The Grape Nut

with Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson

Email Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson

  • Show me those ruby reds

    So the Winnipeg Wine Festival starts in just over a week, and I'm trying to plan my attack - I'm hoping to get to as many ancillary events as possible. Winnipeg Free Press coverage this year should be pretty cool - I'll be updating from every event with pictures and Twitter updates that should be streamed into a Cover it Live platform. If I find a real gem of a wine to try, I'll be able to let you know in real time. Heck, you'll probably be able to track me down at the ancillary events and the main tastings based on my updates.

  • What wine goes well a chocolate bunny?

    Hey, it's a long weekend! Wondering where and when you can buy wine this weekend? Here are some helpful hints:
  • The Grape Nut gets all Web 2.0

    Just a couple of quick hits before the weekend:

  • History, bottled

    I love hearing stories about older wines - tales of decades-old wine (or older) surviving signifant dark times in human history and other significant world events. There have been a few juicy tidbits surfacing as of late...
  • If there's Chardonnay in your neighbourhood...

    ...who you gonna call? DAN AYKROYD!
  • Stars and stripes, reds and whites

    OK, so this is the last chance for me to remind you that the California Wine Fair happens tomorrow night from 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. at the Delta Hotel (350 St. Mary Ave.).

  • Escaping the fires

    First off, a quick reminder that tickets to next Friday's California Wine Fair are on sale now at Manitoba's Liquor Marts or by calling the Red Cross at 982-7330.
  • Stimulate the economy ... drink wine

    OK, so maybe drinking wine won't kick-start the economy back into action, but that won't keep me from trying. Here are some sales, dinners, and other worthy events for your perusal.
  • Bargain bottles and judging judges

    I think for the time being I'll sidestep the increasingly heated debate in the Freep about the place of government (in our case, the government-run Manitoba Liquor Control Commission) in the sales of wine, beer and spirits, and just lob a couple of softballs out there for your consideration...
  • The $213 Chilean bubbly, etc.

    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...
  • Bubbly and water and bears - oh my!

    A couple of tidbits of wine-related news to get you through a snowy weekend...
  • California Dreaming, Winnipeg Freezing

    As I look out on this chilly, blustery day, I can't help but remember that at this time last week I was sipping wine in the Chilean sun... OUCH.
  • Hola! Is this thing on?

    Just a quick note to see if my WFP blog will update, as I know the site’s been going through some upgrades, etc.
  • Live from Chile, pt. 2

    Well, I haven’t been blogging as frequently as I would have liked, as is often the case with these wine trips. Chilean wineries, like so many I’ve been lucky enough to visit, like to keep you wandering through the vineyards, exploring their cellars, admiring their facilities, and (of course) tasting their wines.
  • The Grape Nut gets Chile

  • For peat’s sake… a whisky-lover’s dream

  • The Grape Nut returns… all multimedia-like

    Hi! It’s great to be back blogging for the Winnipeg Free Press. Now that the strike is all settled, I look forward to bringing you all the latest in wine-related goings-on, etc. in new and exciting ways.
  • Turkey wine, etc.

    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).
  • Palate fatigue? No. General fatigue? Sorta.

    So I was thinking about the month of September, and how maniacally busy the month was for me...What was I up to? Oh, let's see... I:

  • Blue state rejects red/rural tastings

    Between a day job, wine stuff and a toddler who just learned how to say "no", I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water, so apologies for not blogging more frequently. Here are some newsworthy nuggets from the world of wine (and, yet again, beer)...

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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