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Turkey wine, etc.

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When it comes to pairing wine and food, there aren't any rules carved in stone - at least that I know of (if anyone finds the Holy Grail of wine let me know - that would be quite the journalistic coup).

However, when thinking about what you're going to be eating this Thanksgiving weekend, consider whether the wine might overpower the dish. If you're going the way of the turkey, a full-bodied California Cabernet Sauvignon or an Aussie Shiraz will be to aggressive.

For reds, I'd suggest something lighter like a Gamay/Beaujolais or Pinot Noir - the former will have red fruit flavours (think cranberry sauce) and the latter some earthiness and spice (which will be nice with fall root vegetables), and both should bring a dollop of acidity to cut through any fattiness associated with the big bird.For whites, some people like a big buttery Chardonnay to match the similar flavours of the turkey, but I personally lean towards a crisp white with just a hint of sweetness and/or spice - like a Riesling or Gewurztraminer.***In an astonishing disregard for the current economic climate, my column in tomorrow's paper will be about how to choose wine to cellar - what perfect timing, given the economic jitters. I'm sure the first thing everyone wants to do is invest their money in expensive wine and put it away for a while. If the economic tos and fros keep up this way, I'll be more inclined to curl up under my kitchen table with a cheap box of plonk than put away some killer 2005 Bordeaux.My colleague, The Globe and Mail's Beppi Crosariol, has a timely piece on value wines in this time of economic uncertainty - see it here. I'll have more on value wines soon as well; I'll also try and squeeze in a quick blog before Tuesday's election with some suggestions to toast the victors or drown your sorrows.***In local news, the MLCC yesterday announced their partnership with the Wine and Spirits Guild, an American-based buyer's group that features over 40 retailers in the US (the MLCC is the Guild's first non-US member). This collection of retailers can leverage for better prices on products based on buying a higher volume of products and then distributed the wine among Guild members (or at least that's how I understand it to work). The first group of Guild wines includes selections from a variety of countries, and all are well-priced. More on this move in the future...***Finally, on the current events front, I found this brilliant little spot of wine-related satire courtesy of the always funny Onion: Obama Clinches 'Joe Cabernet Sauvignon' Vote.

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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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