5, with proceeds going to teh Manitoba Moose Yearling Foundation. The Festival's website is currently under construction, but check back soon for details.
  • Finally, some local eatery news... Academy Road eatery Enorae Bistro has closed its doors. According to a sign on the door, owners have moved on (although from the sign it's unclear what they'll be doing) and the new proprietors will be opening Sushi California in the new year. I liked a lot of Enorae's lunch menu items, and they had a fun little wine list to boot. Hm.

Enjoy your weekend and avoid the mall at all costs! And, of course, drive safely and responsibly...

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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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