The Friday Files: News & Notes from Canada’s Wine Scene

Did you watch the documentary Somm, which followed the trials of four Master Sommelier candidates as they underwent the grueling exams?

If not, you certainly should — it provides incredible insight into the intense hard work that goes into receiving the Master Sommelier accreditation. Canada, for example, has but three with the MS designation, and there are just over 200 in the entire world.

The creators of Somm are bringing a sequel to market. Somm: Inside the Bottle will focus more on how wine is made – the history of the drink, the people behind the wine, the process behind making wine and, yes, what goes inside the bottle.

Judging by the teaser trailer just released, some of the key players in the original film are back for more, with new faces adding perspective as well.

For the latest on the new film, follow the makers of Somm on Twitter.


Over at the Wines In Niagara blog, Rick VanSickle has some love for (amongst others) Kacaba’s 2011 Cabernet Franc. (The 2013 vintage is available via My Wine Canada.)

Bartier Brothers — the label of brothers Donald and Michael Bartier — will be moving into their own winery/tasting room on Black Sage Road next summer, says John Schreiner.

Michael is the “Bartier” half of Bartier Scholefield, whose red was until recently available on the My Wine Canada website (but has since sold out).

Like wine? On Twitter? Want to learn more about Canadian wine?

If so, here’s a reminder that there are a couple hashtags worth following where discussions about Canadian wine happen on a regular basis — from enthusiasts, marketing folk and even winemakers/winery owners.

#BCWineChat goes down every Wednesday evening, and (as the hashtag implies) focuses on all things wine from the Left Coast. #ONWineChat goes down Wednesday nights as well, although the time difference between Ontario and B.C. means you can follow both without having to miss either (providing, of course, you can set aside your entire evening to monitor Twitter…)

For the first time, Manitoba is sending a candidate to the national Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) competition. I was there, and wrote a bit on it. (Hey, I have to plug my day job sometimes.)

It’s nice to get a non-wine-geek perspective on things sometimes. A former Free Press staffer/colleague recently went on a travel junket to the Republic of Georgia, where the focus was on their wine culture/industry. Nice stuff.


Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is the wine columnist and literary editor for the Winnipeg Free Press. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @bensigurdson.

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