By Holly Bruns
Not enough hours in the day for you to figure out what to drink with dinner tonight? Missing out on a little boozy bedtime reading? Tired of drinking the same old Merlot day after day after day? Alas, don’t despair. There are answers out there for those of us who are having the wino doldrums. Ottawa happens to be home to some of the world’s most renowned wine writers and there is no lack of advice for the budding oenophile. From historical texts to a fun-loving romp around the wine world, these local wine aficionados can teach you a thing or two about what you may, could, should, be putting in your wine glass.
First stop is Rod Phillips. He’s the wine columnist at The Ottawa Citizen and a professor at Carleton University. His book, A Short History of Wine, is an excellent read, jam packed with information, and is even better the second or third time around. Check out his website to receive regular newsletters and tips on what’s new and worthy of a pour at the LCBO. http://www.rodphillipsonwine.com/
Then there is Natalie MacLean. Natalie’s been working tirelessly at decoding the complexities of the wine world through her free e-mail newsletter, through her numerous articles, and most recently through her books: Red White and Drunk All Over and Unquenchable. She’s been named the world’s best wine writer, and her website is full of current tasting notes on just about every wine you could imagine. http://www.nataliemaclean.com/
And who doesn’t need advice for pairing wine and food? Angie MacRae & Stacey Metulynsky hosted the popular Food Network Show: This Food That Wine. Their book of the same name is a great reference text to keep handy in the kitchen.
For the intellect in you try Charles Hodgson’s book: History of Wine Words: An Intoxicating Dictionary of Etymology and Word Histories of Wine, Vine, and Grape from the Vineyard, Glass, and Bottle. You’ll be full of interesting wine descriptors at your next office cocktail party.
Vic Harradine is a long-time wine writer and educator. His free bi-weekly e-newsletter Wine Current is a great source for what’s happening on the local wine shelves. He’s also the co-author of The 500 Best-Value Wines in the LCBO. http://www.winecurrent.com/
Finally, but absolutely not least, there are plenty of blogs afloat that will give you the skinny on the local wine scene replete with LCBO Vintages picks, up-coming events, and tips such as what to drink with that buffalo steak, and how to gracefully open a bottle of sparkling wine.
Dave’s Domaine –covers off- the-beaten-track wine picks, and an interesting assortment of up to date news on what’s happening in the wine world. http://daveswinedomaine.blogspot.com/
FoodiePrints – Claire offers up a down to earth perspective on what to put in your glass. http://www.foodieprints.com/
Imbibery – Nita harvests her garden for cocktail fixings, writes about what to pair with your Friday night pizza, and records regular wine podcasts. http://imbibery.blogspot.com/
Second Ferment – Bethany is drinking her way through life and laughing along the way. She is always up on current wine events and you’ll come back just for the writing. http://www.2ndferment.ca/
Sit.Sip.Savour. – Éva cruises the Vintages Release magazine every two weeks, in detail, for suggested picks. She writes about local restaurants, and every once and a while she raids her large wine cellar to bring you something interesting. http://sit-sip-savour.blogspot.com/
So, get reading Ottawa, and then get drinking!
Holly Bruns is an accredited sommelier with degrees from Algonquin College and the Wine Spirits & Education Trust. She lives in Ottawa and is the drinking force behind the successful blog: Wine Out Loud.