Ben Sigurdson

Ben Sigurdson

Literary editor, drinks writer

Ben Sigurdson edits the Free Press books section, and also writes about wine, beer and spirits. He paid his way through university by working at a handful of wine stores in Winnipeg, which helped him land the wine-writing gig on a freelance basis in 2005.

Ben started working in the newsroom in 2012 as a part-time copy editor. Later that year he was hired as a full-time web copy/web editor, working the graveyard shifts.

When esteemed books editor Morley Walker retired in January 2014, Ben rekindled his love for all things literary and started a new chapter at the Free Press.

Ben holds a bachelor of arts degree in English/politics from the University of Winnipeg as well as a master of arts degree in English (writing stream) from the University of Manitoba.

Recent articles of Ben Sigurdson

What’s up this week: Festive First Fridays, Zoo Lights and Xmas with the King

Eva Wasney, Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson and Ben Waldman 4 minute read Preview

What’s up this week: Festive First Fridays, Zoo Lights and Xmas with the King

Eva Wasney, Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson and Ben Waldman 4 minute read Yesterday at 7:00 PM CST

First Fridays in the ExchangeFriday, Dec. 2Various times and locationsVisit firstfridayswinnipeg.org for a full list of participants

Tarot readings, gallery exhibits and hot apple cider: this month’s First Fridays event features a bevy of creative and interactive events — several with a holiday twist — throughout the Exchange District.

Enjoy the aforementioned cider while shopping for gifts at Katie + Gunner Gallery (141 Bannatyne Ave.) or Northlore (75 Albert St.). Local and artsy presents can also be acquired during the holiday market at Pottery Empire (70 Albert St.), down the street at Plant Lab Botanical Design (68 Albert), Tara Davis Studio Boutique (246 McDermot Ave.) and All About Theatre & Gallery (288 McDermot).

Warehouse Artworks (222 McDermot Ave.) and the Edge Gallery and Urban Art Centre (611 Main St.) are both hosting ornament-making workshops — the latter is also running a Chilli Bowl fundraiser that will see bowls of chili, mugs and grab bags available for $20 each.

Yesterday at 7:00 PM CST

Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press Kaiden Bockstael reaches for a string of lights hanging from a tree at the Zoo Lights at the Assiniboine Park Zoo Friday night November 26, 2021

Consider gifting wine, beer or spirits Advent calendars

Ben Sigurdson 6 minute read Preview

Consider gifting wine, beer or spirits Advent calendars

Ben Sigurdson 6 minute read Friday, Nov. 25, 2022

With the holidays looming in the coming weeks, it’s high time to start thinking about gift giving, party hosting and all that kind of fun stuff.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the wine, beer or spirits lover in your life, you don’t need to settle on another pack of wine charms, whisky rocks, bottle openers/stoppers and such (although those all make fine stocking stuffers).

This year’s bounty of drinks-related Advent calendars available locally, for example, is bigger than ever. Private wine stores such as The Pourium (formerly De Luca Fine Wines, 942 Portage Ave.), De Nardi Wines (1360 Taylor Ave.) and Calabria Market (139 Scurfield Blvd.) have all assembled their own wine Advent calendars, which typically offer two dozen 375 ml (or thereabouts) bottles for wine lovers to explore and enjoy daily in December. Kenaston Wine Market (1855A Grant Ave.), meanwhile, carries a port Advent calendar featuring two dozen variations (in 50 ml bottles) of the fortified wine.

For hop heads there’s the ever-popular Craft Beer Advent Calendar, which typically compiles 24 award-winning brews from Canada and beyond and which is available at Liquor Marts and some beer vendors. Over at the Beer Boutique beer vendor (910 Regent Ave.), they’ve pulled together their own 12-day craft beer Advent calendar which features a number of local brewers. Stiegl’s craft beer Advent calendar is also returning to Liquor Marts this year, while the locals at Neepawa’s Farmery Brewery have done up an Advent calendar of their own.

Friday, Nov. 25, 2022

Nipzzano gift box

A Celtic Christmas to Disney heroes on ice: 5 fab events this week

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Jen Zoratti, Ben Sigurdson and Ben Waldman 5 minute read Preview

A Celtic Christmas to Disney heroes on ice: 5 fab events this week

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Jen Zoratti, Ben Sigurdson and Ben Waldman 5 minute read Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022

Disney on Ice presents Find Your HeroToday through Sunday, various timesCanada Life Centre, 300 Portage Ave.Tickets from $30 plus fees, Ticketmaster.ca

Things are going to get a bit Goofy this at Canada Life Centre this weekend.

Goofy, Mickey and the rest of the gang will lace up their skates and hit the ice as part of Disney on Ice presents Find Your Hero, featuring a mixed bag of characters, songs and routines based on a range of new and vintage Disney classics.

Making appearances as part of the event, which highlights heroes of all kinds from Disney productions, will be Moana and Maui from Moana, Belle, the Beast and all manner of enchanted objects from Beauty and the Beast, Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Frozen as well as Rapunzel, Mickey, Minnie and more.

Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022

Feld Entertainment

Disney on Ice presents Find Your Hero includes characters from Moana.

The many styles and flavours of Pinot Noir

Ben Sigurdson 5 minute read Preview

The many styles and flavours of Pinot Noir

Ben Sigurdson 5 minute read Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022

One of the first wines I tackled when I first started writing Uncorked 17 (!) years ago was Pinot Noir. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise; among wine geeks it tends to be a favourite grape to grapple with. A famously fickle grape to grow, Pinot Noir is made in a wide range of styles in all corners of the globe (including here in Canada) and, when done well, can produce profound wines of exceptional complexity.

More than most wine grapes, red or white, Pinot Noir’s styles run from fruit-forward and juicy in warmer, New World winemaking regions to subtle, earthy and complex in Old World examples. It’s also used in making rosé in certain parts of the world, and is a key grape in producing some of the world’s best sparkling wines, including from France’s Champagne region.

Much of the variation in styles of Pinot Noir depends on climate. The grape does particularly well in cooler to moderate wine-growing regions; its thinner skin not only results in wines that are lighter in colour, but it also makes the grape more susceptible to extreme heat, frost and excess direct sunlight. It’s one of the reasons Pinot Noir has been dubbed the “heartbreak grape” by those in the industry — when things go wrong growing Pinot Noir, they go horribly wrong, and no amount of oak aging or other tricks in the winery can typically solve the problem.

When things go right, however, Pinot Noir generally delivers beautiful red berry and cherry flavours with low tannins and moderate acidity, with secondary flavours often described as earthy, mushroomy or even reminiscent of forest floor (whatever that tastes like).

Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022

Gary Nylander / The Canadian Press files

Pinot Noir grapes star in wines made all over the world, embraced by producers here in Canada from British Columbia’s Okanagan to Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley.

What’s up

Eva Wasney and Alan Small and Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson and Jill Wilson 6 minute read Preview

What’s up

Eva Wasney and Alan Small and Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson and Jill Wilson 6 minute read Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022

Santa Claus is coming downtownSaturday, 3 p.m.

From Portage and Main to Memorial

Free to attend

The jolly old elf makes his annual appearance in Winnipeg this weekend during the Manitoba Hydro Santa Claus Parade in support of The Christmas Cheer Board.

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022

Daniel Crump / Winnipeg Free Press Files

The big man himself, riding atop his brand new float, winds up the annual Santa Claus Parade.

Manitoba-made whiskies flowing to distillery shelves

Ben Sigurdson 7 minute read Preview

Manitoba-made whiskies flowing to distillery shelves

Ben Sigurdson 7 minute read Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022

After around 140 years, the first Manitoba-made whiskies not named Crown Royal will be hitting the shelves in the coming months. Yes, that’s whiskies – plural.

The first to hit the market is Patent 5’s Single Barrel Release 1, released on Nov. 10 from their website and tasting room (108 Alexander Ave.). And while they’ve so far released mainly gin, vodka and small-batch liqueurs and spirits — products that don’t require extensive aging before release — making their own whisky has always been the end goal.

“This wasn’t our first batch of whisky,” says Patent 5 owner president Brock Coutts. “We went through a number of batches, and barreled some. And three plus years later, they were not the whisky we wanted. We’ve redistilled some, and some of the others went down the drain.”

The Single Barrel Release 1 is made from, as you’d guess from the name, one lone barrel’s worth of spirits, which was made using Manitoba-grown and milled corn, rye and wheat as well as malted barley. It was double pot-distilled and then aged for 37 months (in order to be called Canadian whisky, a product must be aged for three years before release). The first bit of aging took place in a new American oak barrel before the whisky was transferred to a French oak barrel previously used to make Pedro Ximinez sherry in Spain.

Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022

Kyle Goldstine photo

Patent 5 owner president Brock Coutts Patent 5 whisky

New music

Ben Sigurdson 7 minute read Preview

New music

Ben Sigurdson 7 minute read Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

POP/ROCKVVonder

Now and Again (Independent)

First things first: the double-v in VVonder is a W (just like Alvvays) and it’s the name of the latest project from Winnipeg musical polymath Micah Braun. A quadruple-threat as a singer, keyboardist, guitarist and songwriter, Braun has been part of the Winnipeg scene since he was a precocious teen (in Jicah, the Nods, Colour Revolution and countless other variations). His music has always reflected passions for upbeat indie rock and melodic psychedelia (of the sort favoured by late-period Beatles or, say, E.L.O.) and Now and Again is the perfect distillation of both — 11 beautiful songs that show off Braun’s fabulous voice, expressive musicality and deceptively wry lyrics.

In recent months, VVonder has become a four-piece live band featuring Braun, keyboardist Nate Jacobucci, bassist Joey Penner and drummer Steve Martens, but the material here was recorded and mixed during the pandemic by Braun and co-producer Matt Filopoulos, with Dan Bertnick providing drum tracks.

Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

VVonder, Now and Again

What’s up

Eva Wasney and Alan Small and Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson and Jill Wilson 6 minute read Preview

What’s up

Eva Wasney and Alan Small and Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson and Jill Wilson 6 minute read Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

Ariel Posen goes global on DowntownMonday, Nov. 14, 8 p.m.

Park Theatre

Tickets: $30.81, including fees, at myparktheatre.com and ticketweb.ca

A new EP from Winnipeg singer-songwriter Ariel Posen that was recorded in two countries and mixed in a third comes together for a launch party Monday night at the Park Theatre.

Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

ANDREW VAUGHAN / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Old Man Luedecke (above), Fortunate Ones and The Once bring their Anchor’s Up tour to the West End Cultural Centre on Saturday.

Pro/Am Brew Challenge ranged from flawed to fantastic

Ben Sigurdson 7 minute read Preview

Pro/Am Brew Challenge ranged from flawed to fantastic

Ben Sigurdson 7 minute read Friday, Nov. 4, 2022

Not all home brewers are created equal. Some folks pick up user-friendly beer kits from home-brewing supply stores or grocery stores, saving a few bucks and always ensuring a cold one is close at hand.

Others, however, take the craft of home brewing to another level, sourcing out unique ingredients, trying out (or creating) new recipes and searching for intricate gear, some of which can end up making a kitchen brew look like a science class.

It’s this latter category who, for the most part, showed off their wares at the recent Pro/Am Brew Challenge, held over a week in mid-October and staged at Winnipeg’s Oxus Brewing Co. The contest typically pits amateur brewers against professionals, with beers tasted blind (ie. it’s not known who made the beer), given a score and ranked by category.

This year was a bit different. The Pro/Am Brew Challenge has been held in Winnipeg for some years now, having paused for a couple of years during the pandemic. And while previous years’ competitions have seen upwards of 400-500 entries from professionals and amateurs, this year’s event saw just 165 entries from Manitoba and Western Canada, with only a couple of professional brewers taking the plunge.

Friday, Nov. 4, 2022

Ben Sigurdson / Winnipeg Free Press

Little Brown Jug head brewer Jeremy Grisim (left) and Winnipeg Brew Bombers president Marc Molet-King taste through the 16 gold medal-winning brews in the final round of the 2022 Pro/Am Beer Challenge at Oxus Brewing Co.

What’s up: Bros. Landreth at Burt, Ian Rankin at WAG, free shows at Forks

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson 6 minute read Preview

What’s up: Bros. Landreth at Burt, Ian Rankin at WAG, free shows at Forks

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson 6 minute read Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022

Kate Beaton/Ian Rankin book launchesTuesday/Wednesday, 7 p.m.Muriel Richardson Auditorium, Winnipeg Art Gallery (300 Memorial Blvd.)Tickets: From $38.10, mcnallyrobinson.com

A pair of high-profile writers in two very different genres stop by the Winnipeg Art Gallery next week to launch their latest books.

First up is Kate Beaton, who will launch her latest graphic novel on Tuesday at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands depicts the two years Beaton spent working in Alberta’s oilsands after university to pay off her student debts, detailing the people she met and the culture she experienced in the process.

In her review of Ducks for the Free Press, Nyala Ali said “This stunning graphic memoir… (is) an affecting coming-of-age narrative that delves into the larger sociopolitical issues at play in this contentious environment,” and that “this important book will no doubt continue to garner critical acclaim and inspire discussion, but audiences might also consider the personal cost incurred after sharing one’s experiences so unflinchingly on the page in such immersive, heartrending detail.”

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands

Sweet, sweet verdicts

Ben Waldman, Jen Zoratti, Eva Wasney, Alan Small, AV Kitching and Ben Sigurdson 6 minute read Preview

Sweet, sweet verdicts

Ben Waldman, Jen Zoratti, Eva Wasney, Alan Small, AV Kitching and Ben Sigurdson 6 minute read Monday, Oct. 31, 2022

Halloween is all about snacks.

Yes, there are costumes, 12-foot-tall skeletons and creepy pumpkins, but the reason we go door to door is to fill our bags and buckets to their fullest capacity with chewy, tangy, salty, sweet, caramely, tongue-numbingly sour candies and chocolates. Every trick-or-treater is on the hunt for their favourites — Mars bars, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Sour Patch Kids, bubble gum or toothbrushes. But what about those freebies that we always give away to our parents, siblings or friends, and never try for ourselves?

The Free Press arts and life team decided to sink its teeth into new edible territory, tasting for the first time a few cult classics, foreign specialties, locally made crunchies, and even a vegan-friendly pig snack. Yes, a vegan-friendly pig snack. Which ones are sick tricks, and which ones are honest-to-goodness treats?

BIG TURK tasted by Ben WaldmanI’ve always been fascinated by Big Turk. I’ve never seen anyone eat one, I’ve never heard anyone talking about one, and yet there they are, right on the shelf at every 7-Eleven.

Monday, Oct. 31, 2022

AV Kitching says Coffee Crisp is a "crime against candy." (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

Treat yourself to one of these spooky brews

Ben Sigurdson 4 minute read Preview

Treat yourself to one of these spooky brews

Ben Sigurdson 4 minute read Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022

In today’s Free Press arts and life section you’re treated to a roundup of must-see Halloween TV, a Halloween-themed playlist, a preview of WSO’s Nosferatu and more. On Monday, when kids are making the rounds screaming on peoples’ doorsteps, you can read about the team’s taste test of new-to-us treats.

So, in keeping with the heaps of Halloween-related content, here are six spooky brew reviews, presented from lightest to heaviest — some pumpkin spice-infused, yes, but others delivered in delicious creepy packaging and making for some fine seasonal sipping as you’re doling out the treats (and occasional trick)…

The Barn Hammer Brewing Co. Grimoire (Winnipeg – $4.25/472ml can, brewery, Liquor Marts and beer vendors) is a wheat beer flavoured with rooibos tea and lemon; it’s medium gold and quite hazy in appearance, and aromatically brings spice, fresh wheat, bread dough, lemon zest and tea notes. It’s light-plus bodied and just off-dry, with more of those same components coming through flavour-wise, with no apparent bitterness from hops or otherwise and a modest finish (it’s 5.5 per cent alcohol). A fun brew for those with an adventurous palate. Try with Nerds or other tart and tangy treats. 3.5/5

A pale ale brewed for Winnipeg Comiccon and with creepy can art by GMB Chomichuk, the Trans Canada Brewing Co. Chainsawhand Pale Ale (Winnipeg - $4.24/473ml can, brewery, beer vendors) is medium copper in colour and slightly hazy, with fresh malt, citrus rind and light biscuit/bread dough aromas. On the medium-bodied palate the malt flavours work exceptionally well with the tropical fruit, herbal and citrus rind notes, the modest hops (25 IBU) bring just enough bite and the five per cent alcohol ends things off just right. An excellent pale ale that needs no candy pairing. 4.5/5

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022

Spooky tunes for boys and ghouls

Ben Waldman, Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Jill Wilson, AV Kitching, Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson 9 minute read Preview

Spooky tunes for boys and ghouls

Ben Waldman, Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Jill Wilson, AV Kitching, Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson 9 minute read Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

Halloween dominates October like Christmas dominates November and December, but while the yuletide soundtrack is vast and never-ending, with songs in every genre imaginable, All Hallow’s Eve is sorely lacking in musical accompaniment.

We can only listen to Bobby Pickett’s Monster Mash — which debuted 60 years ago — so many times before wanting to chop our ears off.

So the Free Press staff worked in the lab late one night and (de)composed this playlist of songs that should be played on and around Oct. 31, even if they aren’t traditional Halloween tunes. |

Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

What’s up

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Ben Sigurdson and Jill Wilson 5 minute read Preview

What’s up

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Ben Sigurdson and Jill Wilson 5 minute read Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022

Halloween programming at CinemathequeSaturday, from 10 a.m.Cinematheque, 100 Arthur St.Tickets: from $10 ($6 members) at winnipegfilmgroup.com

There’s nothing quite like a scary movie to get you in the mood for Halloween, and this Saturday Cinematheque is bringing the big-screen screams all day.

Things kick off at 10 a.m. with the Saturday Morning All-You-Can-Eat Cereal Cartoon Party: Halloween Edition, a throwback to the “good old days” when Saturday morning cartoons, spooky or otherwise, ruled the roost. Kids (and kids at heart) will enjoy three hours of Halloween-themed cartoons, public service announcements, commercials and more. The event, curated by David Bertrand, also features all-you-can-eat cereal, with dairy-free options available.

In the afternoon and evening things get downright spooky, as Cinematheque presents Aurora Gorealis, a horror movie marathon featuring creepy Canadian classics. At 3 p.m. comes the 1981 film The Pit, directed by Lew Lehman and featuring a 12-year-old boy who is bullied until he discovers a pit in the woods full of man-eating creatures called Trogs. At 5 p.m. it’s Pin, the 1988 film directed by Sandor Stern, the tale of the titular plastic medical dummy who comes home to live with Leon — before things go south.

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022

Supplied

Kevin McDonald headlines Winnipeg Comiccon this weekend.

New, notable wines include juicy red, fruity white

Ben Sigurdson 5 minute read Preview

New, notable wines include juicy red, fruity white

Ben Sigurdson 5 minute read Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022

Often this space features a particular theme or area of focus — a grape variety or wine-producing region, for example, or a roundup of new local brews or some other insight into wine, beer, food pairing, local events and beyond.

This week is a simple roundup of new (or new to me) and notable wines I’ve tried over the last few months, whether at home, out for food and drinks, while hosting family over the holidays or otherwise…

For instance, the Moraine 2021 Cliffhanger White (Okanagan Valley, B.C. — $22.99, Liquor Marts and beyond) is the white wine I picked up to go with the Thanksgiving dinner we hosted. For the 2021 vintage, Moraine tweaked the blend of grapes to Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling, the latter replacing Viognier, which featured in the 2020 blend. It’s better than ever; the bright floral, peach, pineapple, marmalade and pear notes show beautifully aromatically, with just the slightest hint of spice. While it’s fermented to be dry, there’s a slight perception of sweetness thanks to the ripe apple, peach, apricot and pear flavours that deliver a fruit salad of flavour with some nice viscosity and a medium-length, slightly spicy finish. It worked brilliantly with the turkey/ham dishes, but would also sing with Thai dishes, sushi or fresh fruit. 4.5/5

 

Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022

What’s up

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Jen Zoratti, Ben Sigurdson, Ben Waldman and Jill Wilson 7 minute read Preview

What’s up

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Jen Zoratti, Ben Sigurdson, Ben Waldman and Jill Wilson 7 minute read Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022

Darcy Oake at the BurtFriday and Saturday, 8 p.m.Burton Cummings Theatre, 364 Smith St.Tickets $85 including fees at Ticketmaster

Prepare to suspend your disbelief this weekend.

Winnipeg-born illusionist Darcy Oake kicks off a Canadian tour with a double-header in his hometown on Friday and Saturday at the Burton Cummings Theatre.

Son of broadcaster Scott Oake, the younger Oake grew up competing in magic contests and gained international attention as a finalist on the reality show Britain’s Got Talent in 2014. He’s gone on to star in his own television special and has performed in some of the most illustrious venues in the world and even for the late Queen Elizabeth. His illusions range from classic sleight-of-hand and card tricks to daring onstage escapes.

Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022

MIREK WEICHSEL & JOHN GIAVEDONI PHOTO

Illusionist Darcy Oake

Plethora of fall events provide plentiful pairings

Ben Sigurdson 5 minute read Preview

Plethora of fall events provide plentiful pairings

Ben Sigurdson 5 minute read Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022

As we creep ever closer to the (gulp) holiday season, local makers and stores will turn their attention to the inevitable jump in retail traffic.

Until thern, there are all manner of tastings, dinners, tap takeovers, socials and more coming in the next few weeks. Here are but a few…

They’re still brewing at Oxus Brewing Co. for now, but Interlake Brewing Co.’s lineup of beers continues to grow in anticipation of opening its Gimli location in the coming months. Interlake is hosting a tap takeover at Oxus (1180 Sanford St.) today, where you can enjoy all seven of its current brews, a special surprise cask, as well as food from Loaf and Honey. There’s no charge to pop by (save for buying your beers, of course).

I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a little reminder plug about the Sips and Snacks event taking place this Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Nonsuch Brewing Co. (125 Pacific Ave.). I’ll be chatting with Nonsuch folks about all things beer, specifically After Deadline, the Italian grape ale I helped make in conjunction with the Free Press’s 150th anniversary. The evening will feature a three-course beer-and-food appetizer pairing. A handful of tickets remain (they’re $54.06 including fees) at wfp.to/afterdeadline.

Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022

What’s up

Eva Wasney and Alan Small and Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson and Jill Wilson 5 minute read Preview

What’s up

Eva Wasney and Alan Small and Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson and Jill Wilson 5 minute read Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022

An Evening with Bob McDonaldFriday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m.McNally Robinson Booksellers, Grant Park, 1120 Grant Ave.Free admission

Canada’s favourite science nerd is coming back to Winnipeg with a new book in tow.

Bob McDonald, host of CBC’s Quirks & Quarks, will appear at McNally Robinson Booksellers’ Grant Park location on Friday in support of his new book The Future is Now: Solving the Climate Crisis with Today’s Technologies, published in late September by Viking.

In his new book, McDonald examines technology currently at our disposal to grapple with the climate crisis, and how longstanding alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal are just the beginning on a path towards powering our world with green tech that includes hydrogen, waves, tides and more.

Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022

SUPPLIED

JayWood, whose new album 'Slingshot' came out in July, will be performing at Burt Block Party.

Bold beer to celebrate Free Press’s 150th anniversary

Ben Sigurdson 7 minute read Preview

Bold beer to celebrate Free Press’s 150th anniversary

Ben Sigurdson 7 minute read Friday, Oct. 7, 2022

There’s been plenty brewing in conjunction with the Free Press’ 150th anniversary: deep dives into the archives, reflections on the last century-and-a-half in the pages of the paper and online, a community cookbook (Homemade, by Free Press food and drinks writer Eva Wasney), a fall supper and even more to come.

In that spirit, the Free Press partnered with Nonsuch Brewing Co. to create After Deadline, a limited-release, small-batch beer commemorating 150 years of working in the community to report on stories that matter to Manitobans. The finished product is an Italian grape ale — a saison/farmhouse ale infused with Pinot Grigio.

In the same way the Free Press has taken a rich history of reporting in the province and brought it into the modern era, Nonsuch marries Belgian brewing styles and traditions with a decidedly contemporary approach. In the brewery, that effort is led by head brewer Mark Borowski.

Like many brewers working in Manitoba, Borowski got his start at home — in his case, about 12 years ago.

Friday, Oct. 7, 2022

Wines of the week

Ben Sigurdson 2 minute read Preview

Wines of the week

Ben Sigurdson 2 minute read Friday, Oct. 7, 2022

IF you’ve come to this space seeking Thanksgiving wine recommendations, fret not — I’ve got you covered…

Weszeli 2020 “Felix” Grünew Veltliner (Niederosterreich, Austria — $18.99, Liquor Marts and beyond)

Green apple, lime zest, crisp pear and hints of spice and chalk all show well on the nose of this organic, vegan Austrian white wine. It’s light-bodied and bone dry, with fresh green apple, pear and lime coming with those spice and chalk notes that provide focus and zip (the medium acidity helps in that department too). A fresh and fun wine that would work as well with turkey or ham as it would with sushi, spring rolls, oysters and milder hors d’oeuvres. 4/5

Low Life Barrel House “Leaps” (Winnipeg/Ontario — $25, brewery/winery, Liquor Marts and beyond)

Friday, Oct. 7, 2022

IF you’ve come to this space seeking Thanksgiving wine recommendations, fret not — I’ve got you covered…

Weszeli 2020 “Felix” Grünew Veltliner (Niederosterreich, Austria — $18.99, Liquor Marts and beyond)

Green apple, lime zest, crisp pear and hints of spice and chalk all show well on the nose of this organic, vegan Austrian white wine. It’s light-bodied and bone dry, with fresh green apple, pear and lime coming with those spice and chalk notes that provide focus and zip (the medium acidity helps in that department too). A fresh and fun wine that would work as well with turkey or ham as it would with sushi, spring rolls, oysters and milder hors d’oeuvres. 4/5

Low Life Barrel House “Leaps” (Winnipeg/Ontario — $25, brewery/winery, Liquor Marts and beyond)

What’s Up

Ben Sigurdson, Alan Small, Eva Wasney, Jen Zoratti 5 minute read Preview

What’s Up

Ben Sigurdson, Alan Small, Eva Wasney, Jen Zoratti 5 minute read Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022

John Mulaney brings From Scratch tour to WinnipegWednesday, 7:30 p.m.

Canada Life Centre

Tickets $68 to $176 plus fees at Ticketmaster.ca

John Mulaney has started from scratch.

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022

Netflix

Comedian John Mulaney is at the arena on Wednesday.

Roberston, Zaidman win book awards

Ben Sigurdson 2 minute read Preview

Roberston, Zaidman win book awards

Ben Sigurdson 2 minute read Monday, Oct. 3, 2022

A pair of Winnipeg writers won awards for their children’s books at the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards, presented at a ceremony in Toronto on Sept. 29.

David A. Robertson and Vancouver-based illustrator Julie Flett won the $50,000 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for their picture book On the Trapline, published by Tundra Books. In November 2021, the book won the pair their second Governor General’s Literary Award in the children’s literature — illustration category; their previous picture-book collaboration, When We Were Alone, won the same award in 2017.

In late September, Penguin Random House Canada announced Robertson had been appointed editorial director at Tundra Book Group, where he’ll develop a new imprint dedicated to publishing emerging Indigenous writers and illustrators.

Monday, Oct. 3, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

David A. Robertson’s On the Trapline won the Governor General’s Award in 2021 and has now won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.

Popular wine terms and how to use them

Ben Sigurdson 5 minute read Preview

Popular wine terms and how to use them

Ben Sigurdson 5 minute read Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022

The return of the Winnipeg Wine Festival’s main public tastings on Sept. 23 and 24, the first time the RBC Convention Centre hosted the event since 2019, was a chance for agents, reps and winemakers to show off their wares, as well as for curious wine drinkers to find new favourites.

While trying new/new-to-me products (and doing more than my share of people-watching) at the fest, I noticed there were times those tasting wines wanted clarification on certain terms folks in the business use to talk about wine. With that in mind, here are a few key terms often used in the world of wine, what they mean and how you can look (and taste) for them in whatever’s in your glass…

BodyWine is almost always described by those in the wine business in terms of body, with a wine landing somewhere on the continuum between very light-bodied to very full-bodied. It’s essentially how heavy the wine feels in your mouth.

Back when I was first learning about wine, the way I was taught to think about it was to equate the body of a wine to different kinds of milk: skim milk is the equivalent of a light-bodied wine, two per cent milk is akin to a medium-bodied wine, while a full-bodied wine is more like homogenized milk or even coffee cream.

Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022

Beloki Tempranillo Rioja

What’s up: Events for Truth and Reconciliation Day

Eva Wasney and Alan Small and Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson and Jill Wilson 6 minute read Preview

What’s up: Events for Truth and Reconciliation Day

Eva Wasney and Alan Small and Jen Zoratti and Ben Sigurdson and Jill Wilson 6 minute read Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022

Friday, Sept. 30, is the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Canada’s newest federal statutory holiday commemorating the painful and ongoing legacy of the country’s Indian Residential School System.

Also known as Orange Shirt Day, the public is encouraged to take time to learn, reflect and engage in reconciliation in meaningful ways. Keep reading for a roundup of some of the events and activities taking place on Fri., Sept. 30 in Winnipeg.

Special programming at the WAG11:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Ave.

Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022

Canstar Community News

Qaumajuq, the new Inuit Art Centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, is a facility of which all Winnipeggers should be proud.