Canadian Wine blog

Writing on Canadian Wine by the MWC team Kurtis Kolt (BC), Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson (MB) Jake Skakun (ON), Michelle Bouffard (QB) and various national guest contributors.


  • My Wine Canada In Review

    We’re in what I call the window of reflection, or perhaps it’s better called the eye of the holiday storm. The hubbub of Christmas has passed and New Year’s will be upon us tomorrow. We’re inundated with 2014 lists of everything from the Top 100 Songs to the Most Emotional Pro-Athlete Interviews to the Best Memes of the Year. Whether we want to look back over the year or not, mainstream media takes us there. This year, I’m happy to reflect on the events of 2014. For me, the Word of the Year is gratitude.

    After months of working on a plan to create an online marketplace for Canadian wine, we launched this past June and achieved our goal of connecting Canadian wine consumers directly with wineries to increase sales opportunities and access to excellent domestic wine. My first thank you goes to our winery partners and customers, both of whom have consistently shown their support for us. From the early days of testing the platform onwards, these two groups have been wonderfully patient and flexible, dedicated and loyal. It’s our winery partners and customers that provide the inspiration that galvanizes us every day at My Wine Canada so, to you, my heartfelt thanks.

    Also on board since the early days is Kurtis Kolt. Wine writer, consultant, expert – few days go by without me being incredibly grateful for that Bob Dylan concert that serendipitously tied us together as friends ten years ago. As the curator of our Wine Blog, he has assembled a fantastic team of wine writers with Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson from the Winnipeg Free Press and Jake Skakun at the core and a myriad of outstanding guest writers such as Michelle Bouffard, Treve Ring, DJ Kearney and Craig Pinhey. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Kurtis and getting to know Ben and Jake as the blog has grown and evolved over the year. I consider myself enormously lucky to share the same vision and sense of humour with such esteemed company.

    My final thank you goes to the My Wine Canada in-house team, the nuts and bolts of the operation from marketers and designers to developers and accountants. It’s this team that collectively got the site up in June, the Wine Club launched in September, the gift certificates prepped for the holiday season and many other optimizations to the site. This group includes staff, business partners, friends, and supporters from various industries who have all contributed to the success of My Wine Canada.

    To all, thank you for a tremendous year – and cheers to what will certainly be an outstanding 2015!

    Founder, My Wine Canada

  • Happy Boxing Day

    Here's a cartoon to carry on the goodwill of Christmas.

    We hope you're enjoying this wonderful long weekend!

    Boxing Day cartoon


  • Merry Christmas!

    From all of us at My Wine Canada, we wish you a very Merry Christmas full of good wine and food, excellent company, and serendipitous surprises.




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

    Northern Lands, the latest Canadian wine and food (and beer) extravaganza is set to take place in Edmonton at the end of March 2015. The event brings together Canadian winemakers, brewers and distillers with some of the country’s best and brightest chefs on March 27 and 28, 2015.

    There will be plenty of Continue reading

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

    As of Thursday, Kelowna's Tantalus Vineyards reports their icewine harvest is complete — the earliest ever for the winery. Overall, 2003 was the earliest icewine grape-picking, and 2014 looks to be the second-earliest for wineries.

    Check out this piece on the 2014 harvest, including some chilly video with Continue reading

  • BC Crowns New Sommelier of the Year

    In March 2013, French Canadian Véronique Rivest became the 2nd best sommelier in the world. The entire country was proud. But how do you get this title? Why is it that in BC, where we have tremendous wine talents, we had no ways to participate, not even at the Canadian level?

    The world competition Continue reading

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

    From The Financial Post, comes an in-depth and enlightening article about the growth of foreign investment in Okanagan wineries. It's definitely worth the read: The new face of B.C. wine: Why Chinese buyers are pouring into the Okanagan’s vineyards.

    In an earlier Friday News Round-Up, we mentioned Continue reading

  • Moncton’s “World” Wine & Food Expo Turns 24

    Moncton’s World Wine & Food Expo enjoyed its 24th iteration in 2014, running from October 25th to November 1st. What used to be a wine tasting has grown into a full week of dinners and seminars leading up to the Grand Tastings on Friday and Saturday, making it the largest festival of its kind in Atlantic Canada.

    The big dinners this year were as extravagant as ever, and all for charity, featuring celebrity chefs Jamie Kennedy - who was in town to promote a new cookbook - and Moncton’s own Matt Pennell, who won his episode of The Food Network’s Chopped Canada and manages the kitchen at the Moncton Coliseum Complex, the site of the show.

    I had a chance to experience Pennell’s work at a Torres wine luncheon/seminar during the week. He prepared several dishes to match white and red Spanish selections, fashioning some pretty authentic tapas.

    The ‘big’ events are typically the Friday and Saturday night Grand Tastings, although this year Friday was quiet, due to it being Halloween. Wine lovers made up for that by showing up en masse for the Saturday afternoon and evening events.

    There is always a good selection of wines at the show, some of which were awarded Wine Show medals from a judging held earlier in the year. This said, the number of Canadian wines was not impressive this year. Of the 350 odd wines featured at the show, only 23 were Canadian, from only five participating wineries: Pelee Island and Andrew Peller from Ontario, and Jost, Benjamin Bridge and Ferme Bourgeois from Atlantic Canada. We really should be better at getting our wines sold all across the country.

    Ferme Bourgeois was the only New Brunswick winery, which is curious as the number of local producers has grown recently. They have had great success winning medals for their fruit wines - particularly apple, raspberry, cherry and pear - at national competitions, and have grape based wines coming along soon.

    Nova Scotia’s Jost was pouring their Coastal Vineyards white, rosé and red wines, as well as their 4 Skins red blend, Tidal Bay white blend, Devonian Coast Tawny ‘Port’, and Selkie, a fizzy, floral, off-dry wine. Selkie is Jost’s answer to the hugely popular Nova 7, from Gaspereau Valley’s Benjamin Bridge, which was also poured at the show.

    Benjamin Bridge is an ambitious traditional method sparkling house that also produces some table wines. They, along with nearby L’Acadie Vineyards, led the move to premium sparkling wine in Nova Scotia in the past decade.

    In addition to Nova 7, they poured their white blends (Tidal Bay and Vero), their lovely, fresh Cabernet Franc Rosé, and their Brut, a dry, tart traditional method bubbly which sold at the show for $44.99.

    The Wine & Food Expo is a great show, but it needs more CanCon.


    Craig Pinhey is a wine writer, judge and consultant. Visit him at:

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